Sunday, January 15, 2006


I've been casting around in the dregs of my memory for that golfing do-over term - which I could have sworn was actually MacGuffin - to describe my current state of mind and knitting. I almost feel like I'm groundhog daying it (but I never really liked the film), given the number of times I have plotted, planned, cast-on, and then gone amphibian on both the items above. I've got to admit, though, that Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb and Shepherd Sock are holding up pretty well with my inability to treat them well.

But at least now I'm an eighth of the way home, having finally sorted a pattern, and a needle size (2mm/0) for the socks, and made it all the way up to the heel on the first, without too many traumas. Using one of my xmas presents to myself, Charlene Schurch's 'Sensational Knitted Socks' (with heel help from my other xmas present to myself, Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts' 'Simple Socks', short rowing all the way, baby), I settled on the Oriel pattern*.

Now I know I'm breaking the rules, using a relatively detailed lace pattern with a variegated yarn, and risking losing the benefit of either or both. But the yarn said it wanted to be vaguely stained glass church window like, and the pattern said it was vaguely stained glass church window like, too. And so I put them both together, and I think they look quite pretty, even if a little busy.

But the Lion and Lamb, oh somebody put me out of my misery, and that poor innocent yarn out to pasture. I have 3 skeins, which seems enough for a wide scarf/narrow stole for a friend/colleague. And I know I could Clap along with it. And indeed I did start, but only got as far as one hand clapping, because I've already made a clapotis, and I want to try something new, new, new.

I've tried ribbon ribs, cobweb frills, leaning ladders, brioche ribs, seafoam patterns and vertical drop stitch ribs**. I've played with needle sizes. I've thought about long and thin, short and squat. I've put that poor yarn through torture, and nothing is quite right. It doesn't want to be too lacy, but it doesn't want to be too plain. It wants a bit of texture, but still wants to drape. I'm beginning to think that the dye job may have affected the yarn's brain, leaving it all of atwirl and incapable of making a decision. And I am sorely tempted to give up, and just give her the skeins, some needles, the clapotis pattern, and force her to reawaken her long neglected knitting skills. Now that would be a good present, wouldn't it?

Is anyone else's mind in that twittering state, or is it only me? Bring on Monday, I say, so I can force myself to make lists and do things.

* Barbara G. in her 'Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns' says, on p.289, that Oriel is a "very old and exquisitely beautiful lace pattern that has been unjustly forgotten within the past six or seven decades. This one is never seen today, because hardly anyone knows it. But it is very lovely, and easy to work as well...." I'm in hyperefficient housekeeping adding in extra unnecessary info just because mode today, and all because I went and cleaned the kitchen floor this morning, don't you know.

** Yes, I've got all 4 of the Barbara G. Walker books, and Mary Thomas too. I'm a knitting book slut, I am.