Sunday, January 13, 2008

EZ rides again

Where did the weekend go? No, wait, don't answer that. I don't know that I want to know, because then I'd have to acknowledge all of the chances I had to actually get something done that I didn't take. Ah, well.

The concert was great fun last night. Lavay Smith has a gorgeous voice, in a sort of Ella Fitzgeraldish way. And her backup band was amazing, particularly the piano and trombone players, who pretty much blew me out of the water. And, better yet, the pub we went to for dinner before the concert was willing to make me a corned beef sandwich the way I really like it without laughing at me to my face, so all in all, it was a good night.

Other than that, it's been a quiet weekend. I had a lovely walk with my dear friend Kathleen yesterday morning, and then she and her son hung out with us for a couple of hours to eat lunch and relax. Today, the girls and I met up with another good friend and her two daughters to go see National Treasure (I have a secret love of ridiculous actions flicks of this sort), which was good fun. But that's about all that's happened.

Mostly I've been knitting. The body of the sweater was finished to the armpits on Friday, and as of today I have a second sleeve. As soon as I'm done posting, I'll be putting everything on to one needle, and the knitting of the yoke will commence. So, why the reference to our beloved EZ in the post title? I'll tell you.

I've been reading a lot of Elizabeth Zimmerman lately. While my parents were here, I dragged them to La Jolla, ostensibly to buy coffee (it's the closest Peet's), but really there was an ulterior motive, in the form of this yarn store, which carries a lovely selection of knitting books. I'd been wanting The Opinionated Knitter for ages and ages, and it seemed that the time had come to acquire it. While I was there, I saw, as I have in many places, The Knitter's Almanac. I've never bought it, in large part because I didn't think that I'd follow the plan to knit any of those things in any of those months. However, it is by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I do so enjoy reading her writing (it actually, in a nice bit of synchronicity, reminds me of Betchen Barber's writing a bit; very practical and down-to-earth, and imbued with a tremendous sense of wonder and adventure, even when regarding small things). So I got it. And I am loving it. While it is true that I don't know that I'll ever actually knit any particular thing in it, her writing is wonderful, and her explorations of knitting as a craft are an education in themselves.

And her idea for a handy use for hair elastics (which we call "ponies" in my house; you should see the look on people's faces when one of the girls runs up to me at soccer and asks, "Mama, can I have a pony?") is more than worth the price of admission. While camping, she came up with the lovely idea of using an elastic to put around her knitting when it's on three dpns, to keep the stitches from leaking off the edges of the needles. In knitting the first sleeve of my sweater, I had to switch to four dpns plus one to knit from, instead of my usual three plus one, simply because the stitches were starting to fall of the ends of the needles. With the second sleeve, however, I did this:
Will ya check that out? Pure genius, I tell you, pure genius. Nary an escaped stitch, and that's saying something, because not only were there a lot of stitches on those (sock-length) dpns by the end, but this alpaca is slippery as all get out. Stitches were positively leaping off of my Addis during the knitting of the body; I was considering the purchase of wood-tipped circulars to finish the sweater, but I will persevere. Nevertheless, this is an idea that's worth passing on. Thanks, Elizabeth!

I hope you've all had relaxing and knit-ful weekends. I will try very hard to do something more interesting before my next post. Wish me luck!


Bea said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend despite the fact that "stuff" didn't get done! Love EZ's idea for keeping stitches on the needles. And I love that you can say yes when your daughter's ask for a pony.

KnitNana said...

That's a cool idea! I've got Opinionated Knitter, but it's hard to find the time to read when I'd rather be knitting!

Stell said...

all in all a great weekend, and nice idea, I've never spotted that one in the EZ books, but we all see different things when we read right?

Alwen said...

When I re-read EZ's books, I find myself thinking, "Man, I wish I could read her blog!" I'll bet it would have been great.

Marianne said...

I LOVE reading Elizabeth's books! and they're similar to Betchen's syle of writing,eh? hmmmmm. That in itself is a great recommendation. I have all of them except 'Knitting Around', it's next on my 'to get' :^)

Your evening out sounds delightful, as did your whole weekend!
Looking forward to seeing the sweater!
You never, ever disappoint me with your posts.

Anonymous said...

I love reading EZ. When I re-read, I often come across a thought or a tip relevant to what I'm working on (or thinking of working on).

What a lovely adult night!

(I'm giving up on my blogger sign-in)


Willow said...

I've checked out EZ's books from the library but don't own any yet. What happens is I look at all the photos, drool over the sweaters, then have to get the book back to the libs. Hmmm, I have a birthday coming up. I recently did a book review of one of her daughter's books (Meg Swanson). Have you read any of Meg's books?