Blue Whale

Published on Tuesday January 11th, 2011

BlueWhale (2 of 2)

Presenting some evidence that I can, in fact, set myself a series of goals and attain at least some of them: Blue Whale! This is the yarn and Stephen West pattern that made up the first installment of A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Pro-Verbial club, and according to Stephen it will be available to the public in April. I swore to myself that if I treated myself to club membership I’d knit each skein and pattern right away, and since Installment the Second has not yet arrived I get to pat myself on the back. I also get to give a pretty, functional gift to a dear friend. I knew as soon as I saw this murky, sea-colored yarn that it would have to be for Jen, because these are her colors.

The pattern is quite straightforward except that individual row gauge, which we all know varies wildly from knitter to knitter, affects whether or not you’ll be able to work the shawl exactly as written. If you just think of it as a patchwork of stockinet, reverse stockinet, and seed stitch and work each of those patches as you know it needs to be worked, you’ll be just fine. I also suggest the use color-coded stitch markers to remind yourself where the increases go, as you probably haven’t met with a shawl exactly this shape (it has five corners). Other than that, it’s the kind of easy knitting that won’t require you to refer to the pattern very often — perfect for tired mothers trying to squeeze in a bit of handwork after the little ones are abed!

BlueWhale (1 of 2)

Yeesh, those are some tired mother eyes…

BlueWhale2 (1 of 1)

I made Mr. G put it on while we did the pictures for Gridlock. At first he looked as though he doubted the manliness of a little shawl, but half an hour later I found he was still wearing it. If he mends his ways in the department of Keeping Track of Things Your Loving Wife Has Lovingly Slaved Over, I may even make him one of his own.

Notes on the space-time continuum

Published on Thursday November 4th, 2010

I’m now fairly certain our most prominent scientists are overlooking some very compelling evidence that time is not as linear as we’d like to believe. This is either because not enough of them live with three-month-olds or because a three-month-old creates its own event horizon, within which it’s impossible to do science or anything else that could later be duplicated or even accurately recalled. But here are a few shards of the past few weeks that have somehow endured.

– My daughter can laugh and crow like Peter Pan, she’s been to her first cyclo-cross race (not as a competitor yet; we were just cheering for Uncle Daniel), and she makes a pretty irresistible ladybug. She can also grow stinky cheese in the folds of her fat little neck, which is somewhat less appealing.

– There’s been knitting, mostly with this:

Luster (1 of 1)

Yum. It’s Luster — 75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% tussah silk — a yet-to-be-released yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm and the first installment of their Pro-Verbial 2010-11 club, to which I treated myself. It came with a new pattern by Stephen West; I hardly need to tell you how exciting those are. The Luster is like nothing else I’ve knit. It’s unusually grippy on the needles (this may be partly due to the indigo dye, which doesn’t finish fixing itself until it’s been knit and stains one’s fingers a bit in the process) and its two-ply structure creates a stippled, textural fabric with a high sheen from the BFL and the silk. The result is an intriguing blend of luxe and rustic that’s a perfect expression of AVFKW’s aesthetic. It’s verby and I love it.

– There was this comical episode with a poached egg. In my most inept kitchen moment since the time I used warm tap water to make tea for my sick mother (I was five or six), I cooked breakfast for my visiting parents. Having botched the timing of the toast and the eggs, I ladled the eggs onto the plates and tried to carry them to the toaster rather than bringing the toast to the stove to await the eggs. Nothing is more slippery than a poached egg. One of them promptly flew off the plate and splattered all over the floor, whereupon I stepped right in it. Thank goodness we have dogs.

– I’ve done a fair amount of seventh-grade algebra text work during baby naps. If you like logic puzzles, you can take a crack at this one and tell me whether you think it’s any good:

Six knights gathered for a jousting tournament. Work out the ranking of the knights, the color of each man’s horse and lance, and the Order he represents.

1. Sir Palamon did better than Charles the Bald.
2. The knight who rides a gray horse carries a purple lance.
3. Charles the Bald placed two spots below Don Quixote, who was not as good as the knight on the chestnut horse.
4. The knight who rides a white horse finished just above the knight who carries a green lance.
5. The knight with the roan horse finished last.
6. The Black Prince finished higher than the knight from the Order of the Barking Deer but lower than the knight with the purple lance.
7. The knight from the Order of the White Bear rides a chestnut horse.
8. The knight from the Order of the Chafing Garter placed third, which was better than the knight with the striped lance.
9. The knight on the white horse finished two spots below the knight from the Order of the Silver Parrot.
10. The knight on the black horse (who is not The Black Prince) finished second.
11. Sir Roland carries a blue lance.
12. The knight on the bay horse finished above the knight from the Order of the Armored Codpiece but below the knight with the red lance.
13. The knight with the red lance was not the champion.
14. Sir Bedevere finished two places below the knight from the Order of the Golden Fleece.
15. The knight from the Order of the White Bear was better than the knight on the gray horse, who was better than the knight with the yellow lance.
16. The knight with the yellow lance finished behind Charles the Bald.