Many, many antique socks. They look so . . . antique.

Mean Girls

Dear Kay,
What has happened to us? What’s with this shawl thing? Have we given up on decreases? Remember blocking?
Here’s what I’m swimming through these days:
This is the Koigu Pure Merino (aka KPM, aka very soft wool yarn) I bought at Personal Threads in Omaha on my Journey of Getting Out of Town. When it finds its destiny it will be a Koigu Alligator Wrap. (Why is this called an Alligator Wrap I know not.)
As we all know, Koigu is famous for its multicolor Painter’s Palette Pure Merino. Justifiably covetable for its miraculous mixes of colors. But I’m here today to testify about the gentle pleasures of KPPPM’s sister KPM.
KPM has to sit around and listen to everybody blab on about how colorful and fabulous KPPPM is. But KPM, darlin’, listen–you are a beautiful yarn yourself. You think you’re plain old indigo; you’re medium indigo and dark indigo and rilly pale indigo where the dye didn’t take. You’re no cheerleader; you’re editing the literary magazine, girl.
What my picture cannot capture is the endless shifts of color in these skeins that purport to be solid colors. They are NOT solids at all–the hand-dyeing leaves all manner of subtle variations.
Now, I’m the first to tell you that Alligator Wrap is not much of a pattern. “Cast on. Knit forever and drop those wrappy stitches. Cast off. Put fringe on if you feel like it.” Can you believe I paid money for this pattern? But KPM is carrying the day here as I chug through 100 inches of shawl. ETA: June 12, 2008.
In Other News
I think we’re headed for a Midsummer’s Night Steek before too long. Keava is quietly making her way into the world. Here she is, big enough for a seat cover at this point. (I have not abandoned my idea of knitted upholstery, you know.) Every time I return to Keava I’m surprised at the colors. Nutty combination, and a clink of the glass to Ms. Alice Starmore for her spectacular color sense.




  1. Keava is beautiful, and so mysterious….
    Perhaps she’s not quite ready for her debut, so hiding in the shadows until she’s *sure* it’s time?

  2. Stunningly beautiful Keava.
    Meltingly gorgeous Koigu – far from plain.
    Such riches and jolly nice photos too.
    I’m also enjoying the Afghanalong side show.The diversity of what is produced when knitters are asked to knit a square.Astounding !

  3. KOIGUUUUUUU! [To be said with Homer Simpson half-closed eyes look and dribble at the mouth.]

  4. Love the Koigu. Did you see my new made-with-scrap-Koigu shawl when you went to the new store yesterday? It was a lot of fun to knit and I was able to ignore pressing business, like school and grades and Andrew’s upcoming college trips. I will soon have an empty nest.
    Well, except for the stash.

  5. Ann – I love the alligator wrap in “solids” – I learned about drop stitches from the pages of my 1970s edition of Readers’ Digest Guide to Needlework – but I really love this project from the Keyboard Biologist: – scroll down and see the beautiful pictures of the crossed drop stitches. Besides the koigu project, I’ve got 10 balls of linen drape that need to go into a wrap – something openwork, nettish. I want to try something with that icelandic spun laceweight too – I’m looking for lace patterns that are a little odd – more macrame – any book suggestions?

  6. Go Keava! I knit so many hours in a row on Suzani over the weekend (long flight + flight delays) that my hands were literally cramping, so she’s taking a little vacation for now and snoozing in her bag while I divert myself on size 8’s and 9’s. If only I had more than 2-1/2 repeats to show for all that effort!
    5 more repeats and then I’ll be done…with the first half of the wrap. And I still love it. How weird is that?
    When you’re done with Keava would you please start another Starmore so Suzi and I can still enjoy your company?

  7. I share your love of KPM and other yarns masquerading as solids (such as Manos). And Keava’s looking gorgeous!

  8. Brilliant work on Keava. I need to get back to Roscalie PDQ before I forget how to do it. A week away killed my momentum.
    I’m with you on the solid Koigu too. I have some “plain” yellow with the most beautiful shadings of cornmeal and butter and egg yolk — I don’t know whether to knit socks or bake a cake with it. If I ever manage to locate Koigu in a store, though, there’s nothing but the flashy multis that don’t do it for me.

