Thursday, January 04, 2007

Allow Me to Elucidate

Yesterday's post generated a lot of questions, my favorite of which was a simple "What? I don't get it." via e-mail from a reader who turned out to be looking at the post as it showed up in Bloglines–with no photographs.

So all she saw was:

WHIRRRR. CLICK. SLURP. TICK-TOCK. SLAP MAH ASS AND CALL ME SALLY!

Which sounds like what you might hear if a robot from Tuscaloosa got overexcited and started to short-circuit. No wonder she was confused.

Now, to answer your questions.

1. The fiber on the spinning wheel is merino roving I got from Rabbitch, who is positively evangelisitic about spreading the joy of living hemmed in on all sides by unspun wool. You know how you're always hearing that merino is terribly hard to spin? Bullshit, kids. Once you get the basics down using something with a longer staple/lower price go ahead and try it. I swear it won't leave scars or frighten the children.

2. The open book in the photograph is Margaret Stove's Creating Original Handknitted Lace and I love it. It takes a lot of the mystery out of not only laying out your own lace designs, but also adapting or creating your own stitch patterns. You could buy it from Amazon, as naughty Danny suggested, or you can buy it from a company that actually gives a damn about knitters and knitting. I suggest either Schoolhouse Press or Halcyon Yarn.

3. The Harley-Davidson mug is there because I am a wild, butch roughneck who likes big, noisy bikes and, not infrequently, the men who ride them. This is, of course, in addition to knitting lace.

4. I do not tease you with my Ashford, Mr. Brinegar. You know perfectly well you're welcome to take it for a spin whenever you like.

5. The blue sock is knit out of some lovely Knitpicks (the first I've ever used) from an Anonymous Donor using a pattern from–oh, what a shock!–Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. Yes, I know. There are lots of other sock books out there. I've seen them. I'll get around to them. As soon as I'm finished with Charlene. Which is apparently going to take a while.

6. And yes, that's a garter stitch edge on the heel flap. My very, very first sock–my ur-sock, if you will–was knitted from Mary Thomas's gut-wrenching treatise on the subject and had slipped stitches on the heel flap. I find the garter edge feels firmer and, to my eye, is more handsome.

Did I miss anybody? If I did, just yell. I turn 36 in couple of weeks and senility is setting in fast.

[Yep. I forgot Ted's question about the charting software. The software ought to have its own entry, actually–so I'll answer that tomorrow.]

33 comments:

john said...

why thank you....

Ted said...

I'm curious which software you used to draw that chart. Or is it meticulously hand-drawn?

Franklin said...

Oops. I knew I'd miss something. I'll fix it now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Franklin, can you delete the previous comment? I don't want my addy flapping round in the breeze, and the identity ain't quite right. I just converted, and can't believe it did that.....**goes off cursing blogger yet again**

Girlfriend needs to break away from bloglines once in a while!

I always look first in Bloglines, then if something interests me or I want to comment, I click and read the blog in native mode.

And Huzzah! on spinning merino....I believe it was in fact my first fiber, and 2nd, and third...well you get the idea.

Carol said...

I would know better if I read that. I'd rather be right in the site, especially where there's yarn and artwork to be seen!

Danny Ouellette said...

I apologize for not linking to Schoolhouse press. This was the first link I could find when I was googling for the book.

Franklin said...

Oh, it's no sweat, Danny - I was just teasing.

Opal said...

I adore spinning Merino. Have you seen Crown Mountain Farms colours? To die for. And now you've got me curious about the garter stitch edge. Curiosity is good for the cat, yes?

Nancy J said...

And you like merino -- you'd Love polypay! It and jacob are my favorites!

calicokitty6 said...

After checking mail, your site is my first stop every day. I love the stories, humor, photos, and drawings. You are a great inspiration.

I am using that same pattern for a pair of socks right now! I also love Charlene's book. I am a relatively new spinner, and messed up my first attempt with merino. Right now, I have coopworth(?) on the bobbins waiting for plying. Now I feel encouraged to try the merino again. Thanks.

Lynette said...

bwhahah regarding the 'coming from bloglines'. I had noticed the same thing myself, and I figure that while you were indeed odd, that set of sentences could not possibly be random and unexplained. So I clicked over to the blog and lo, there were pictures. Then things made much more sense.

Isela: Purling Sprite said...

Thank you! I shall go and look through the book now to find the stitch pattern

Anonymous said...

Charts? You're doing charts? I can't even begin to read the things, and you're doing charts? (thud) (speaking from floor) You are a truly talented gentleman, Franklin.

Here's hoping that the 36th bday isn't the one where you lose 95% of your brain cells.

Say, just thinking here, do I have to call you Sally if I slap your ass?

s14 said...

