Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Be It Ever So Humble

I am writing from home. Home. At my desk, on my computer, surrounded by my books and my yarn. No smoke damage, no dreadful smell. To say I feel fortunate does not begin to do justice to the situation.

It was extremely heartening to get all your good wishes during my brief exile. Mind you, I cannot pretend I underwent some terrific ordeal. I had a pleasant place to stay just blocks away, I managed to get some work done, and the biggest loss I suffered was the contents of the refrigerator. But it's still great to be returning to...normal? Can I use that word in describing my life?

This morning I have an illustration for Yarn Market News to finish and ship, but I paused briefly to finish up two projects.

The first is a striped scarf made from Noro Silk Garden.

Noro Scarf 3

Noro Scarf 2

I used a mix of the Lite and Full-Fat weights and honestly, I can't see much of a difference between them. I picked colorways that were close together, and as I'd hoped there are places where the striping shifts from sharp to extremely subtle. Those soft passages, which look like blended watercolors, keep the stripes from looking too mechanical.

A confession: it's short. Well, short for a scarf I might wear myself. It's about five feet. But I had to stop, because I was bored to tears. The color surprises were fun for about four-and-a-half feet; and then I started thinking, "Stripes? Yeah? Big whoop. What else ya got?" When you start taunting your knitting, it's time to move along.

A million versions of this idea are scattered about, but I used Jared Flood's excellent variations as posted on his blog. I'm a big fan of Jared's work–he has the command of fine detail that, to me, separates a true designer from a clever knitter.

And I finished up Tom's Watch Cap.

Tom's Watch Cap

This sucker is warm. Even the phrenology bust broke a sweat while I was making the photograph.

It was a fun knit. For the most part I followed Elizabeth's instructions in The Opinionated Knitter (the collection of her original newsletters, published by Schoolhouse Press). However, I did make two modifications:
  1. On the first round after the brioche, I worked k1, p2tog to close up the yarn-overs and keep the ribbing consistent.

  2. I worked a second round of slip-knit-pass after the stockinette on the crown immediately before drawing it all together.
I'd love to sit and knit some more, but the crew wants lunch and we have no food in the house. If I don't act fast, Dolores will put on her lacy apron and start handing around Jello shooters.


Sarah O G said...

Well I'm happy to here you are all safe and you're home is well. I could just imagine the ruckus if someone's wool was singed. You're knits look wonderful as well. Hope Tom likes the hat.

Sarah O G said...

oooo,oooo,ooo and I was number 1 and 2 YIPPIE!!!

Unknown said...

Great news that all is well at the pad. The hat is handsome! Do you think that yarn will itch? I don't wear hats because of the itch factor. I'm making Jared's Cobblestone in Raspberry for me. Love it. Enjoy your food shopping today. Cindy

Prachi said...

I see that Elizabeth Zimmermann herself is nodding approvingly at the watch cap from the brown frame!
The bust does seem to be glistening with sweat, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your triumphant return and the finished knits. Tom'll LOVE the hat!!

Angie said...

I am so glad that things weren't any more serious than they were. That really must have been scary for a while. I love the scarf and I know what you mean. I made one myself. I haven't measured it but I'd say it's way over 5' long. I didn't want an orphan ball of Noro laying around, so I knit till I could knit no more. The hat looks absolutely yummy too!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Dolores in her lacy apron which You have knitted I presume. What pattern did you use for this apron?

NeedleTart said...

Wait, Chicago in February, you had to stay somewhere else and you lost the food in your fridge? Did it freeze to death? Did someone turn on the heat and leave the door open? Glad you are home and un-kippered.

Rudee said...

I am so glad you are safe and you had no significant losses from smoke and fire. Kind of frightening. Love the brioche.

Laurel said...

Glad to know you are safe and sound and back at home.

Nancy said...

...uh, much as we might have preferred monthly newsletters, Elizabeth's Newsletters were published once in Spring and once in Fall.

PICAdrienne said...

I am so glad you are all home and no yarn was damaged. More importantly, you are all home and in your own surroundings again. Vacations are fine, but unplanned uprootings are not enjoyable.

I also thrilled that you admit the striped scarf was not a thrilling pattern for you either. I knit one with two colors of Patons SWS (where the second S is for stripes.) It is a lovely scarf, but I was not disappointed when the friend who is ending up getting it only wanted a short scarf. The one I did is 52 inches long, and is lovely, but I am so done with that pattern for now. (The SWS in the colors I used did have some areas where the stripes blend in a rather lovely manner.)

tb said...

Glad you're safe! What yarn did you use for the socks? I've got a passion for shades of orange and your socks are speaking to me!