  9. Sigh, that was me above, once again forgetting to type in my name.

  10. Ann–That Macrame Bib that you posted over in the Found Objects: looks like a punishment from Colonial House. Some kind of ritual humiliation: ‘You have skipped Church. You must wear The Bib of Shame.’ Despite the mania for all things retro, methinks the Macrame Bib is safely in the rear-view mirror. (But I said that about lo-rise, no-rise hip-huggers, too.) xox Kay

  11. Oh my, the bib is very…..macrame. Those long beaded fringes make me think of the things in E Knight’s Simple Crochet – perhaps my linen is destined for a crochet, macrame table runner that doubles as a shawl?

  12. I saw that wrap at Maryland Sheep & Wool and it was absolutely striking! Yours will be gorgeous in the colors you’ve selected. And if I hadn’t already spent a bunch of money at that point, I would have bought the pattern too. Simple, definitely, but I love it when someone else figures out how many stitches I need to cast on and how much yarn I need. I can be so lazy sometimes! I bet you’ll be done before 2008 — KPM has a nasty habit of not letting you put it down once you get started with it…

  13. Hi Ann & Kay
    Love the shawls!
    Someday, I’ll have to get my hands on some Koigu – but from the sounds of it, that could end up being totally disastrous as far as the bank balance/overdraft is concerned! Colinette is bad enough… their almost solids are utterly gorgeous too, esp. the purple-y shades.
    I do love the linen swatch – it’s so crisp but flowing. Personally I like the scallops, but then, I don’t have that thing about crisp square edges – if it’s got to be flat then moss stitch (& a gazillion pins) is going to be a lovely way to go. – It reminds me that once this babe has decided that he does want to arrive (4 days over D-day & counting…) that we’ll have to go on a little outing to the north of the county & visit the House of Hemp & drool horribly over their lusciously coloured hemp yarns. (the same studio also does some utterly delicious hand-dyed silk velvet clothes, scarves etc too – maternity pay’s not that great – I’d best leave the credit card at home!) When I go, I promise to take the camera & provide you with a small report.
    Keava’s growing well – looking utterly yummy too.
    Shaded Diamonds is approving of my need to rest & antenatal maternity leave – I’m over halfway up the back & should hit the armholes sometime today.
    Will send photos soon.

  14. Keeva is so lovely & it’s growing so quickly!! I have only just bought some Koigu and it’s sooo nice, definately dibble-ishous a la Homer Simpson! I haven’t seen the solid colours yet but love Manos so have a feeling I’d love the KPM too. Mind you there isn’t much I don’t like! Look forward to seeing the Aligator grow!

  15. You know, I like that Alligator Wrap even a little more than the Charlotte’s Web craziness that’s overtaken the web (it’s not so much the wild colors as the pointy end that’s putting me off). But that looks huge! You’d have to be six feet tall to wear it without it trailing behind you like a train…are you taller than you look on this blog? I hear the Web makes you look taller 😉

  16. Theresa–I know, I know! Sometimes it really is a luxury to have somebody else do the math, even if the math is something my cat could figure out. I’m still working to liberate myself from patterns, but then again, a pattern can be verrrry helpful.
    I bought that Koigu in a fever, and really should NOT have been buying any yarn at all. But when the lady handed me this enormous binder of shawl patterns, well, finding a pattern kind of nudged me over the edge. Enabler.
    Jo–Four days late? Clearly, this is going to be a relaxed, nonobsessive baby. Best of luck! And House of Hemp sounds like a required stop on our World Tour of Yarns. Field report, please.
    I’m wondering if I am getting to the point that I like every single yarn I see. At this stage I can still walk by a bin of eyelash/ladder/shiny/flurfy yarn without a blink, but I had a handpaint moment the other day that surprised me. Handpaint? I used to be strictly a DK wool kind of gal.
    Evelyn–It’s like bicycling on the beach, this Starmore stuff. It can be done, but you’re going to be bummed if you’re in a hurry. Every time I get in the mood to crank on Keava, I end up doing a row or maybe two. There is no cranking allowed, for me. I have no speed at all. But I still love to do this kind of knitting–love the yarn, the pattern, and figuring out how the color works together. I don’t really understand how it can be so compelling, but it is.
    Send Suzani pix when you feel like it!

  17. Keava is gorgeous! I am so impressed…

  18. Hey waitaminute. Doesn’t it look like this Alligator Wrap is going to be a perfect match for your sister-in-law’s Punch? xox Kay

  19. Alligator wrap sounds great Ann – a pattern where you’re suppposed to drop stitches ??! Lovely colours but Kay’s right you know, hide it from Buffy or you’ll lose it !
    Anyway, I know what the 11th commandment is now – “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s Keava” ….. but what the heck I’m going right on coveting.


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