Still feeling the afterjoy of Thanksgiving, still finding the evidence around the house of our young nieces who are suddenly not tiny. (Please see the portraits above.)
We roasted the two turkeys, one on the grill, which had the feeling of High Adventure. We were ourselves applewood smoked by the time we were done—nothing like immersive cooking.
The oven worked. Everybody came. It was great.
Meanwhile . . .
Three hats in five days, y’all: dreams really do come true. My Slip-Stitch Caps were almost done—they lacked only toppers.
Thea Colman’s design appears in Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 8: Merry Making.
I didn’t do a lick of knitting in the past week, so these caps have been dogging me. I’m working with leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Chunky from our photo samples, so I didn’t have enough yarn for the epic pom poms that seem to be the rage among Slip-Stitch Cappers. (By the way, I think this yarn is one of the genius yarns for quick hats. Karida Collins’s colors are juicy and layered.)
I’ve been intrigued by the idea of using the Loome Tool as a tassel maker. Tassels are a whole different deal from pom poms. They can be elegant or zany. They use less yarn than a pom pom. They flop and swing when affixed to a cap. It all seems kind of great.
The inventor of the Loome Tool, Vilasinee Bunnag, is pretty much joy in human form. She has explored at a deep level many things: pom poms and tassels and friendship bracelets and small weavings, and she shares her cleverness in a bunch of videos at the Loome Tool website. They are so much fun to watch. Highly infectious!
She has seven quick videos about tassels.
Including, even, the exotic hybrid Pom-Tass.
Here are my first-ever tassels.
The chunky yarn makes for a fat little tassel.
It’s all kind of squirgly due to the twist of the yarn. Maybe some steaming is in order? Or not?
The pink tassel, aka Number 3, involved a rogue use of the Loome Tool: I wanted a longer tassel, so I wound from the bottom of the handle to the center, between the two arms. This obviously voids all warranty if you choose to do this—but it did give me a longer tassel that seemed like something to try.
I think that’s the fun here—you can fool around with this tool with low to no stakes. You finish one, and you want to make another one right away. I still believe the pom pom is the highest, goofiest topper for the Slip Stitch Cap: the symmetry of it all, the giant scale of the pom pom are hard to beat.
But these tassels give me ideas.
PS Ten minutes before the LA Shaynes were heading to the airport, my youngest niece said she wanted to learn to knit. Possibly the most tantalizing yet impossible request! I could not let the opportunity pass!
I reached into a random drawer that was within arm’s reach, pulled out a short pair of size 7s and a ball of rainbow yarn (always be ready), and she was off. She improved on the traditional rhyme of “In the door, around the back, out the window, off pops Jack.” Being a writer, she had a different rhyme for each stitch, basically—the restaurant owner, something about ice cream, sitting down, whatever—so I just let her have at it. She got the idea after four stitches, so it wasn’t really all that necessary to have a solid rhyme in place.
Later that day, she texted me that she had lost one of her needles somewhere between our house and the airplane. She asked her dad what to do, and he dug up a Southwest Airlines swizzle stick, which apparently worked “fantastically.”
Bursting with pride to know that they MacGyvered a knitting needle on the fly. A born knitter!