I was going to title this post: “You know you have too much stuff when you don’t know what stuff you have!” But “I’m a dumb@$$” seems more to the point. Of course, the people who know me will probably read this title and think, ‘thank heavens he’s figured it out!’ Naturally, I figured this out years ago . . . I just like to pretend I’m not as big of a dumb@$$ as I really am. 😉 Some background . . . . Whenever I was cold at camp this year, I would put on Meg’s Bavarian Twisted-Stitch Saddle Shoulder Cardigan. Cold at camp in July, you ask? They keep the room really cold and with scores of sweaters that were knitted by Meg and EZ, what else can you do but wear them? I love twisted stitch patterns. I love saddle shoulders. So what’s not to love about this sweater? Well . . . there is one thing I don’t love about this sweater. It’s made from Quebecoise. That, for me, is a yarn for which I have not yet acquired a taste. It’s scratchy. The thing that is great about the yarn is that it’s plied tightly, so when you do twisted stitches, there’s great definition. Another yarn choice would be Guernsey. It’s less scratchy, but the color choices are limited. In fact, your choices are red, white and blue . . . or blue. I’m not thrilled with any of the four. I whined about this at camp, and some yelled “Frangipani” (who was it . . . Kim? Jessica? It was someone from that corner). I did some investigation. Frangipani is a 5 ply sport weight like Guernsey, but comes in many lovely color choices. Excluding the shipping from England, it’s quite reasonably priced, too. I saw they offered a free color card, so I wrote and requested one (I also offered to pay postage, as I figured the “free” color card was mostly to people in the UK, but Jan, the proprietress, insisted free meant free). I requested the color card on a Monday and it was in my mailbox on Thursday!! The colors were as lovely in person as they appeared online. Of course, that means making a choice is more difficult. And, of course, it doesn’t mean I can’t knit other sweaters (like another gansey) out of additional colors. Ok . . . so the yarn problem is solved (except for choosing a color), so what’s to stop me from making the sweater, right? I go on Rav to find out the pattern source. It was in the Fall 1999 Interweave Knits! I check my Knits CD-roms. They only go back to 2000. Dang! I go on Ebay and find an issue being sold. The auction was closing in three days and no one had bid. The minimum bid was $0.99. I placed a bid. I checked back from time to time and no one else wanted this issue. After three days, I purchased the Fall 1999 Knits for $0.99 plus $2.00 shipping. $2.99 for a Meg pattern . . . what a steal! After a few days, I began mentally cussing the seller . . . where the heck was my magazine! I desperately needed it. Ok . . . I don’t have yarn . . . I’m deeply involved in another sweater at the moment and have no intention of starting my twisted Bavarian, but I want that pattern. It finally arrived yesterday . . . almost two weeks after I purchased it. In the seller’s defense, it is postmarked the day after the auction closed and the cost of the postage was $2.41 . . . leaving her a whopping profit of $0.58! I rip into the envelope, so excited to see what secrets it might contain. I start thumbing through the magazine until I find the pattern. Under the title it says, “Preview pattern from Meg Swansen’s Knitting.” Wait a minute . . . . Meg Swansen’s Knitting . . . ? Isn’t that . . . ? I go to my shelves of knitting books (re-organized before I left for camp), and sure enough . . . there was Meg Swansen’s Knitting. Yep, I had the pattern the whole time. Yep, I’m a dumb@$$. Oh well, it’s been fun looking at some of the ugly crap that got knitted in 1999. LOL
A Guernsey Report: Doesn’t that sound like I should be talking about what farmers are doing with cows? It’s actually about the guernsey/gansey/knit frock. This morning, I finally got past the snoozing part and started the pattern stitches and gusset. I had thought about incorporating this into the border pattern. I thought it was appropriate, as I am using the “Musician” pattern on the upper part of the yoke. I decided against it, though. It’s just a bit too . . . I’m not sure what. Perhaps I can incorporate it into the sleeves where it would be less in-your-face. Instead, I did this pattern. I like it, but I like it better on paper than in reality. Meg warns that row gauge will change quite a bit in the decorative purl sections. As a result, the diamonds look a bit squished. Like something heavy sat on them. It’s fine, though. I think the more of it I finish, the better it will look. All in all, I’m really pleased with how the sweater looks. I should finish the body gussets tonight and cast-on the steek stitches for the armholes. Exciting!!
I just finished reading “Sweater Quest” by Adrienne Martini. I like sweaters . . . I like martinis. I thought this would be a slam-dunk. Sadly, this is not a book I would recommend. The premise is great–she’s knitting a complicated Alice Starmore sweater. I enjoyed the gossip about Starmore (she sounds like quite a character), but in general I was greatly put off by the author’s insistence that all knitters are women (even though she quoted Franklin Habit and makes references to Kaffe Fassett). She even went so far as to use “she” and “her” in reference to data accumulated by MRI (Mediamart Research, Inc.), though when I looked up their data online, they only refer to “knitters” with no gender assignment. It takes a lot to offend me, but at one point in the book, she tries to draw some correlation between men who knit and men who lactate! What the heck? Yeah . . . I thought that was kind of offensive. As a result, I really didn’t care if she reached her quest or not. She wasn’t bothered by the fact that the finished sweater didn’t fit. She says it was all about the process. I enjoy the process of knitting as much as the next person, but I also want the sweater that I’ve invested blood, sweat and tears (not to mention money) in to actually be wearable. Silly me.
Here’s a video of my students from a couple of years ago performing some Tschaikowsky.