Friday, September 7, 2007


I started another pair of socks last night. (I feel like I should belong to some support group, y'know "My name is Jocelyn, and I just can't stop knitting socks.") They're Miriam Felton's Boudica socks; the pattern comes as part of a kit from Wooly Wonka Fibers, and while I tend to prefer to buy yarn myself rather than taking what comes with a kit, I'm really very happy with this yarn. It's very springy, which I like, and quite fine. I'm knitting these on size 0 dpns, which I haven't used for a whole pair of socks before. In fact, I'm considering getting two size 0 circulars and giving the knitting socks on circulars thing a try. Opinions out there? I've been a committed dpn user before this (so committed, in fact, that I demanded -- in the most civilized possible way -- a pair of bronze Celtic Swan dpns for Christmas, and I love them; I will make insane adjustments to be able to knit a pair of socks on size 1 needles just so I can use them). Anyway, I got through the toe, and am now setting up for the side cable. Progress looks small, but toe-up socks are not my thing, and the starting was a bit rough. In fact, I fudged a bit and used an Eastern cast-on instead of a provisional cast-on, which I'd never done before, and which I didn't feel like dealing with.
The sock is being modelled by my seed pot from New Mexico. It's a very small one, but the essence of the seed pot is to build a pot with only a very tiny hole at the top to put seeds or beans into for the next year's planting. Then mice and other scavengy beasts can't get in, and when you want your seeds for next year, you can break the pot and get them out, all safe and sound. There is something that impresses me immensely about small daily evidences of human ingenuity, of the many ways that people have found to deal with their environments, and when I saw this pot (it's my favorite blackware, too), I just had to have it. I've filled it with beans, and rattle it when I need to feel soothed. I guess it really goes with socks, no? Small evidences of human ingenuity.

Last night, my latest exciting, nerve-wracking purchase arrived in the mail:
Yarn for the Kauni sweater (you can download the pattern for free in English). I got the yarn from Astrid's Dutch obsessions. It's here at work with me. This is not because I need to carry it everywhere with me (but look at those colors!), but because this yarn carpooled with the yarn for a friend who is also going to knit Kauni. Between us, we saved on shipping from Holland, and got seven skeins instead of four each (which is more than one needs for the sweater; you really need three and a half). She and I just spent a pleasurable half hour splitting one ball and seeing which colors we wanted to start with. They're all the same, but the colors start in different places in each ball. I'm planning to knit this as a v-neck pullover, rather than as a cardigan. We'll see how this all goes; the pattern is very Zimmerman-esque in that it assumes a great deal of knowledge on the part of the knitter (none of this step-by-step handholding), and I mostly feel like I am not a very knowledgeable knitter. In order to encourage self-discipline, I've promised myself that I can go get the needles for it if and only if I get through two piles of grading. Oy.


Anne said...

What an exciting delivery -- I wish I had the nerve to take on a Kauni sweater, but I just can't see it right now. Maybe next semester. I need to catch finish-itis in a big way, and in the meantime I plan to live vicariously through YOUR Kauni knitting experience.

Thanks for your comments, too; my older daughter LOVED A Wrinkle in Time and I'm hoping that when she's over her heavy-duty fantasy phase (Pullman, Jones, Hunter) she'll read some of the others. Among my favorites: the Crosswicks journals, the Young Unicorns, and The Small Rain. I was lucky enough to hear L'Engle speak at Smith once and that was really an amazing event. You are right that 88 is a good span, but I'm still sad, and couldn't bring myself to write more today as I was too close to tears.

Anne said...

More from me! Yes, to nearly all of the Susan Cooper oeuvre (The Boggart is a huge favorite and The Dark is Rising series too)... not yet to Anne McCaffrey. We'll look for them in the library.

I have always wanted to meet Ursula LeGuin! A couple of years ago a number of my colleagues and I went on an Earthsea binge and read them all through again. It was fun and felt vaguely illicit, as it had nothing to do with anything we were SUPPOSED to be doing...