For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

And Now for Something Completely Different

laurelrestarted.jpg
Dear Kay,
Tidying up Stash Zone Number Three, I came across a tote bag. (OK there are many tote bags in there.) (Including a tote bag containing tote bags.) (As well as a knitted tote bag containing more knitting.)
Anyway, the tote bag contained a big blob of knitting. Like, a sweater’s worth except it wasn’t a sweater.
After a fair amount of examination, I decided it was a sweater in progress, dark and cabley and damn near done.
Unfortunately, the blob was exactly one-and-a-half sleeves from glory.
After finishing my most recent project, all I wanted was a project that had no sleeves.
But once I read the caffeinated blog entry where I embarked on this Laurel, I knew I had to dive back in.
Berocco Ultra Alpaca, which is 50/50 alpaca and wool. Deep, darkest teal, with the improbable addition of a deep raspberry in the mix. This yarn is so fantastic. Lurching cables, size 8 needles, ONE COLOR OF YARN. Sleeves knit flat, so I’m just thinking of them as swatches. This is the perfect antidote to that recent project.
My tip for the day: if you think cables are a mess, and a cable needle looks like a dental instrument, spend a minute with the incomparable Wendy Johnson here. She explains how to work a cable without a cable needle. This is a life-changing technique. Cables go so fast when you do them this way. It is so clever, and it works with all but the widest of cables. Please, please O lordy try this out. It makes you feel like a genius, and who doesn’t need a bit of that?
While cabling away, I watched some cable. The most recent episode of Girls, to be exact. If you haven’t seen this series yet, I do not recommend starting with this episode, titled “On All Fours.” In fact, I am pretty convinced now that this show is almost entirely unwatchable by me. Am I too old for this stuff?
I moved on to an audiobook, to Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs on audiobook, and it’s just grim/funny enough to suit my mood.
Love,
Ann

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. I have been enjoying Girls (in fact, a few weeks ago, I commented on this very blog in defense of Girls), but I will not be watching it anymore, as a direct result of this last week’s episode. I have not idea what that was about, but I am so not interested.

  2. Ann,
    I am an under30 and find Girls unwatchable. I feel like I’m part of the target audience, and I find it unwatchable. Sadly, I was introduced to this show IN MIXED COMPANY! Yes, I was sitting with a friend and her husband while watching this show. As soon as the episode opened with her “on all fours,” I must have squawked because the TV flipped off and we went back to just talking without the TV on. Good laws.

  3. I’m sure you’ll finish those sleeves in no time at all and have another beautiful finished object to show us. I’m hoping that your finished objects will inspire me to finish some of mine. Hasn’t happened yet, but I’ll keep hoping. And thanks for sharing Wendy Johnson’s instructions on cabling without a cable needle. Genius indeed!

  4. You had me with the tote bags, and the tote of totes and the stash zone numbering system. Cables, yes. Tweedy yarns, yes. Girls – saw an episode, meh. Think it’s “important” for dialogue and maybe important for being “real-er” and actually more girl-oriented than all the stuff that pretends to be all about the whole female person but is really only about the glossy stereotype crap part of women. But Lorrie Moore as a better substitute? DARK, woman. And just as weird. Or -er. I mean, I don’t know Gate at the Stairs, I’ve only read her short story collection “Birds of America” but it took me forever because it was SO depressing, it was bad for my health, and I had to keep stopping reading it. Maybe there’s some pop culture curatorial collection that would include:
    Lorrie Moore
    Girls
    Miranda July
    Early Magnetic Fields (with the toneless girl singing)
    But I digress – I need to upgrade my primary stash zone, because my bag of bags is a clear PLASTIC bag of more clear plastic bags, and possibly using some of the fabric stash, I could remedy that to a classier, more touchable fabric bag of fabric bags.

