A Foggy Day…

Foggy day

Foggy day

What else to do on a dismal, dreary, cold, wet day, but to read a book and knit? Not at the same time, of course — I’ve never attempted knitting anything more complicated than K2,P2 ribbing while reading — but both Buttercup and Sergie curled up with me while I read. (Sorry — no pictures. I didn’t have the phone within reach.) When I finished the book, I did another repeat or so of the current cable sampler.

Current Cable Swatch

Current Cable Swatch

In all, a pleasant way to spend a day in which I felt under the weather, umm, figuratively and almost literally, I guess.

NOTE ADDED

I originally wrote this on a cold, foggy, rainy day in May (5-17). What with getting sidetracked and backlogged and some other directional words, I’m posting this a month late. Last weekend, I wrote The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow, then  spent some time setting up my remaining pre-written posts as drafts in WP, attaching their pictures, and scheduling them to be published nearly every day, to help get them caught up quicker. I scheduled And Now, for Something Completely Different to be published on Tuesday, 6-21. The next post, Maybe this will be *The One*, was set for Wednesday, 6-22. This post (A Foggy Day. . .) was scheduled for Friday, 6-23. Another was scheduled for Saturday, the next for Monday, etc.

It gave me a sense of relief to have them pre-scheduled, so I could just let them publish themselves while I busied myself with other things for a while. And I was pleased that the weather report said that I’d be posting A Foggy Day on what was expected to be another foggy, rainy day, even if the temperature would be in the 70s instead of the 50s, as it had been in May.

Sunday night, 6-26, I realized I’d need to edit the post scheduled to be published on Monday, so I opened up WordPress, and found Maybe this will be *The One* still sitting there, waiting to be published! Needless to say, none of the following posts had gotten published either.

After speaking to WP’s app using some very strong language, I hit the Publish button on Maybe this will be *The One* and then started writing this addendum.

I don’t know who’s to blame here. I’m inclined to think that this is a glitch in WP. On the other hand, my internet connection is so bad that maybe somehow the scheduling setups didn’t go through, even though it said they did on this end. I do know that every time I open the WP app, I get a pop-up box telling me it wants to do an update, then restart the app. I click OK, the app restarts… and then I get a pop-up box telling me it wants to do an update, then restart the app. In other words, the update hangs on my slow connection, then restarts before the update has finished downloading. I’ll probably never get that update unless I take my computer someplace that has a normal internet speed.

In any case, I am very annoyed about the publishing delay. I suppose this means that I’ll have to come back every few days and manually publish the remaining posts. This is a pain, and means that the posting will probably be delayed longer because I won’t get around to it every day. But what is really annoying me is that now I can’t trust WP to publish posts when they’re scheduled. It was such a useful feature, but now if I try to use it, I’ll have to keep checking up on it to make sure it’s done what it was supposed to do, which pretty much negates the convenience factor.

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And Now, for Something Completely Different

The time has come to start adding on stitches. As I work these, I will be setting them up for the cables they are to become. And I have no idea what cables I want to put next.

So, I need to set the sweater aside, get out my trusty Fishermen’s Wool, and swatch, swatch, swatch until I find the cables that belong in the rest of the sweater.

cable swatches - graph paper

Some cable swatches to try

Yes, I did just say, “my trusty Fishermen’s Wool.”  In an earlier post (What’s in a Name?), I had said that FW is a low-quality wool which disappointed me greatly when I made a vest out of it. True.

But it looks like a nice wool, the kind that an Aran (Fisherman’s) sweater would be made of. And the fact that it is cheaply-made makes it affordable. Also, it comes in a center-pull skein (no rewinding necessary), which is HUGE (8 oz.; 465 yd.). So, back when it first came out, I had high hopes for the stuff, and did my part to encourage Lion Brand to make more wool yarns available. All their other yarns are acrylic. Many are probably good-quality acrylic, as acrylics go, but they will never be wool. (Yes, I have tried their Wool-Ease. It looks nice in the skein, with a lovely assortment of colors, but in the end, it’s still an acrylic blend, and not worth the effort of making something with.) It would be very nice if they would come out with more wool and other natural-fiber yarns.

