Cookie A, the one and only, was in town and I got to take her workshop on the intuitive reading of charts for cable patterns today. I was really happy to be there; I’d never met Cookie A and never thought I’d get an opportunity to take a class from her, but when the Serial Knitters Yarn Shop (Kirkland) newsletter showed-up in my email inbox recently, I jumped at the chance and got in. It was a good class and she offered some practical information on how to look at chart knitting generally used in the U.S., Japan, and in some German patterns. With her guidance, what seemed like a lot of confusion in charts, soon became something more easily understood.

Professor Cookie A at work.

It’s a funny week for me, because I rarely take knitting classes, mostly because I’m just too tired and just want to veg after the kids are in bed, and not only did I take the Cookie A workshop today, but I am also taking a two-day workshop taught by Janine Bajus through Churchmouse Yarns & Teas on Bainbridge Island at the end of the week. I’ve never taken a class from Janine either, and I first heard of her a few years ago when she lived in the Seattle area and gave a talk at the Seattle Knitters Guild.  I was mesmerized by her creative Fair Isle knitting, it was so vibrant and intricate, and I was sooo disappointed that she announced she was moving to California back then.  I also am looking forward to some serious downtime and a little break from the daily grind; it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Bainbridge, easily over a year, and with a two-day workshop I get to stay on Bainbridge for two nights. Should be fun!


I have a new job title….

When I became a mom, no one ever told me that I would also be a mystery-sleuth, but I’m here to tell any prospective parents out there that you too will become another Sherlock Holmes. My 6-year old son has a Lightening McQueen/Cars lunchbox that I thought might be highly coveted by classmates, but then I reasoned that it is a few years old and the movie has lost its fascination among that age group, so I thought we’d use it. I has gone missing from his school 3 times previously since September, only to reappear weeks later, often smelling of rotten leftover lunch. The third time we thought it was gone for good, until it miraculously reappeared at the end of the week last week.

So I put it back in commission today and by the end of the day had disappeared again. I’ve come to the conclusion that some fishy is going on, because this just seems too obvious since the plain, nondescript blue one we use as a stand in, never disappears like the Lightening McQueen one.

So I sat down and asked my son YM, some questions and this is what I’ve sleuthed together after I asked him if anyone in his class particularly likes his lunchbox:
1) David likes it.
2) David puts YM’s lunchbox on the top of the pile of lunchboxes in the lunchbox basket at the end of lunch [all the kindergartners in one classroom’s lunchboxes get piled into a laundry basket so that they all get to the lunchroom and back to the classroom with the students—5th grade student carry the baskets]; YM said that David does this every time it goes missing.
3) I told YM not to let David put his lunchbox in the basket and reminded YM that it’s his responsibility to take care of his own lunchbox. YM maintains that David takes it when YM is not looking and puts it in the lunchbox basket at the top of the pile.
4) I asked YM what happens once the basket is placed back in the classroom and he says David takes the lunchbox and hides it somewhere in the classroom; he says this has happened every time it’s gone missing. I asked YM if he actually sees David hide it and he said no, but that he “hears” him doing it [don’t ask me how this works and how YM knows it’s getting hidden, as it doesn’t make sense to me]. I asked YM that if he knows it’s getting hidden, then why doesn’t he go get it, and he says it’s because David hides it so well that YM doesn’t know where it is.

This would all sound pretty far-fetched except for the fact that:
a) the lunchbox never shows up in the lost and found; and
b) it disappears for long periods of time and then miraculously appears, sometimes showing up outside the classroom in the morning before the teacher gets there (as it did last week), thereby suggesting that someone who cleans the room or wherever it’s hidden, like the cleaning staff, finds it.

Now, of course, hopefully a search of the classroom tomorrow and a cross-examination of the two boys will reveal the location of the lunchbox and hopefully put an end to this monkey business with the lunchbox. I’m just relieved that my son hasn’t just been losing it that often. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Just call me Sherlock Holmes.