  5. I was wondering just the other day what had happened to your Laurel! Pleased to see it nearly finished, I’m sure it will be a pleasant relief indeed, after all that detailed colourwork. And I will be very interested to hear what you think of that neckline…

  6. I find myself unable to knit without the cable needle unless it is a 4 st wide or smaller. Otherwise it takes so much longer than actually just using the cable needle! Going needleless is especially useful when you have a single traveling stitch, that moves on every row. That’s really the only time I’ll use it. Otherwise I have some lovely rosewood cable needles that I love to use (and they fit perfectly behind my ear when I’m not using them!
    As for Girls, I find it almost unwatchable. And I’m definitely the target audience in their mid-20s.

  7. I almost want to ask if you are under the weather. This is the second UFO that you are bringing to completion without a new project in between. It makes me feel like a slacker, knitting new socks to avoid having to do the next part of my current sweater project!

  8. Love the cables on this sweater! Thanks for sharing the cable-needleless technique – looks to me like it will make cables go much faster!

  9. You are an inspiration to me. I’m starting on the UFO pile at my house and can only hope to have some of your success.

  10. No comment on Girls. We live in darkest Peru (actually, n.w. Wisconsin) and have neither cable nor satellite. If it is on Netflix, I may watch it… someday.
    A humble request: what is the gray ribbed and slightly cabled sweater UNDER the Rowan magazine in the linked post from October 2011. That is a sweater I can get down with. And knit :)

  11. I accidentally watched a girls episode and turned it off after 2 minutes. I thought it was going to be like gilmore girls(ha!) by the way, do you watch bunheads on abc family?
    what’s happened to kelly bishop, the star of the show?

  12. i found this week’s episode of Girls to push my thoughts forward a few thousand steps. Marnie’s desperation, Adam’s trying to be other than who he really is, Hannah’s loneliness … all seem pretty true-to-life to me. I appreciated this analysis: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/12/girls-graphic-content-objectification-and-that-scene.html

  13. Wow, the raspberry really pops in a cool subtle out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye way. Well, as subtly as raspberry can pop, anyway.

  14. Ah, I remember that original Laurel post. I still root for a poll on the most Rowan-y Rowan photos, stories, and issues of all. My top contenders would be Rowan 38’s “eco-romantic” spread – crazy layers, crazy braids, gypsy caravan, studly guy – and Rowan 44’s “Renaissance” – castle, jewelry, redhaired model, and, on page 75: peacocks. I need hardly say more.

  15. have to weigh in in favor of Girls. I for one, 30 years past the target audience, appreciate the absolute pain of being in my mid-20s, not having a clue, not knowing what to do with my sexuality, my intelligence, my female-ness. I would have welcomed knowing back then that there were other women struggling as much as i was, i wouldn’t have felt so alone….just sayin’. I don’t know any other show on tv right now that portrays the utter confusion of male/female relationshipos as well (and really, the nudity and sex don’t bother me anywhere nearly as much as Hannah’s wardrobe).

  16. Yeah. The twenties of the 21st century is a little hard to take. My early twenties were a decade ago and watching this version on tv is a little overwhelming. But still I keep watching it feeling incredibly thankful that I’m no longer in my twenties.

  17. Totes full of knitting and totes full of totes is sounding awfully familiar over here!

  18. I watched Girls with my Mom who is 78. We are both glad we are not in our 20’s in the 201x’s its a scary place and time. There are better things on Netflix to watch than Girls on HBO…Wallander is good…a bit bloody at times but good.
    The cable sweater is lovely…

  19. I watched Girls with my Mom who is 78. We are both glad we are not in our 20’s in the 201x’s its a scary place and time. There are better things on Netflix to watch than Girls on HBO…Wallander is good…a bit bloody at times but good.
    The cable sweater is lovely…

  20. I’ve been cabling without a needle for years, and it is so freeing! I get annoyed when I have do something huge or complex and actually need to hunt down a pseudo-cable needle…

  21. Isn’t tote bag-diving fun?
    I love your Laurel sweater — it’s cable-licious, it’s Ultra Alpaca and maybe just a teensy bit because I have a daughter named Laurel (who would never wear such a sweater, but I digress.
    Any chance you remember where the pattern is for the sweater that the Rowan book is resting on in the ‘caffeinated blog entry’? It is whispering to me.