Anonymous said...

glad to hear the good news! food can be replaced, but you and dolores and harry and the sock yarns are irreplaceable (sung in a beyonce voice)!

a nice reward for tom for putting up with dolores.

"there's no place like home" (said dorothy as she clicked her heels together three times)

knitography said...

Glad it all turned out well - I'm sure it was stressful regardless. The knitting is beautiful as usual, but I LOVE the phrenology bust! Where, may I ask, did you get it??

jennsquared said...

Glad to see you are back home. I really like the hat... hmmm... maybe that should be my next project.

Tsarina of Tsocks said...

Hey, "normal" is relative. Don't know how I missed seeing the previous post until now, but I'm just glad you guys are all OK. Getting back home, finding all your stuff undamaged - that's gravy by comparison. Hugely IMPORTANT gravy, but still gravy. Nice dark thick gravy, maybe over fries, but still... anyway I'm just glad you're OK. And home. And having gravy.

PS the word verification thingy for this comment page looks like some kind of a raspberry, so inffpfk! to you and Dolores and Harry. Hope all D's campaign materials escaped safe & sound, BTW....

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are home, safe and sound. I was wondering today if you needed help financially setting up housekeeping, but you are home --with your band of crazy housemates!

O'Malley said...

I'm glad to see that you are back home. I've struggled through the last foot or 3 of a scarf before, and I like your take on it.. I just fear that I would end up with 20 1 foot long scarves.. hahha

mira said...

glad you are home and all is well.

On the scarf...that's why even though I want a Dr. Who scarf I'm afraid to commit to making one. It's probably terminally boring.

Kristen said...

So glad to hear you are back safely home and all is well. I have to say when I started scrolling down and saw the hat and the top of the object it's on I thought, "What the heck? That looks for all the world like a phrenol--[completing scrolling] Oh. It *is* a phrenology diagram!" You never cease to amaze and astonish.

Anonymous said...

Hint: scarves stretch lengthwise.
Take it from one who knitted a 9-foot scarf (before stretching) that stretched to 10 1/2 feet. As long as it covers the neck, all's well. Subtle stripes are beautiful.

Wool hats can be lined with non-wool to buffer the itch factor and add warmth. (Just knitted my first dubbelmossa/lined hat. Man that's thick.)

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough I just frogged a long mistake-rib scarf that used 2 alternate self-striping yarn (Plymouth Boku) BECAUSE there were areas where the stripe colors blended. I want them to show, damn it! Sue F.

Unknown said...

Dear Franklin:

Has anyone pointed out that your friends Dolores, dancing sock wool et al might, jsut might, be... uh.. maybe... like... imaginary? So maybe you don't have to worry about imaginary cooking so much?

Just a thought.

Of course, this doesn't apply to Harry. Harry is real. I recognize him as the son I thought I'd lost. I'm glad he's found a good home. But do tell him, he's always welcome back to mommy, even if he smells a bit smoky.

Terri said...

Glad that you are back home, and that you and your home are not worse for wear. The hat is lovely, hope Tom enjoys it much.

Anonymous said...

Glad you managed to get home so quickly. Love the hat and I know what you mean about taunting the knitting.

Roggey said...

So good to know that you're home and safe among your things that are undamaged!

Cheri said...

Glad that you're safe and warm and in your own surroundings.

And did the contents of your refrigerator freeze while you were gone?

The hat is fab.

SamD said...

Okay this is entirely too geeky-dweeb for words but it's been haunting me like [insert highbrow simile of choice] for nearly a day now.

Love the way you pleated the scarf; it's far better that way the second photo what is the white thing helping hold it in place, please?

Ever a reader...

dale-harriet said...

Now see, that's (another) reason why I love you. Do you just lay out your eye-wateringly beautiful scarf for us all to whimperingly admire? You do NOT. You fan-fold it beautifully into a stark white bowl....that's the Difference. That's why Dolores came to stay (well, she probably checked your references first, too). As for Monsieur Phrenology.....oh wait, nevermind. I was going to say something about his appreciating the cap beause he has no hair...ehrm....nevermind. I'm going now.

birdfarm said...

glad you're ok sweetie. love you.

sounds like i have a lot of news to catch up on. haven't been reading anyone's blog in ages. i'll have to re-start. in between reading the illiterate mutterings of unfortunate ten-year-olds.

birdfarm said...

by the way, nadine just had a second child - 'nother girl - even more adorable than the first one. just fyi. pix can be found here.

sauvageblue said...

Glad you are home

WonderMike said...

Why did I never see your framed picture of Elizabeth?!! I love it. You're too cute.

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