Saturday, April 09, 2005


Overdue Thanks!
Last week I received many wonderful gifts, some of them completely unexpected. My lovely friend Polly read my enquiry on the Rowan forum, about knitting this design, Martha from the latest Rowan, in Botany (a wool 4-ply Rowan yarn, discontinued) instead than using the yarn the pattern calls for, Rowan Cotton 4-ply.

And promptly decided to send me in the mail this instead:

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The perfect yarn in the perfect (discontinued) shade! I was speechless for a few minutes when I opened the package and read the card, which says more or less: Martha is a summery knit, I have just the right yarn and now it’s yours!
Polly rocks!

My next rock star is my mother: her package for S. Benedetto arrived late, but was well worth the wait: in amidst scrumptious humongous chocolate eggs, toys for the children, Moon Boots for me for next winter (in case it snows again, you know), and many other things, there were these:

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Six, I mean six, needlepoint cushion covers, designed, I believe, by Kaffe Fassett. I bought all the kits, when I was in Scotland and had a fling with needlework, but then returned full time to knitting, so my mother inherited them and made them all…..for me! My mind boggles at the thought of how many hours of work are in these cushions. I love them beyond words.
I will need to go and buy a new couch just for them. And I love my mother, not just because of her wonderful gifts, but because SHE is wonderful! GRAZIE, MAMMA!

What would Ben do?
I felt extremely flattered that Wendy, Elisa and Maryse thought I was of some help in their knitting quandaries. However, today Ben would just bang her head against the wall repeatedly:
maybe you remember Kiri, the blue sweater with the pretty neck ruffle. Maybe I have told you what size I was making it, but just in case I did not, I was following the directions for a medium size, bust of 91 cm. Which usually works for me without any adjustment. What I neglected to do was to check on the schematics what the finished size of the garment was supposed to be. So I went along happily, blocked it, join the shoulders, knit the neck ruffles, all the way thinking: this looks too big, but ignoring myself. Then I joined a sleeve cap, finally draped on me and, believe me ('cause I do not have the heart of taking a picture) Kiri is HUGE! It would easily fit a much bigger woman than me.

Of course, I blamed myself and my lazy attitude: why did I not check gauge and row gauge and measured as I went along and all that stuff. But you know what: even if I had bothered, it would not have changed a thing, because my finished pieces, I discovered, are EXACTLY the measurements of the final garment in the pattern. What I want to know is this:
Why for a bust measurement of 91 cm, front and back are designed to measure 60 cm each? eh? Why?

Ben does not not what to do with Kiri, she is still too mad.

Revolting against Stocking Stitch
Last Tuesday, I suddenly found myselg grabbing a sock book I have not looked at for 2 years, grab some yarn from a basket, some DPNS from another basket, and casting on for this:

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Mizar, in Shetland wool, two strands together.
Admittedly, one of the most difficult patterns in the book (according to Zilboorg herself), one that I have to pay attention to, and I do not even like knitting socks that much. But you know, one can take only so many weeks of plain stocking stitch in one’s life. Since January, stocking stitch has dominated my knitting, because it’s the only thing I can knit while reading/studying. Tuesday my knitting boredom threshold snapped.

Now I feel refreshed (although not enough to face reknitting Kiri).


Anonymous Kay said...

Poor Ben! Sorry about Kiri, but those AMAZING cushions, those HEIRLOOM cushions, should be a great comfort!

love, Kay

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

I feel your Kiri pain !
Beautiful cushions.Fab new yarn !

5:14 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Oh dear poor you, I'm really sorry about Kiri. Lovely Polly must have cheered you up though and wow, those cushions. Maybe you could give Kiri as a present to someone special?

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Is that my colour - 123? Or the more blue-y green that was discontinued the same season? I think we are knitting soulmates, Ben.
There's a picture of Brandon Mabley's sister wearing Kiri in the book and it looks huge on her, but in a dramatic, drapy kind of way - perhaps you could take inspiration ? Can't imagine how they got it to look so close fitting on the model. Pegs?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

oh, I know that sizing problem - you have my sympathies ! Gorgeous cushions though - did you know she was doing them for you or was it a surprise ?

3:54 PM  
Blogger mf said...

OT OH!@! I need to watch that myself when I do my ruffled sweater.. So sorry Ben! It must've of beena great surprise to recive th epackages you did, I bet they couldnt have come a t a better time for yoU! ;o))) love the color yarn and what a sweet mom!

btw how's those socks coming along?

7:25 AM  

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