Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Aim Higher

Now, the Orenberg sample shawl pattern is really supposed to be all about learning the construction technique for the full-sized article. For this reason, Galina's instructions in Gossamer Webs are for a center composed entirely of uninterrupted garter stitch. The only real lace going on, and that very simple, is in the borders.

When I began knitting the body of the shawl, I decided immediately that this would not do. Some day, when little Euphemia Gladys looks up from her sampler and asks me,

I would rather not have to answer, "I made an Orenberg warshcloth, precious."

So I decided to throw in part of an Orenberg stitch pattern called "bow tie." There's not enough room in the sample shawl for the full repeat, so I've just isolated the center portion.

Here's where I was just before work ceased last night.

Last night's effort also included my first successful attempt at ripping back (as opposed to tinking) lace. I'd placed a YO one stitch too far to the left, and it was driving me batty. Seems to me that if looking at a piece of your work makes you clench your teeth, better you should rip it than try to lower your standards.

From the "How Random is This?" Department

I got a call last night from my folks, who have sold their place in Washington, DC in order to move to their dream house in Kokomo, Indiana (I kid you not).

Yesterday was the home inspection, and the new owners, a nice young couple, were there along with the inspector. The husband noticed my mother's lastest knitting project and mentioned that his wife knits.

My mother said that her son and daughter also knit, and that in fact we both have knitting blogs.

And then, in my father's words, the wife got "sort of a funny look on her face" and said, "Franklin?"

Turns out she reads my blog.

So, hello, nice young wife. My heartfelt thanks to you and your husband for buying my parents' condo so that they can move on to the next, long-awaited part of their lives. I hope you'll be very, very happy in your new home.


Andy said...

I believe that in the blog world, 6 degrees of separation doesn't cover it anymore! Great story, and will make good family lore in years to come!

Kathy Merrick said...

You made that up, surely.
What a great story.
If you didn't, however, allow me, svp, to wish the nice young couple many happy years also.
Lovely things just seem to want to attach themselves to you.

Sean said...

I love "small-world" stories like that! AND I love that you're confident enough to make changes to patterns. That's what this world is all about...the freedom to do what your heart tells you to do!

Blue Gal said...

Speaking of small world, I love that you're using "F. Habit" for your copyright purposes, as last night I opened up a puzzle book from 1975 and it said that "F"-able was defined as "possessing the ability to fail." Yeah, right. Go, Wales. I'm honored to be on yer team.

bluecanary said...

Awesome story about blogland small-world! The lace looks great. Glad you decided on a motif in the middle.

Ah Xia said...

Hello! I am the "nice young wife" who has been a lurker thus far! My husband and I are very happy to be buying our first home and think your parents are very lovely people! And of course this makes me like your blog even more!

Sockbug said...

No freakin way.

Cheryl said...

The world is awfully small isn't it?? and blogdom makes us all a little closer.
What color eyes does little imaginary Euphemia have???

Aidan said...

Yonkel: Jess isn't another one of those people who lives in your head and talks so loudly you can't hear anyone else and keeps telling you to do things you know you shouldn't like dip into your retirement savings to buy that cashmere yarn or skip your parents 50th anniversary celebration because it conflicts with Stitches market, is she?

An I imagine L'il Euphemia G.'s eyes as hazel. But her hair color changes quite often, nu?

Kokomo. Much closer. About a 3 hour drive. You'll be able to go spend weekends knitting with your mum.

Lucia said...

As we said in my young days, that is really neat. (Yes, I am old. Deal with it.)

And I just consulted an online Latin dictionary (ovine, DUH) and am now ROFLMAO, shredding any workplace dignity I might have had left.

Jon said...

OMG! that's just toooo toooo funny...

Your lace looks loverly, dear.

Marilyn said...

"Cave Ovem"?

That was the funniest part of it for me.

Nobody could make up a story like that. Jess, if you think his parents are nice, you should meet the Lacemaster himself.

Good choice, that center pattern. Are you ready to Wedding Ring Rumble?

Aidan said...

