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September 13, 2007


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oh, that's coming along nicely. I have not cabled yet; I keep waiting for my first time to be an inspiring pattern sized for my daughter -- or now that she is rather much larger than when I began knitting -- a hat, so that I can bail quickly if it pains me.

I am knitting a sock right now and keep finishing a round, then getting up with the fourth needle in my hand and promptly putting it somewhere dumb. so it is taking forever, and of course when I am knitting, it is only on size 3s (3.25s to you?), so how much faster would it ever go?

is that a moss stitch or a seed stitch on either side? oh, will it be called that for you? um ... seed is the k1p1 every row and moss can be either a. k1p1 row 1 then p1k1 row 2 repeating or b. k1p1 rows 1 and 2 and then p1k1 rows 3 and 4. I know it isn't the latter moss, but "moss" is I think one of those differing terms, depending on from whom and where you learned to knit. like "cast-on."

I keep getting interrupted. will you tell me about the yarn? I do love yarn specs. best!


The pattern book calls this side stitch a moss stitch - it looks like this:

1. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
2. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Can you read this? We use those charts in German knitting but I haven't come across them in US or UK charts. - is knit and = is purl (we actually use a turned-around ^ for purl, and a simple - for knit, IIRC).

[BTW, the German name for this pattern is "Perlmuster", or perl pattern.]

The yarn is scrumptious. It's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a color which name I forget but "moss" is a good name. Green, anyhow, and a red wine color for the cast-on row. I'm using a US8 circular needle. The yarn is oh-so-soft and it's lovely to knit.

I've started another sweater for either David or Alan which has a very thick yarn and used US 12 needles - it goes very quickly but the size of the needles is uncomfortable for my fingers, and the yarn is scratchy. I've ordered it on the Internet and it actually has little bits of hay in it (?) which I remove as I go along. With an undershirt, this is going to be a good sturdy sweater for cold winters, but the Debbie Bliss sweater is going to be one of those comfort things.

BTW, I was snickering to myself when I posted this. Our readership is about 90% male from what I can tell, and I was sure not to get a single comment from them. But I thought it was time to expose them to the realities of the world... ;-)

Noel Maurer

I'll comment!

Well, I'll, like, write something. I don't really have anything that can properly be called a comment.

Uh, cigar? Want to talk about baseball?

I got nothin'. But I'm trying.



Fish. Bait. Snap!

Noel Maurer

And here I thought I was being nice. No good deed and all that.



Consider yourself hugged.

I was just teasing you.


1. bits of hay: is it the kind called "unspun?" I was going to use that to make a poncho for a friend's daughter (they live in Köln & I guess the rain?), but got nervous about the issue of drape. but hay in the wool makes me laugh.

2. size US12 needles: I just decided, after 7 years of knitting, that I don't much care for the product I turn out on anything more than a US8. I started knitting when the fashion was v much this kind of slutty, overnight/weekend knitting, with the double-stranding and the big us32 needles, have you seen? I have never done a project in the extreme of that fashion, but a lot of 10s and 12s. and I don't extra love it.

I made a scarf for a darling friend of mine with a linen-wool blend that was knit on 4s with a lot of k4p4 ribbing along the neckline. it took me years to finish it, but it remains one of my favorite products. and I am somewhat prolific, especially at the holidays when I am down in the mines all day long between baby wrangling and then from after they sleep until 2 or 3 am, thank you insomnia. I didn't realize it was the gauge until I made a baby blanket for the same friend's daughter at a similarly tiny-paced gauge and it was so satisfying. usually I am apologetic when I gift something I have knitted. even if it is knit of cashmere and silk! it's a gauge issue, definitely.

3. charts: I have never seen a chart like that you modeled for straight knitting. this is fascinating to me and I don't know if my language can bear the weight of my fascination, however, onward: in the us, charts like that are used for color knitting, I am sure it is the same elsewhere, because it must be because you just made a charty for this sweater stitch.

oh, I have one in front of me that is for another kind of "novelty" knitting besides colorwork, it is for a lacework baby afghan border that makes the alphabet. the point is, that knitters in the us (at least recently, as goes the history of knitting) have their books written in straight text, and so do not start with the marriage of a kind of cartography + needlework. and every one I know who has done colorwork has to sort of get over that hurdle and most women I know just don't do it, as a result. so it is interesting to know that elsewhere the patterns start with a representation that is all mappy. in fact, the sock I am working on has a colorwork component that I am just skipping. that's more about the recipient not being a colorworky sort, but also, I just cannot.

