Black Dog

Just a little outpost on the web for me to ramble, post pix, share ideas, and be a part of the crowd.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

It's Third Thursday

Stop by for picnic fare any time after 6 p.m. EST (yes, Indiana doesn't do daylight savings time). The brisket's in the crockpot with home-made bbq sauce, chicken is marinating two different ways, and the burgers will be portioned later. The potato salad is made, the dips and such are coming soon, and the baked beans will be in the oven shortly. Already finished desserts include peanutbutter-cream cheese brownies and a caramel cake (mmmmmmm, Southern goodness by the slice), and I'm going to make TWO blueberry pies and TWO blackberry/raspberry tarts shortly. And just for good measure, Matt stocked up on dill pickles at the store (maybe there's some truth to the rumour Low Helen was spreading on Monday...........)

On the fiber front, people are bringing knitting of course, but I've heard of two spinners who will be armed with wheels. And there will be the usual laughter, carrying on, and good friends. And the "House Wine of the South" will be flowing like crazy (iced tea, most particularly SWEET tea, for you Yankees).

Won't you come join us? We hope so!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Eye of Newt (not Gingrich) and Toe of Frog ........

Well, there’s been some hubub over e-mail about the “Eye of Partridge” (EoP) stitch I’m using on my version of the rewrite of my own design for the Broadripple sock pattern originally released in the latest issue of Knitty. I’m glad to clue you in as to how to knit this fun variation on the standard heel flap, but I offer one caveat. The standard flap is typically

Row 1: *Slip 1, K1* across
Row 2: Slip 1, P across

and it makes a nice, deeply-ribbed heel flap that wears well, is comfy, and looks nice. But sometimes a boy (or a girl) needs a little bit of variety in life, so we turn to something simple for a change of pace (it beats having to train a new partner/spouse, trust me.........). Enter EoP.

EoP is worked over a series of four rows, with Rows 2 and 4 being just like the standard heel flap. The difference is that instead of making lovely stitches all in a row, like a well-trained marching band, you alter the placement of the slips every other row. So instead of it all lining up neatly, it breaks the rows up a little bit. Here’s two variations on a theme

  • Eye of Patridge
    Row 1 (right side): *Sl 1, K 1* repeat across ending K 1.
    Row 2 and even rows: Sl 1, purl across
    Row 3: Sl 2, *K1, Sl 1* repeat across, ending with K2.

  • Eye of Partidge II
    1st row: (sl 1, k1) across all stitches.
    2nd row: sl 1, purl across all stitches.
    3rd row: sl 1, k1, (k1, sl 1) across all stitches
    4th row: sl 1, purl across all stitches.

    Of course, mine is neither of these, but it most closely resembles EoP II. I don’t like the look of slipping two stitches on Row 3, and EoP II accommodates for that in a way I prefer to my own. My way is to start Row 3 with a K2, then *Slip 1, K1* across to last stitch, and knit last stitch. While it doesn’t make a pretty edge to pick up your gusset stitches, I’ve knit several socks and can do this on my own without the obvious slipped stitch, if need be. But I think I’ll try EoP II on my next pair.

    My entry yesterday said that I wasn’t expecting the flap to look quite like it does, but that I wasn’t disappointed, just curious. I was expecting a nice, obvious shifting pattern, but instead I have something that resembles fair isle knitting, in my eyes. I like it a lot, but it’s just different than what I expected–just like I’m different that dear ol’ Mom expected, I’m sure. I’m not a disappointment to her, just different (I was supposed to attend Notre Dame and then go to Med School—I went to Missouri, and I still ended up a doctor, just not a medical one.......I have a PhD and I know how to use it).