Margret Stove's book is somewhat available on Amazon, but I think I will follow your suggestion and shop elsewhere.

This link shows a paperback version:

http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Original-Hand-knitted-Margaret-Stove/dp/0709056761/sr=1-1/qid=1167963051/ref=sr_oe_1_1/104-0277083-5898347?ie=UTF8&s=books

For only $123.04!

Anne said...

Merino was my first fiber too, and I love it. I'm having some trouble getting used to the blue faced leicester, though.

Who is ken, and why is my word verification talking about him?

mad angel said...

Senility at 36? Don't make me snort derisively! I'll be 45 next month. Who's more senile than who?

Happy b-day, Franklin. Thanks for keeping me laughing!

Paula
(mad angel)

noricum said...

That post *is* quite different with the photos! Without it was *very* cryptic. For some reason I didn't think to load the original to check for photos.

Adrienne said...

Sensation Knitted Socks is my sock bible. Then again, I don't have any other sock books - not that I'll need any in the near to distant future! That cabled rib sock is really nice, I'll have to push it up to the top of my sock knitting list! Love your blog, BTW, I'm a new fan from Cast On. :)

dragon knitter said...

i learned to spin on merino. my teacher said if i could spin that, i could spin anything. haven't found anything i can't spin yet. maybe a few things i PREFER NOT TO, but nothing i can't

Jess said...

Charlene Schurch is a genius - that book is an essential and I'm sorry it took six months of it sitting on my shelf before I finally cracked it open. I've switched over to the garter stitch border on heel flaps, too - it makes it really easy to count the rows, it looks great, and it does feel firmer and more sturdy, you're right.

Lee Ann said...

Merino was also my first fibre on the wheel, and my second spinning experience ever. Norma calls me That Merino Bitch because I told her it was easy...

But put tencel into it or overcomb your alpaca, baby, and it's over. That, I spindle, for the safety of my family and my sanity. Someday I hope to be sane enough to handle it on the wheel.

Shut up.

Colleen said...

36? Fey. You're a baby. But I love you, still, nonetheless.

AuntyNin said...

Charlene's book is definitely a rich resource for sock patterns.

As for the senility issue, you've got a looooong way to go before you need to worry about that, youngster!

Vicky in Vancouver said...

You think senility sets in at 36?!? That's mishegas!

I'm 49 later this month. Enjoying it but happily anticipating 50 - now that's a date with some weight to it.

Happy birthday-eve-eve.

Anonymous said...

36 yrs old and senile? Oh please. I know you've been around the block at least as much as I have, and I'm only 40 yrs old in five months.

Face it, it's not senility, it's wool fumes. Not that I would have it any other way...

ted said...

::sigh::

I'd love to be 36 again.

Merino top was the first wool fiber I spun: I honestly don't undestand why people think it's hard.

Lizbon said...

I'm with Ted, which is to say I'm turning 40 in a couple of months (and dead scared about it), and I choked on whatever I might have been mentally drinking when I read the senility-at-36 bit. I'd loooove to be that young again. I know, I know, I hear the 50+ crowd telling me to shut up. Shutting up now.

I loved the photo spread, by the way. (can one call it a spread if it's arranged vertically?)

Sharona said...

Senility at 36! Well hell, that explains it. I'm 44 and had been wonderin'...thanks for clearing that up.

And I am surfing right on over to buy that sock book! Very intrigued by the gs heel flap.

Sherri said...

I *love* the Margaret Stove lace book - I got it as a Christmas gift, purchased from Needle Arts Book Shop in Canada - they sent along a little Christmas gift with the book, too - Zephyr, lining and pattern to make a lace sachet.

Anonymous said...

Jesum Crow--coming up on 36! You're younger than my kids. A little senility might be in order as you're already far too accomplished. But that's part of why we love you so.

Jude (blogless) in obscureknitty

Bev in TN said...

Thanks so much for the elucidation. I will surely be going over the patterns in my copy of C. Schurch's wonderful book to locate the one you used (I heart her and her book too!) and I find you pretty darned adorable as well :-)

Anonymous said...

I start my weekday mornings reading blogs at the office and at times it can be frustrating when the filters block the pictures. I'd be wondering what yours was about if I'd read your onomatopoetic piece without pictures. Snicker.

My first spinning was merino top too. I think the problem with newbies struggling with it is not knowing what ratio on their wheel to use or preparing the fiber properly. My teacher was very patient and had prepared the top well, but didn't show me adequately how to prepare the fiber before spinning. I'm waiting for the right opportunity to learn that.

I'm anxious to see what software you have. And I'll have to hunt up Margaret Stove's book. Thanks for the info!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I don't think it is senility.
There is probably some label for butch bikers who like lace... but I'm sticking with "Terrific."
Please ask Dolores to identify the belly dancing instructor.