I forgot to add:

One thing I understand is beneficial when knitting lace is to, every few inches, insert a lifeline in a row which you know to be correct. At the end of the row, thread a blunt needle with a heavy thread -- like button thread -- and run it through the stitches on the needle. Secure the ends -- I tie them together. Then, if you find you have made a mistake, you are able to pick up all the stitches correctly without loosing any.

That said, I have found that the only time I need a lifeline is when I haven't created one. Go figure.

Ruth said...

I love stuff like that. Because if you made it up, no one would believe you.

David said...

Oh how soon you'll be ducking the paparazzi as you pick up your yarn. Then you will long for the old days.

Sweet Caroline said...

If your parents move to Kokomo, and you go to visit them, can I visit them too so I can meet them? I'm only a short distance away in Indy and I've laughed and cried while reading your blog, so I feel like I should get to meet you.

Sweet Caroline
Caroline's Culture Ranch, home of the Unruly Wool Room

goblinbox said...

Okay, okay, now you're truly famous.

MaryMR said...

Hi! new to your blog and found you via Cast On. I wanted to write and let you know how much I love your essays on the podcast! You really find a balance between writing about what we can all relate to and yet doing so in an original way.
I'm loving the cartoons as well. Thanks for the fun read and listen.

Jean said...

"cave ovem" -- you caught me on that one, too. It's brilliant! I suspect you and I were made for each other in heaven.


Christina said...

Me Da and brother live in Kokomo. It's a nice town, and delightfully close to Indy.

Marilyn said...

Of course, being a gay personnage, you might have put "Cave Ovum" on Euphemia's embroidery.

Just a thought. "Curses, it's Persis" Cope, my wonderful Latin teacher who made her own shoes, is up in heaven smiling down upon her former star student who so loved to translate Virgil cold.

Kim said...

Kokomo? Indiana? Their dream home? Sorry, sweetie, we escaped central Indiana 5 years ago, and it just wobbles the mind that people want to move there. Especially from a metropolitan area. Of course, the cost of living is much more palatable.

Rosane said...

Hi Franklin,

Thank you, and readers, for your answers to my question about reading the pattern or not. Yes, I definitely need, most of the times, to go "blind", and be swept by the designer's technique.

Really, what a small world! Your lovely story reminded me of the first time I went to the Empire State Building. I met an elementary school teacher of mine there. She remembered me, after all those years. The more remarkable part of the story is that I grew up in Brazil. I moved to NY, to live, and she was on vacation then.


Sarah said...

OK, I've searched and searched. What is the meaning of Cave Ovem?

jen. said...

Kokomo, Indiana! I want to move there very badly (my mom grew up there a bit until she moved to Arizona). It seems more appealing than Arizona.

I love blog randomness. A week or so ago I looked at a blog to find a photo of a HS friend modeling a scarf.

birdfarm said...

Jess, they *are* lovely people. So many people are not what they seem, but Franklin's folks are true-blue. I find this comforting.

*wave* to Franklin's folks if you're reading... :-)

Elemmaciltur said...

Hehehe, *small world*

And the lace is LOVELY!!!!

Lucia said...

Sarah, "cave ovem" is "beware of the sheep." Cave as in caveat, ovem as in ovine.

Translating Virgil cold?? You're a better woman than I, Marilyn. That man could throw off 3 pages of ablative absolutes without even breathing hard.

Marilyn said...

Lucia, to be fair, I was going to be a linguist (whatever happened to THAT goal?) and I studied Latin from 7th grade through 12th, French all through HS and my family was German, so I had an ear for the stuff.

And I was a mathspastic. Knitting taught me how to do math, not school.

Liz said...

That is sooooo coool!!!!

How great!

And yes, lace while on needles truly looks like boiled ass. But then it gets better. You go.

Beth said...

Kokomo? Why on God's green earth would they pick Kokomo? It's only a tiny bit better than Muncie, which is where I grew up (and escaped from).

BTW: Your boiled ass washrag looks great.

Jay said...

OMG, Frankin, I TOLD you were a celebrity! I can't wait to watch your interview on Oprah!

Jax said...

Euphemia? And, when in the Lake District, you photographed yourself at Ruskin's grave?

I think I am in love.

So, which of you will end up with Millais in this version? (And don't try to tell me you're just Effie's father figure. John tried that excuse, too.)


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