This ‘N That
October 4, 2006
I know it’s in the Mason-Dixon Stylebook that we can’t title a post ‘This ‘N That’, but I don’t recall getting a vote on any of these stylebook rules of yours. I think ‘This ‘N That’ is an awesome title for a post.
Life has been real this ‘n thatty for me lately. Much chasing of the tail, much public transportation, much sitting around and waiting. I had a dark night of the soul in which I asked myself questions like, Why am I always a Class Mom? Is there a way to opt out of being a Class Mom? Do I have a special gift for being Class Mom? Could not a more organized person perhaps do a better job at being Class Mom than I?
I’m still in a finishing frenzy, which is nature’s way of helping me cope with all the uncontrollables in life. Like the uncontrollable number of chairs in my temporary living room, and the fact that I can’t remember where I put everybody’s winter jacket. I can CONTROL the wobbly stack of unsewn-up projects. All it takes is a yarn needle and a dream, and the ability to navigate around a few chairs on the way to the Sewing-up Surface.
When I was getting Raspy ready for her sew-up, I noticed that I had washed the front but I had not yet washed the back. (For my Raspy, a Kim Hargreaves design from Rowan’s Denim People book, I substituted 3 strands of Texere laceweight denim yarn knitted together for Rowan’s Denim which is DK weight.) People who haven’t knitted with denim often fret to me in advance about the denim label, which warns that the yarn will shrink approximately 10-15% in length after washing in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. Since a picture is worth a thousand calming emails from me, I give you:
Raspy, before and after. The piece on top has been shrunk, the piece on the bottom has not. They vary hardly at all in width (this is obscured by the curl on the edges), but 10-15 percent in length. Overall the stitches tighten up nicely and the shrinkage is a good and manageable thing. If the pattern is written for denim (like Raspy is), you just knit it for your size and don’t worry. If the pattern is written for another DK weight yarn, you add 10 percent to the length by knitting extra rows in the body of the garment and the sleeves.
What’s not so good and manageable is if you run out of home-plied yarn this far from the completion of the second sleeve. I have more of the Texere cones stashed away in a remote location. But if I wait to dig it out, Raspy will be oblivioned for at least the rest of 2006. I want to wear Raspy. I have a good feeling about Raspy. Raspy has shaping. Raspy is going to fit. So…
I substituted one Unique Yarn for another. I found a ball of Belinda’s home-brew bleach-specked denim, which used the same base shade (the medium blue, or ‘Memphis’ in Rowan’s parlance). This picture shows how it looked before washing. After washing, you can still see the difference in shading, but I DO NOT CARE I TELL YOU.
I always intended Raspy for a sweatshirt. It will hardly show. (You must never tell me that you even NOTICE it, okay?)
In ancient times, I used to work as a lawyer defending the government in civil damages cases. Needless to say, the Government got sued a lot. To keep our morale up whilst getting our clocks cleaned on a regular basis through no fault of our own, we invented a concept called the “Civ Div Win”. It meant that you lost, but you lost at least a couple dollars less than you could have lost if not for all that excellent lawyering you did.
I’m calling Raspy a Civ Div Win.