I have put it out there repeatedly that I am a big fan of the three-needle bindoff technique, especially as a way of neatly joining short row-shaped shoulder seams.
I am also well known for my laissez-faire attitude toward casting on new things. This tendency has only been heightened by all the temptations to cast on that are an occupational hazard of writing the MDK Field Guides and having the MDK Shop just sitting there in Nashville waiting to send me my favorite yarns.
Recently these two personal predilections conspired to kick my butt.
Remember my Relaxed Log Cabin? This is my project for Karen Templer’s brilliant Fringe and Friends Log Cabin Knitalong aka the #fringeandfriendslogalong. The idea: knit one of my favorite pullovers, Relax by Ririko, only construct the body (which is plain stockinette in the original version) in log cabin strips. The yarn: my favorite, Sylph, a skinny blend of cashmere and linen. (Shade: Eddy.)
I set this project aside when I definitely had to knit something else that was urgently important and on a deadline. (Can’t remember what it was. Isn’t that always the way?) I left my Relaxed Log Cabin with the back all the way done, and the front done except for the last bit of the “yoke” and the shoulder shaping.
Key to the story here is that I left the live stitches of the back shoulders on this stitch holder thingie:
Insert “Scary Music” Filter.
I saw this gadget in the yarn store and thought it would solve my (not really problematic) problem of always using a piece of string to hold stitches and then having to pick the stitches off the string one by one, with a fair amount of sighing from tedium. I liked the idea of being able to knit stitches straight off that needle. I liked that I wouldn’t have to sacrifice a circular needle to holding stitches for the duration. (See above; the duration can be enduring.)
It turns out that this thing is an absolute brat of a knitting tool, especially when paired with a slippery yarn that has linen in the mix, such as Sylph.
That cable is very boingy, and it’s unboingable. There is no stopper on the end of that skinny needle. You put your precious shoulder stitches, which include wrap-and-turn stitches where the wraps have been knit together with the stitches, on this thing, then place the project carefully, lovingly, and respectfully in your knitting bin, and this device boings itself right out of one of the shoulders, and the wraps come un-knit from their stitches, and you have a mess on your hands and it wrecks your three-needle bindoff experience.
I cussed a fair bit setting this shoulder to rights after this equipment failure, and it was impossible to do it perfectly. My 3NBO is a bit loopy, a tad gappy. If I were made of sterner stuff, I would pull it back and re-work the shoulder shaping again to achieve a cleaner join. If I’d known it would take me an hour to get those 58 stitches back on the needle, I would have done that. It would have taken me the same hour, but I’d have been knitting instead of cussing.
O, the humanity. lighting a candle to the lord of blocking for this one.
So, lesson learned (again): everything that is shiny is not good. A piece of string has always been my way of holding stitches, and a piece of string shall remain my way of holding stitches.
I think I’m going to love this sweater regardless. In garter stitch, Sylph has a wonderful bounce and swing. It feels like heaven next to the skin.
Cooking Outdoors With Kay
I’m putting this out there in case anyone is like me and by August 21 has grilled all the proteins and is longing for something Not Grilled for dinner, but still afraid of heating up the house by turning on the oven. (And definitely too lazy to clean up the stove after sauteeing anything.)
Today’s bright idea, which might be the kind of idea to occur to a person who decides to log-cabin a perfectly lovely stockinette pullover, is to turn the grill into a slow cooker. I’m attempting a favorite brisket recipe, Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig (substituting brisket for pork and leaving out all the other ingredients except salt and smoked paprika, but still consulting this recipe every time I do this), in a cast iron skillet on the grill. Low and slow.
The Not-slow-cooker not-pig. (Subbing is not just for yarn and patterns; it’s also for dinner.)
We are aiming for a couple of days of brisket tacos, and feeling optimistic.