    Knit Night in Columbus (IN) was a hoot and a half last night (for you non-Southerners, that’s a good thing). We were many (15), we were loud (very), and we were productive. I’ve seen so many great projects being knitted by the folks over there and if there’s one thing these ladies (and one reluctant male) can do, it’s kick out the felted bags. WOW! But they’re also open to new ideas, as a couple folks started knitting socks with Fixation (one in my Broadripple pattern and another in my Rib Tips pattern), another started a Koigu scarf, and others just knit and knit on bags and more. But the highlight of the evening for me was seeing the look of absolute conquer on the face of one Margaret C (YOU GO MARGARET!) when she finished the final bind off stitch on her beautiful Noro Silk Garden shawl and she proudly announced that this was her first finished knitted item (she’s got socks and a couple felted things in progress). I’ll show her excellent handwork here shortly, as she wanted to block it (today) prior to having a photo shoot. Now THAT’S a dedicated knitter!

    Third Thursday is tomorrow–if you’re nearby, drop in after 6 local time for dinner, knitting, and the best group of people you’ll ever meet. We’re having “picnic fare”, so the feed bag will be on and the fiber stuff will be fierce. See you there!

  • Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Slow But Sure............

    I had estimated that the re-write of the Broadripple socks would be finished by the end of the weekend. I fibbed. It's going to be a couple more days, as I want to make sure the foot fits snugly, which means I have to knit the entire sock rather than guestimate fit based on gauge and stitch count. Plus, I want to be able to estimate yardage with confidence, as there's nothing worse than running out or being periously close to running out of yarn (Saturday's entry) when you're knitting something. Besides, wouldn't more Koigu be a welcome thing...........

    So I give you progress, but not fait accompli, as seen here

    The leg is longer than it looks, due to me taking this picture at an angle. I've done about 6 1/2 to 7 inches of leg, as measured from the top of the scalloped edge. And I've made some good progress on the heel flap. I'm using the "eye of partridge" pattern for a change of pace, and I'll be darned if it doesn't resemble fair isle in this project

    I like it, but it's not what I expected--but isn't that knitting?!?!?

    I made progress on this project at Monday night's gathering for Knit Night in Franklin, a great little bedroom community to Indianapolis. It's about an hour ride each way for us from Bloomington, but I truly enjoy the people at this group, and we've seen some serious growth in the past few months. Hello and welcome to Kris and Chris, who both came for the very first time this week. Several folks had praise for the above-mentioned sock pattern in Knitty (three sitting around the table were actually working on a pair, using my pattern, and a fourth is waiting for the sock-weight version, to use Koigu----that's so amazingly gratifying it isn't funny) and I've been working on a top-secret something that's kept me from making more progress on this sock. More about it later, but you'll know it when you see it, I promise.

    Tonight brings us the Columbus (IN) Knit Night at the East Side Community Center for what I'm sure will be another fun evening. Maybe I'll get more done on this sock, but I can also feel the pull of the new secret project. Yes, start-itis reigns supreme, still. I started another version of the secret thing again tonight, as well as did some swatching for a sweater I'll reveal later, as well as the start of a simple felted hat (great for car riding and knitting in the dark on the way back from where ever). I'm off for now, but in the mean time, here's one more shot of something fun. Matt dyed this yarn on Sunday for a special-order customer, and I hope she likes it. We'll know soon enough, as it's headed her way later today.

    See you soon!

    Monday, June 16, 2003

    Use the Force...........

    Good Monday Morning to you! Whew, it's been a fun weekend of fiber of all types--our initial shipment of spinning wheels arrived late Friday afternoon, so we've had a busy weekend of contacting folks, assembling wheels, and becoming familiar with the new objects of mass distraction. Check out Matt's blog later today for a recap of wheels, spinning fibers, and more. I'm learning to spin, but I haven't taken to it like he has. He's already got three full bobbins of fiber spun up, despite our being busy this weekend. And wait until you see what we did get in on Friday in the way of spinning fibers. Mmmmmmmmmmmm

