Yesterday I headed down I-95 for a visit with Cristina, who has been very busy with her dyepot and knitting needles getting the goods ready for the needlework table at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia’s Holiday Crafts Festival this weekend.
Unfortunately Cristina was not allowed to rest from her labors, because I had brought her a present. A self-grommeting present. I had made a pair of patchwork potholders and a semi-matchy, half-finished dishcloth. I had purchased a Grommet Tool, but I am a stranger to the ways of the grommet. So Cristina had to get out her hammer, kneel down on her concrete stairs, and
…install her own grommet.
I’m no slouch. With the help of my assistant Elio, I grommeted potholder number 2 myself.
Nothing to it, really.
See? Two fully grommeted potholders, and I even finished the dishcloth while I was visiting. (I’m still on my bias edging journey. Someday I will be granted the True Knowledge of Bias Edging, but apparently not yet.)
Cheryl dropped by for lunch, which was not
…pig on blanket.
It worries me, a little, to remember how long we laughed when somebody said, ‘Pig on blanket!’ You see, we were sewing up handknit beasties for the Waldorf School fair. You had to be there.
Here we see the special glow of a woman who has just sewn and stuffed a pig with disproportionately large ears. (Disproportionately large ears should be in the Rules of Cuteness, but it’s not. I cannot explain this.)
Oh. The blanket? You want to see the blanket?
Cristina was the headmistress of this blanket. She organized volunteers to knit squares from undyed wool. Then, many twigs, stems, and bugs were stewed in Cristina’s kitchen to dye the squares. Unusual smells issued forth, no doubt deterring trick-or-treaters. Cristina joined the squares using the 3-needle bind-off on the right side. Many of the stitch patterns come from Barbara Walker’s Learn-to-Knit Afghan book. The blanket is being raffled off at the festival to benefit the Waldorf School of Philadelphia..
Philadelphians: you know what to do. Act now. You have to be in it, to win it.
Donner Party Knits
Lady Raspy, my top-down raglan pullover in Euroflax Sportweight linen, is well on its way. Sadly, I did have to cannibalize yarn from my Knit 2 Together skirt. Hey. Only the strong survive, you know? I want Lady Raspy to make it, and if I have to gnaw the ruffle off of a skirt, so be it.
Here we see our model wearing Lady Raspy at the one-cone point (and isn’t that a fine specimen of an iron). This is 200 grams of linen yarn, which as you can see, goes a good long way.
I’ve misplaced the original Raspy pattern. Freak not! NOT A PROBLEM. I counted the stitches around the bound-off neck of Original Raspy (aka Raggy Raspy) (aka Are You Really Wearing That, Like, Outside?). Then I cast on that number, and then, using Barbara Walker’s excellent Knitting From the Top to guide me, started knitting. First the rolled neck–a snap. Then I selected my method of increasing (oy! Barbara! too many choices! you’re killing me with the choices!), had fun figgering out how to create the impression of Original Raspy’s raglan seams (K1 through back loop, p2, K1 through back loop), and knit some more. After a while I tried it on. It seemed like unless I wanted to divert to Poncho Land, I would soon need a hole through which to put each arm. So I put the sleeve stitches on spare needles, cast on a few stitches under each arm, joined up the body stitches, and started going around, gently decreasing, for my gentle waist. (So very, very gentle. The Rembrance of Waist Lost.) Soon a few increase rounds, and the body will be done. So far, a very pleasant thing, this top-down pullovering.
Shocking confession: I did not swatch. I am innocent of all knowledge of what gauge I am knitting. Whee!!!!! It fits when I try it on. All I need to know.
Chicken Soup for the Soul That Knits In Public
So, Tuesday night, I’m on West 45th Street waiting outside a theatre to meet a friend to see this play. Standing there with nothing to do, and the prospect of MINUTES of nothingness ahead. So naturally I pulled a dishrag-in-progress out of my bag. The doorways of Broadway theatres generally are very well lit. One just gets the urge to knit, I find. Moreover, Broadway shows do tend to attract the out-of-towners, who do tend to be curious about the habits of the natives. This was how I met :
This friendly fellow from Santa Fe, Martin Rutte, who co-wrote one of the Chicken Soup books! Martin’s book is Chicken Soup for the Soul At Work. Spirituality at work is Martin’s area of expertise. Isn’t that something?
(The play? In my opinion, kind of a half-baked play. Not so much with the story making any sense or even being very interesting. And HEY, why are ‘feminist’ characters so often written as lecturesome bores, hmmm? The saving grace was Bill Nighy. The man can talk all night if you ask me.)