I'm a fifty-something woman, trying out blogging, having failed at an online journal. I'm interested in almost everything; there's no telling what an entry might be about. As a sign my mother once gave me says, "Stay Tuned. I could say something BRILLIANT at any moment!"
Saturday, November 18, 2006
A few updates before I go to bed.
First, my dear friend Victoria found and sent to me the following definition of clapotis (not the knitted sort):
Clapotis: A standing wave phenomenon associated with the reflection of an ocean-wave train from a vertical surface, such as a breakwater or pier.
Thank you, Victoria. That definition seems to have made a great deal of sense to DH. Me, I recognize all the words as being in English, but am a bit less sure of their meaning in combination. However, I now have something to say if people ask me what clapotis is – see my blog, I’ll say!
On the topic of the shawl-type Clapotis, I have made it past the first dropped stitch. During the day on Wednesday I had tried out slight change in the pattern suggested by a similarly Clapotis-obsessed blogging knitter, which was to change the stitch to be dropped to a purl stitch, instead of using stitch markers. (The fact that I was at my women’s group without more stitch markers occasioned this experiment). However, I discovered, in my joy at dropping a stitch ON PURPOSE, that garter stitch (which is what you end up with on that stitch) is somehow stickier than stockinette. So I think I’m gonna to back to all knit stitches. (When I finally upload pictures from my camera and get the ones I took of Clapotis just before the dropped stitch, you’ll see where I changed. It makes no difference in the final product, though.)
I have put Clapotis temporarily aside, however. A while back I agreed to do themed dish or washcloths for the themed donation baskets for the Silent Auction at the Yule Fest fundraiser at my church. (Diagram *that*, Bev!) I ordered the yarn for these cloths on Sunday and the yarn manufacturers, being much faster than I really expected, got the yarn to me yesterday. So I’m working on the cloths, which will be due at least on Sunday, December 3. Unlike The Yarn Harlot, who can do a sock a day <gulp>, I can just about manage a cloth a day. Which will be fine, except that I won’t be working on them this weekend (more on that later) and at least two of the planned cloths are bigger than normal and one or two might be double-knitted, which will take a bit longer. Must knit faster!
However, this cotton yarn is very nice and pretty and a pleasure to work with, which helps.
This weekend DH and I are heading over to Houston to watch a professional football game. One would normally think that I was the one being dragged along, but in fact I’m the bigger football fan in this relationship. (Although you’d never know that to watch DH watch a game. He gets much more into it than I do!) We’ve been going to a Texans game once a year since the franchise started, and it’s an enjoyable weekend. I’ll be taking Clapotis along for the knitting portion of the entertainment.
Finally, an update on the babies. They appeared on the shelter’s website on Thursday, without pictures. (The two people who take pictures for the main website come in on Monday and Thursday, so the pictures taken on Thursday appear on Friday.) Sure enough, when I got up this morning, there were very cute pictures. Of Dodger and Princess. So, despite my bet that Dodger would go first, it appears Oliver found his Forever Family first. Good going, Oliver! Such a sweet little lap kitty he is, too. I know he’s making some family very, very happy. I’ll bet Dodger and Princess won’t be there much longer, either. From the pictures, I can tell the adoption folks smartly put them in the lobby cages, where they not only likely attract a lot of attention, but probably get a lot of attention (which they’ll like), too. I did have a brief moment when I realized Oliver was gone when I wanted to drive quickly over to the shelter and sweep up the other two and bring them home with me, but that passed. So it’s a bit sad, but mostly a good thing. And both DH and I thought they already looked so much older in the shelter’s pictures than when they were here! DH will be setting up a website where we can post pictures of the babies soon – probably after this weekend. I’ll post the link here, of course.
The babies were returned to the shelter on schedule Saturday morning. This made their Mommy and Uncle DH sad, but not horribly so. We know they’ll be adopted quickly when they reach the cattery as they are adorable and sweet and there are not so many baby kittens at the moment. I’m not allowing myself to watch the shelter’s website obsessively to see if they’re listed – only twice a day. Since I suspect it’s not updated hourly or anything.<g> There will be pictures forthcoming, I promise. Cause these were terminally cute babies!
In the meantime, I have to report that I have succumbed. I have bowed to the inevitable. For knitters, I only have to say one word: Clapotis.
For my saner readers, let me explain. Just about two years ago, an online knitting magazine called knitty published a pattern for a scarf/shawl/knitted item of some sort. It took the online knitting world by storm. Soon there were knit-alongs organized to knit it. (A knit-along is a group of people all knitting the same thing, generally knitting a few specified rows every day. It’s more fun than that sounds.) There was a Clapotis team for the Knitting Olympics. People have literally knitted a dozen or more of these things.
I couldn’t understand why. I looked at the picture and saw a young French woman wearing a scarf. I have enough scarves and wasn’t inspired by the picture. But, if you scroll down, you’ll see it can be worn as a shawl, too. I *don’t* have enough shawls, as evidenced by the fact that I had to reuse several of them when I changed characters in Spoon River Anthology. (Yeah, that’s what I want to run my life by – the two nights of the performance of a play which, by the way, is already over with! However.)