Jacob’s Delight

The one and only, Jacob’s Delight is done. What a fish tale it was!  There were some ups and downs and Jacob’s Delight sometimes seemed like a soap opera, but it’s done and I can no longer refer to it as the fish that got away, and no longer is it relegated to that sector in my mind where it once inhabited, the What Could Have Been sector.  I am really happy that this pattern, that which I first saw in the first ever knitting book I bought in 1984, the very same book from which I made my very first knitted item, has become a dream realized.  Not only that, but something I can actually wear, knowing it turned-out quite well, unlike that other ill-fated sweater I made from the same book which turned-out pretty poorly.

I managed to work around the pattern error indicating the wrong amount of purple yarn (too little), and all visible areas requiring purple are purple, and in the end I was able to make the picot edging for the pockets in purple without shortening the edging afterall, even though I’d done that in my previous post. The only place where I had to do something different to make up for the shortage of purple was the insides of the pockets, which I made in brown, instead, using a bit of purple for the insides where it would be visible from the opening. By the way, I can’t let it go and just have to say that there’s some kind of irony in the fact that purple was the color I ran low on, since isn’t the only place in the bible that my name (Lydia) occurs is where it says she was a merchant of purple fabric? I don’t know why that seems ironic to me, but it does. I mean what are the chances in a biblically-titled pattern involving 8 colors that purple would be the one I’d have to scramble for? I’m just sayin’….

Picot Pockets

Pattern: Jacob’s Delight by Pip Hues from The Sweater Book by Amy Carroll (Copyright 1983)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needles: US 10/6.0 mm, US 9/5.5 mm, US 7/4.5 mm

While shooting pictures of the coat, the first bee of the season stopped by and tapped on my window. I was so happy to see her I had to take a picture of her, as well.

Close Shave

Jacob’s Delight is close to completion and it should be done this week. I had a close shave with Project Disaster Syndrome* when I faced the reality of not having enough purple. About halfway through the coat I started to get the funny feeling this might happen, but I kept telling myself all would be fine.  When I’d completed 80% of the coat things started looking really bleak on the purple supply and I began digging around all of the places where my yarn lives in hopes of finding a swatch or two of it.  After days of frantic searches and digging around the clutter at the bottom of two closets I miraculously came up with a swatch of purple weighing 1.2 ounces/34 grams (57 yards/52 meters) from a previous uncompleted project (the felted diaper bag I never made (6 years ago).  With the additional purple yarn, I was able to finish almost all of the areas of the coat needing purple, with the exception of the pocket edging and seaming; for the pockets, I had to make the picot edging more narrow and for the seaming I’ve found some other wool yarn in my stash with a purple hue.

The catastrophe I’ve managed to avert is the result of an error in the pattern, one of many, I’ve been discovering.  Although many of the errors have been rather small, this one, as any knitter would agree, is a big deal.  The pattern calls for 3 ounces (85 grams) of purple, and I had about 6 ounces (170 grams) on hand in my stash when I started the project, with one of the skeins weighing-in at its purchased weight of 4 ounces (113 grams), and therefore I thought I had more than a sufficient amount of that colorway.  As a I worked through the first half of the coat, taking-in just how much purple the garment is comprised of, I began to think 3 ounces sounded rather optimistic.  The odd thing is, in contrast the pattern calls for 8 ounces of the main color (gray), yet anyone looking at the coat can see the amount of gray is very little, whereas it can also be seen that purple is by far the dominant or main color of the coat, something that I kind of noticed but chose to follow the pattern as written in faith.  I guess I won’t know for sure how much gray is actually required until I finish the gray collar and gray hem.

*Project Disaster Syndrome (PDS) – A severe case of panic brought on by the situation of working on a project and progressing so far (having completed at least 50% of it) that there’s no going back, no ripping it all out, accompanied by thoughts of “I’m in too deep” and “I’ve spent too much time and/or money” racing through one’s head, but realizing that you’ve really, truly messed-up to either through one’s own idiocy or inaccuracies in the pattern, and that one may have to trash the whole project, at which point one big UGH! is uttered from one’s mouth, along with the requisite profanity of one’s choosing.