Knitting Like A Sailor

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Experience is the name everyone gives their mistakes. ~O.Wilde

Ran across that quote today when I was researching the effects of Perestroika on the Russian public, and how it effected the economy, specifically artisans who made their living spinning and knitting. Special, innit?
That, basically, is what I have been doing since I last posted.
Oh, and writing the ever present formal lab reports for chemistry. Yee-Hawwwwwn.

I have managed to get in a bit of non-school reading, so far it's been:


  • Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans, Gladys Thompson
  • Big Book of Handspinning, Alden Amos
  • How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday, Michael Gelb

I'm quite enjoying all three. I'm a little surprised by the Thompson book, I had expected it to be more dry, an instruction book. It's not, it's more of a journal of her travels through the UK in her search for traditional family patterns, her talks with the owners/knitters of the patterns, and the patterns.

I didn't expect to like Alden Amos's book, I'd heard from just about everyone that I asked that he's overbearing, opinionated and somewhat biased in his beliefs. I can see where someone who was very sensitive might think that, but I am very much enjoying what he has to say. He seems to cover a topic broadly (like fiber prep, he gives the basics of the big four) and then in the next chapter comes back and fills it in. At first I found this a little confusing because he started the next chapter talking about something I thought he'd already covered, but once I stopped looking at it linearly, and started following along, listening to his "voice" as though it were a conversation (albeit one sided) it was much easier for me to read.

About the bias, well, he's telling us how he does things. He gives plenty of history, but ultimately the methods he describes are the methods that he personally has worked with and finds to be the most effective. I don't really see much of a difference in his presentation than other authors, Zimmermann, Stowe, Righetti, they're all opinionated too. Peter Teal's handcombing wool for worsted yarns, now there's a tart character. All in all, I'm enjoying the book and information enormously, and have a difficult time putting it down.

The Michael Gelb book. It's interesting. Very full of information about Da Vinci, so far I haven't gotten into it enough to know if it's a useful tome. I think it might be, but time will tell. I found it while I was looking for B-day and X-mas gifts for Kevin. I bought him two books on Da Vinci's notebooks. Fascinating stuff, he had plans for an accelerated flyer in there.

I have been knitting. I swatched this:

"this" being a 3ply, 14wpi yarn spun from a Romney X Montadale fleece. It's not quite that color, it's a little lighter, but I had to darken it up to cut down on the shine. Yup, those little white spots aren't lint, not variegation, it's pure gloss.

I also started the shawl for mysteryshawlalong2, I've finished the first chart. Here ya go-

I'm doing the shawl in Knitpicks dye your own lace weight. I dyed it shades of green from emerald to tourmaline to deep forest. Unfortunately the new to me camera I have didn't come with color as an option for the photo editing, so it's showing up blues to me. For the more astute readers, yes, I'm knitting it with two strands, I'm alternating them because I inadvertently put one skein on top of the other in the dye bath. As a result, they took up differently and do not match well. I don't want to put them through another bath, they've had two, and while the second one helped it some, it wasn't a lot. The strands started clinging to each other, calling at all hours just to say whatcha doing? I miss you...following each other around, sneaking behind their backs and reading the other strands emails...it was getting ugly, and since I don't want to encourage a felting obsession, they're done drinking dye liquor.

I might wet the shawl down when it's done, and pound a little dye into the too light spots. Maybe. Otherwise, I'm fine with it. It's not for me anyway. It's for my big sis, NC's reigning tae kwan do weapons champ in the woman's age 40-49 color belt class. I'm struggling to avoid the whole my sister can beat up your sister game.

(but you know she could! neener neener neener!)