Still, I wasn’t hooked. Till I actually read the pattern and realized that the odd-looking part of the pattern is where you actually get to deliberately drop stitches. What a clever, perverse sort of thing to put in a pattern! So somewhere in my subconscious, a murmur started. It might be fun to do a Clapotis.
Oh, it took months to convince me. And it’s been a couple of months since then that I’ve been trying to decide on the perfect yarn. It is illegal, I believe, to use the yarn and/or colorway used in a pattern. Besides, while I suspect Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb (a wool/silk blend) is yummy and goodness knows Lorna’s Laces has some lovely colors, it would cost $120, plus shipping and handling, to get enough yarn.
So I joined an email list about the Clapotis and asked in various places about the right yarn. One thing you don’t want to use is mohair – mohair is very sticky to itself and dropping stitches would be a bit tricky. Other yarns suggested (Noro anything) would have the same problem. Finally somebody said they’d made one from Patons SWS, a yarn that is a wool/soy blend, which has the benefit of being sold at Michaels and being pretty darn cheap. So I looked at her picture. What I really liked about it was how the stripes in the yarn were sort of opposite the stripes created by dropping the stitches. So I looked at the yarn online – a couple of colorways looked good to me. Especially the Natural Denim. I wear mostly denim in what we here in Texas call “not summer”.
On Saturday, after we took the babies to the shelter, DH and I made a daring daylight raid on Borders Books (where I again graciously left a few books for other people) and on Michaels, down the way. I got 9 skeins of Natural Denim Patons SWS yarn.
I cast on on Sunday. (Before that I had to finish the wedding presents, which I did. I was literally unpinning them from the blocking board Sunday morning, but they were finished!) I love a pattern that starts out “cast on 2”. Not 60 or 64, like for a sock, or several hundred like you might expect for a shawl, but 2.
I’ve printed out my own copy of the pattern, but I don’t have to consult it all that often at this point. I’m in Section 2, the Increase Rows, on the sixth repeat. The pattern calls for seven repeats. At that point I’ll see if I think it’s wide enough – I may want to add a repeat.
Normally I’m not big on following fads, even knitting fads. But I think I’m going to like this. The pattern is actually pretty simple and easy to memorize so far, which is a good thing, and the only stitch approaching difficulty is a “purl through the front and back loops”. It took me a bit to figure that out, but I did. So far, everything is going well and fairly quickly.
Turns out the Natural Denim colorway doesn’t really stripe the way some of the other colorways of Patons SWS do, but that’s OK. I like it anyway. I can see doing several of these things in different yarns and colorways. Maybe even in the Lorna’s Laces pricey Lion and Lamb, at some point.
Yes, yes, I know. I need to talk about the kittens. (You can see pictures of them in any dictionary, under the definition of “terminally adorable”.) And talk about the play I was in, Spoon River Anthology. (A wonderful experience. Except for the cold I seem to have caught.) But first ...
We do a fundraiser at our church every early December called Yule Fest, which raises money for child care for all the various women’s groups. Up till this year I’ve always had a booth (only far, since I was one of the originators of the whole idea) where I did tarot readings and sold knitting. Not much knitting, since I’m slow. But last year I didn’t make enough money to pay for my booth, so I decided not to have a booth this year. I’ve since been persuaded to change my mind, at least to do tarot readings for donations, which I’m happy to do.
Anyway, in the meantime, the RE classes (our version of Sunday School) will be gathering baskets of stuff to be sold at Silent Auction. Each basket will have a theme and since I’ve been madly doing washcloths with pictures on them in the last few months, I said I’d do cloths for the baskets. When I finally got the themes, I was mostly pleased. I had patterns that would work well for almost every basket! Except one.
I can hardly believe I’m saying this, being one of the original chocoholics, but I had nothing for the Chocolate basket! So I sent out an SOS on one of my new dishcloth email lists and got several good ideas. And one especially nice lady offered to make a pattern for me – a Hershey’s Kiss! Very cool! So, I’m posting this to help her publicize her pattern and her blog, cause it’s a great pattern! I must acquire some chocolate colored cotton yarn immediately!
Which works well, cause my other yarn obsession the last couple of weeks was to find a good yarn to do a Clapotis. Yes, I know I’m way behind the trend on this. I usually am on trends. But I decided I want to do the pattern, just not in the yarn called for (way too expensive). I’ve been convinced, my personal testimony and pictures, to do it in Patons SWS yarn, which is a wool/soy blend, available at Michaels. Normally I don’t expect to find really good yarn at Michaels, but I’m willing to give this a shot. The pictures showed a nice drape to the pattern and I like the way the dropped stitches in the pattern work against the stripes the yarn makes.
So, even though I still have a cold and can’t make it to women’s group today or choir practice tonight, I’ll clearly be making a Michaels trip today or tomorrow.
I need to learn to live without sleep, so I can get all my knitting done!