Vacation Knitting Challenges, and Also Thomas Jefferson
March 26, 2009
While on spring break vacation, we had a lot of time for watching movies. One of the adventures in vacation rentals is poking around the bookshelves to see what the owners left behind for the amusement of their renters. All I can say is that we really need to think hard about becoming James Patterson, Anne Rivers Siddons, or Reader’s Digest Condensed Books SO MUCH. There was not a single knitting book in the place. The indignity!
Unfortunately, we got too engrossed in Ken Burns’ JAZZ (filmed in real time: six hundred discs in the set), so we didn’t get around to watching this video tucked away in the vacation rental movie drawer:
I did, however, fall DEEPLY into John Adams, the HBO miniseries from last year. It really ought to be called Hotties of the American Revolution, because they were all so deliciously COMPLEX, those Founding Fathers. They were all so eaten up by self doubt, so likely to quote Demosthenes, so INKY on the right fingers. Thomas Jefferson, in this production, is SMOKIN. Jumps right off the $2 bill and into your heart. But I realize that everybody has their favorite.
(My Blogpoll was BUSTED, so I had to go out and find another poll. Be American! Vote early, vote often!)
The Pearl Collar
Now. The Rowan Pearl sweater by Kim Hargreaves came along for the trip, because the finishing was almost done except for one procedure that was giving me a sharp little pain in my left temple, every time I started to work on it.
The interfacing for the collar.
I’ve never done one of these, have never frankly seen such a thing on a handknit garment or even a handknit potholder, so the prospect of stitching the thing down with any style or elegance filled me with a sort of self-loathing. So many issues to address: how deep to knit the interfacing? Should it be long enough to cover the seams at the base of the collar? Would that be too bulky? Would the thing lay flat? Would it end up weighing too much and flopping like a topheavy flower arrangement? Would the interfacing WANT to be stitched down?
I quickly discovered that the extreme stockinette curliness, the result of a DK yarn worked on size 2 needles, was pure trouble. I steamed the heck out of it with our vacation rental steam iron. (Pioneer spirit at work.) That helped, but there was no way I was going to stitch this thing down without some pins, which I had not brought with me. The barbecue tongs didn’t work. Setting a book on it didn’t work. So I MacGyvered it into place using the only sharp short pieces of metal I could find:
I had made the radical decision to make the interfacing deeper than specified in the pattern because it was going to bug me forevermore if I’d gone to the trouble of making an interfacing that didn’t actually COVER anything. This turned out to be a good decision. There’s all kinds of hell hidden up in that interfacing. I may have trapped a child in there.
But it’s done. It is definitely heavy, but it does give a little structure to what would otherwise be an unsatisfying flap of stuff up there under your chin. It’s very warm, too. Tomorrow I’ll show you how it looks on a human.