When I say that I “did my part to encourage Lion Brand to make more wool yarns available,” what I mean is that I bought a lot of it. I had big plans for it, so I picked up a few skeins every chance I got. Then I made the vest, and discovered that I wouldn’t be using it for clothing any more.

But it is perfect for making cable swatches. I don’t need high-quality yarn for that, but do want something which shows the stitches well, in a neutral color of wool, and which is not so expensive that I short-change the swatch, feeling money go down the drain with every stitch. It is also perfect for cat toys and blankets: they get to play with wool, and I can be generous, because they’re not destroying something that cost $20 an ounce.

I am very fond of my Fishermen’s Wool, when used for the right things.

Cast-on for Swatch #1

Beginning Swatch #1

Rail Yard Stitch Pattern

I realized that I should have mentioned yesterday the name of the stitch pattern I’m using from BGW’s book, so I tried to look it up and discovered that I have unvented* a stitch pattern. I’m sure this one exists, but I can’t find it in the book, so for now, it’s new.

The pattern in BGW’s Treasury is Sand Stitch, which is based on K1, P1 Seed Stitch, but with the WS rows done in K only. Because Jackie E-S’s Dolly shawl called for the shoulder shaping to be done on RS rows, I reversed the stitch pattern, so the K rows are RS, and all increases are done there, and the Seed Stitch patterning is done on the WS rows.

However, before I settled on this pattern, I had looked at a lot of others, some of which had Moss Stitch patterning (K2, P2). So, when I finally decided that Sand Stitch was the pattern I would use, I inadvertently combined these, and ended up doing Moss Stitch patterning on the WS.

Since it is temporarily a new stitch pattern, I will name it. Eventually, I will discover its original name, but for now it is, um, Rail Yard Stitch?

… Maybe just Rail Stitch.

 

Rail Stitch  (mult. of 4)

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Row 2: *K2,P2. Rep from *.

Row 3: Knit.

Row 4: *P2,K2. Rep from *.

Repeat these 4 rows.

 

* “Unvented” is a term devised by Elizabeth Zimmermann (in Knitting Without Tears?). Its premise lies in the knowledge that when we knitters “invent” something that is new to us — a technique, pattern, etc. — we are probably creating something which has been invented before. To EZ, it seemed like hubris to claim to have invented something, as if it was unique in the long history of knitting, when it had possibly been invented many times before, by many different knitters in many different places.

 

On Needles and Stitch Pattern

I am not crazy about garter stitch (sorry, EZ!) because it is too likely to stretch out of shape. And I am afraid that when the garter stitch stretches under its own weight, making holes between the stitches, it will let out the heat. Since I want this shawl to be warm, I am picturing it in a relatively solid pattern which, while still draping as a shawl should, won’t be too loose. So, I was thinking a nice Fabric Stitch or Linen Stitch would give a solid, woven-looking fabric. Then I realized that it probably wouldn’t have enough drape for a shawl.  So I got out the stitch books, and swatched a little, and came up with one from BGW’s Treasury* which I think will work. On the right side, it looks a lot like garter stitch. And on the wrong side, it looks like a different right-side pattern, so I never have to worry about fussing with how I put the shawl on — either side will look all right.

The needle size recommended on the ball band is US6. I am having trouble deciding between a US6 and US8 for this project. On the one hand, I want the fabric to be solid and warm, but on the other, it can’t be so firm that it doesn’t drape properly. I know, that’s what swatches are for. Except that swatches lie. So I will just make a guess and see how it goes. Excuse me a moment…

[Soft background music playing…]

Decision made. I just went and examined my needle supply. I have two sets of 60” circulars in size US7. All my 6s and 8s are in use in other projects, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any of those longer than 29” anyway. So, US7 it will be.

 

* Barbara G. Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Schoolhouse Press, 1998

Edit: If you want a link to this book, that would be here. Scroll down the page a bit (their website is a little low-tech). This book is the blue one.