Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Knots of work

I’ve been busy, swatching, knitting, planning - throw in a bit of pattern writing and some editing. I have a couple of finished projects for the next K’words, a couple of WIP’s (work in progress) and a few ‘waiting for the right yarn to come in’ plans. Every once in a while, I have to put it all aside and do something just for fun or just to get an idea out of my head.
I’m going to the TNNA show this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. It is a trade show for hand knitting and I’m just going for a look-see, no work. It should be a treat! Some of my garments will be there - Knitcraft is having a booth with knitting machines - primarily the LK150 because it should have the best appeal for hand knitters - and they asked me for some things for their display. Anyway, since I sent my best things for the show and it will be June in the midwest ( heat, humidity, hand knits), I was thinking what would I wear? Although I’m not really a scarf person, I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for a while and decided it was time to give it a go. My vision had several colours - olivey greens and burgundy purples - and light and airy...so yesterday, I knit 6000 rows... let me explain!
My plan, such as it was, was to knit a bunch of slip-cords with the mid gauge, in the different colours and then somehow knot or tie them together in a latticework. After making a couple of sketches, I decided 6 cords would do the trick.
2:30 pm. Figuring that I wanted the finished thing to be about 2 metres long, so that it could be looped loosely around neck/shoulders and still hang down in front or back, I knit the first cord, using a DK weight silk/wool with a lovely sheen, on the LK150, 4 sts X 1000 rows. Because I still had plenty of yarn left from that skein, I made a second one, same. I was knitting so fast, it was kinda noisy and I began feeling sorry for my little ‘plastic’ machine, felt I was abusing it...so thought maybe I’d try the next one - a beautiful matte-finish grape linen - on the SK860 (metal bed mid gauge). Duh? what was I thinking?? not much, obviously...it was much easier to do on the LK - the carriage is smaller, so you don’t have to move it as far to clear the working needles each row and it is lighter to push than the heavy-duty 860. I had to stop halfway and go do something else for a while for a rest. Back to the LK, with my other yarns, a fingering-weight avocado alpaca, doubled so it would be equal value of the others - a burgundy cotton/wool chenille, and finally Seawool, a hand-dyed wool and seacell sock yarn from Fleece Artists in shades of amethyst.
I had all six cords done by 5:30, so I watched/listened to ‘Jeopardy’ and played around with the cords, experimenting with knots, figuring that I could mull it over for a few days before deciding what to do. Now, the cords are 6 feet long. The first knot is easy, right...but then what the heck do you do??? a flash from the past! I think I had a vision of my mother doing macramé back in the 70’s. I took the cords down to my cutting table and pinned the ends 3 inches apart. I could use the grid on the table to space the knots and try to keep things relatively even. I made my first row of knots - square knots (I know that’s what they are because it was on ‘Jeopardy’ last week and my answer, ‘granny knot’ was wrong) and working from that end, it was easy. The next set of knots would mean pulling the remainder of the 6 feet through each time. Again, thoughts of Mom saved me. I vaguely recalled her looping up her cords and keeping them bundled with elastic bands - it was fun and I was compelled to finish! By 6:30, my back a little sore from stretching, it was done and I felt relieved. Now I could get back to real K’words work.
So, if you see me at TNNA, and wonder, what the heck is she wearing...
email me for the recipe!

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