  22. OMG – I can so relate to your quote “OK there are many tote bags in there.) (Including a tote bag containing tote bags)” You had me in tears I was laughing so hard.

  23. I love the laurel! But the swirly cable pattern reminds me of the swirls in the Donegal you just finished–do I sense a theme here?

  24. You can’t have too many tote bags. You can have too much Girls. Also wondering if I am too old. Watched 3 or 4 episodes. It made me anxious. (My new fave TV series The Americans)

  25. Hi Ann:)
    What is the name of the color of the Berroco
    Ultra?
    Do they still make this particular color?
    Thanks
    peace&blessings
    mary~

  26. Hi Ann:)
    What is the name of the color of the Berroco
    Ultra?
    Do they still make this particular color?
    Thanks
    peace&blessings
    mary~

  27. I seriously love knitting cables without a cable needle. I find I work much faster not having to constantly slip stitches onto the needle and then knit them. When you’re working on a large sweater covered in cables, it’s a lifesaver not to need the cable needle. It’s an easy technique, too!

  28. Thanks for the cable-y shout-out!
    I can’t decide how I feel about “Girls.” I do think Lena Dunham is amazing, but the show often makes me uncomfortable and oftener very happy that I am no longer that age. I’ll keep watching, although I cringe a lot.

  29. Yikes, gotta go to work but too many factors I must comment on: 1) have been in LOVE with Berocco Ultra Alpaca for many moons, such a delight to knit with– always wonder why it doesn’t get more press, so thanks for calling out it’s glories. 2) Non-cable-needle cables are certainly groovy, although I don’t mind using a cable needle, I feel kind of genius just doing that;! and c) I support Lena Dunham as a young female artist in a deeply male dominated industry (films, video media in general). That said, I am also comfortable with not entirely appreciating/enjoying her content. Saw a similar “on all fours” scene in her film Tiny Furniture, which I mostly enjoyed, except the desperate, drugged sex of that one scene. Along with others here, do NOT pine for my twenties, when I could easily have married my scary, drunk, hostile “boyfriend” out of immature desperation. All in all the female perspective (as depicted by an actual female writer/director) is sorely missing from most popular media, so I welcome her on that basis alone. Just don’t need to watch it! Thanks Ann, for a fresh post on fun topics!

  30. While I whole-heartedly agree that cable-needleless cabling is da bomb, unfortunately, there are some tiny fiddly cables that it is just not suitable for as well. I give you Cable Crossings Hat http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cable-crossings-hat. Great pattern. Lovely hat. Need. Cable. Needles.

  31. I am spending 2013 knitting away at my stash of wool, and have sworn off purchasing any new fiber for knitting until the end of the year. I lack the masochistic discipline required to knit to the end of the stash.
    It’s a long project which will surely teach me greater restraint for the future.
    I have found a large bag of that yummy ultra albaca in brown and green… and I am eyeballing this sweater pattern now.
    Anyhoo, I was so cheered by your zone theory of stash organization and all those tote bags. It so perfectly describes me, that I shared it with my daughters and they laughed aloud and remarked how very life affirming it must be for me to know I’m not the only one.
    Indeed!
    Thank you so much!

  32. I am spending 2013 knitting away at my stash of wool, and have sworn off purchasing any new fiber for knitting until the end of the year. I lack the masochistic discipline required to knit to the end of the stash.
    It’s a long project which will surely teach me greater restraint for the future.
    I have found a large bag of that yummy ultra alpaca in brown and green… and I am eyeballing this sweater pattern now.
    Anyhoo, I was so cheered by your zone theory of stash organization and all those tote bags. It so perfectly describes me, that I shared it with my daughters and they laughed aloud and remarked how very life affirming it must be for me to know I’m not the only one.
    Indeed!
    Thank you so much!

  33. How I love that Lorrie Moore book, and it’s kind of about the same thing as Girls, really, which is how to figure out what to do in your 20s. I haven’t watched The Episode, but I found myself drawn in when other episodes came on accidentally. Not sure i can watch The Episode, but I do agree with the people (and the daily beast article) who defend the show. I also agree with the person who found Hannah’s outfits really disturbing.