    Saturday was just a general "fiber day" here, and folks dropped in and hung out all day. Low Helen (G'MORNING!) assembled her wheel, with the help of some of the crowd, so now she's enabled. Patsy (HOWDY!) was around for advice and moral support, while she wound a warp in the next room, as she's the instigator/teacher for the learning that's been going on in the spinning domain. Anne and Pam A (HI LADIES) decided that they needed to leave with a hunk of spinning fiber and a new drop spindle and an interest in wheels (I recommend following the Ashford Advisor online to see what fits your needs). Many other folks were here, including Pamm on crutches (HI PAMM), who picked up some fun colors in Cascade Sierra to make her own version of the Ramblin Rows baby afghan. I'm sure you'll see the finished results here or at Crowing Ram--her colors are awesome! And Susan showed up (HI SUSAN) to lust for wheels (hers and mine left Washington State late in the week after the new container arrived in port) and to show off her beautiful hand-dyed mohair that she made with us two weekends ago, which will eventually grow up to resemble this version of the Meadow Flowers Shawl from the book Knitter's Stash. It's amazing yarn, in blues, navy, and a little bit of steely-grey. I'm sure you'll see it here in the future, when I get to bragging.

    Sunday meant a quiet day around the house, with me catching up on chores (oh, how I love laundry, dishes, and all of my other domestic responsibilities----NOT) and Matt spinning and spinning and spinning and dyeing some yarn for a special order for someone. The yarn is currently drying and will be ready for viewing later today or tomorrow, and for shipping after that. It turned out quite nice and I think she'll be pleased. And speaking of dyeing, Teresa and Denise will be up from Ohio in a couple weeks for their own dyefest and fibery day (C's coming too, but she'll be the only person to resist the temptation and proabably spend the day reading and catching rays on the deck with Connor). The evening brought tons of fiber, in snippet format--we spent several hours ordering new things and restocking on others. Look for lots of wooly and cottony goodness to be arriving later this week.

    And speaking of bragging, the title for today's entry refers to another finished project by our very own Low Helen (there's plenty of jokes floating about referring to it being an Obi-Wan, or some other sort of Star Wars garment). Inspired by the book Simply Knit when it first came out a few months ago, she immediately took to the Obi, a wonderful unconstructed knitting project that's just wizard (as are most of the patterns in that book--GET IT). She picked up the book and the yarn from us, and here's the finished result, for all to see and admire

    (and yes, that's Connor underneath the swing taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon). You get a good idea of the scale of the project--it is wide and short waisted, and one might imagine it being too short waisted, but it isn't. It's a very flattering when worn by folks of ALL sizes, and trust me--many people have tried it on in the past few days, since Helen finished it. She used Jamieson DK, as specified in the pattern, but she altered the color combination to be Wild Violet (the lighter shade) and Bramble (the darker one). Of course, it was a race to the finish, as our Miss Helen was very motivated by seeing the finished version posted over at Theresa's blog. Of course Theresa spun her own yarns, as she's an accomlished spinner, awesome knitter, and chief resident (what can't she do?). Theresa said that her Obi is like wearing an afghan with sleeves, and after trying on Helen's, many folks agreed. So now we have motivation for Nancy A. (using Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters in Larkspur, Deb (in two gorgeous shades of Jamieson), and a few other folks to get knitting on their own version. Knit on, ladies--I can't wait!

    That's about it for today--tonight we're up in Franklin at Knit Night (Community Arts & Rec Center--6:30 - 8), Tuesday it's the fun bunch in Columbus (IN) (East Side Community Center--6 - 9ish), and Thursday is our monthly Third Thursday Knit Night (dinner and knitting starting at 6:30--come on over!). This month's menu for Thursday is back to more traditional foods---Picnic Fare. I'm making a b-b-q brisket, grilling other things, two kinds of potato salad (yankee and southern), Rachel's bringing deviled eggs (she can't resist a reason to make them, despite this NOT being a pitch-in meal), and I'm sure we'll have plenty more dishes in a variety of shapes and forms. Come by, knit a little, dig into a fun meal, and spend some time with great people who love fibers! See you then--e-mail me for directions, and have a great week!