4. I like that cashmerino aran a lot. I am knitting a tea cozy from the baby cashmerino and it's soft and also, not splitty. I am working on another project with a really beautiful handspun worsted merino from an outfit called Malabrigo and it is all, you know, little stray fibers get caught between stitches or a strand of that purl stitch goes in the next knit stitch, etc. nothing that won't get sorted out by a nice wet block, but still.

5. if you post about knitting, knitters will come from far away. I write about knitting in my weblog about ... well, in the high season of knitting, at least once a week, and the traffic it drives far outweighs the hits from google searches looking for something porny & truly unspeakable. also, crochet. I just started to toy with crochet last year and again. I don't know what it is about handwork + the internet. it must be all those americans trying to sort out reading a fair isle chart!


oh, children.

6. that is what is called here an "english moss stitch." the american moss stitch is the

repeat from * until done. I think I used it to knit a scarf for old Carlos, if I am remembering correctly. it turns out kind of a dropped-stitchy reversible fabric. I don't keep good records. I have a friend who keeps every project she has ever done, with a photo and the gauge swatch and the ball band and knitting specs & tips. I might be lucky to remember what yarn at all. I should, though, since I rarely follow a pattern to the letter. which! I probably would not be so naughty and rule-breaker if i had a chart to keep me in line! have a nice day! (night!)


I never swatch.

I know, it's a weakness, and testament to my laziness. But if I start a project, I want to start a project - not pre-start it.

And of course, I run into all kinds of problems along the way then...

(It's also the way I cook. Clearly a character fault.)

Famous last words: It's 11:15 pm and I hear very strange noises in the house. It's the last night before Doug comes home, of course. That squeak there sounded like someone tried to open the terrace door (which is locked, all doors are locked, the windows are all barred - the terrace door is the only access which has no bars at all. I always thought this good, for escape purposes, but now I'm not so sure.) Hm, and I left the upstairs balcony door open.
If I go now and check these noises out (where's a baseball bat when you need one?), and you don't hear from me... famous last words, indeed.
Funny how you can talk yourself into hysterics sometimes.
I'm going now.

Randy McDonald

This makes three bloggers I know who also knit extensively. Correlation isn't causation, I know, but ...


what? scary! if you live, we'll talk about no-swatch naughtiness! (I figure that if the project goes south, before I rip it back, that will be my gauge swatch, no?) then I will harass Carlos to send you a baseball bat. or a mean puppy. good luck!


Hey. I never thought about it but that is absolutely right! So I do swatch - I just integrate my swatching into my work and thus am economical and thrifty.
I am very pleased with that interpretation.

The mystery noises yesterday: The Mythbusters. I had switched on the TV and left the room to get a drink, got distracted, got more distracted by the computer, forgot about the TV (I very rarely watch TV so that explains that), and then heard noises *from the TV*.

Oh, well. ;-)


I've wondered what foreign customs officials in the less espny parts of the world make of baseball bats. "Is not panda's head! Cannot be sport. Is martial art?"

LL, I checked the scarf, and although I'm not a knitter, it does have a replicating pattern kind of like the one you sketched. A stretchy mesh? (although that doesn't really narrow it down.)

Claudia, the show you really want to watch is Dirty Jobs, with the amazing Mike Rowe. He was a legend among the insomniac weirdos in Madison, who could not believe that anyone selling Hummel figurines to retirees at 3 o'clock in the morning on QVC could be that dryly sarcastic. Rowe is the type of guy who can quote Yeats while getting shat on by baby chicks. Warning: Alan might get some unusual ideas for life professions from this show.

It's ninety minutes to three now.


Yarn Harlot rocks! Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, have some marzipan knitting:



I have to confess that I did see it, and then I went and had to look at the instructions. I don't think I will actually do it myself but I had to know how she did it.

And to think that I worried my canning labels were overdoing it!

James Bryant

Fergawdsake Claudia - if you need small (mailable) objects like cable needles that I can get and you can't lemme know and in due course I'll find you one and mail it. What are friends FOR?


hi, Claudia, I just got a pattern (french girl's "nathalie") in the mail three days ago and it made me think of you: the instructions said that one should do a swatch in order to practice the stitch pattern. ???? hahahaha. really. & it's for a flipping scarf. ahaha.

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