Remember a while back when I put up pictures of my workspace? I'm not going to do that today. I can't, because at this moment I can't see my workspace. What Vesuvius did to Pompeii, a month of heavy travel has done to my apartment.
All systems have broken down. The window box is beset with rigor mortis because I forgot to water it. The stack of knitting magazines and books has slid into a pile and begun to compost. Where the table was I now have a cairn built of yarn ball ends, orphaned double-pointed needles and junk mail that hasn't been shredded because the shredder is full. I opened the refrigerator and something inside wished me a good morning. I either have to clean up, or move out.
I am a disgrace to my very tidy grandmother, the one I wrote about for this month's PieceWork.* She was a housemaid for years. She taught me the importance of clean baseboards and scrubbed windowsills when I was only five years old. If she saw this living room she'd slap my eyebrows right off my face.
Before I begin to dig through the archaeological layers, I have to show you the little hoodie I made for Abigail. The pattern is the Baby's Neck Down Cardigan #982 by Diane Soucy, published by Knitting Pure and Simple. Me, I am a lover of the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns. They're well written, reasonably priced, fun to knit, and easily adapted.
I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in the "Franklin's Panopticon" colorway and I think it looks well.
Abigail tried it on and the fit is excellent, although she has quite long arms and so I'm going to rip back the cuffs and give her another inch or so of sleeve to allow for growth between now and fall, when she'll most likely wear this.
I should mention that while Abigail was a very agreeable model, she wasn't inclined to follow my instructions to "Sit still for a second, honey." I understand now why the photos for so many baby knitting books are shot against an infinite white drop. I always figured it was because it looked airy and pure and innocent, but no. It must be out of practicality. You can just put the kid in the sweater, chuck her on the floor under the lights, and follow her around shooting madly while she crawls and wiggles and so forth. Very sensible.
Do you love the wee, colorful buttons, or what?
This is my first piece with real buttonholes. I confess I did not follow the pattern's instructions, but instead used this one row version, adapted from a technique first published by the incomparable Maggie Righetti. It eliminated the need for marking the band with safety pins and all that tomfoolery.
I just picked up the band stitches, counted them, calculated proper button placement as taught long ago by Meg Swansen (thanks, Meg!) and knit them in. Maggie Righetti famously wrote that "Buttonholes Are Bastards" (it's a chapter title in Knitting in Plain English) but these four lined up like obedient little ducklings.
I bought the buttons at Loopy Yarns immediately upon my return from Indiana. And I do mean immediately. After an extended (five hours, as opposed to the usual three) ride on a Megabus full of drunk students and alumni from a certain university in the state of Ohio, Pride-bound gay guys throwing attitude,** and a flock of evangelists going to a revival who decided to have a hoot-n-holler hymn-sing en route, I decided it would be a good idea to inhale yarn fumes and calm down before I killed somebody.
So I wheeled my little bag from Union Station right over to Loopy, which you should know is presently having a rather incredible sale including deep (25% off) discounts on Rowan and other good stuff. Vicki and Zoë were sweet and understanding and helped me find my center (and a perfect ball of fine white cotton) while keeping me away from the sharper needles in the rack.
As much as I adore travel, it's good to be home. At least, I think this is my home. Anything could be hiding under this mess.
* It includes my first-ever published pattern–a ridiculously simple little lace edging that's supposed to look like a row of coal company houses in the Pennsylvania hills. The same issue includes an entire, new Estonian lace shawl from Nancy Bush. Boy, do I have some kind of timing.
**Dudes: if you're riding on the Megabus, you have no business throwing attitude.