Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Knit At Perk: December 09, 2008



I tried to air out the smell of wet alpaca and cigarettes from my apartment before I set out to Perk. I also forgot where I put my camera battery after I charged it, probably under some pile of yarn or semi-organized stack of paper. So no pictures at Perk this month as we enter "The Gifting Season", doesn't that sound like a horror movie starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen?

"Because we live in an age of... what do you call it?" Lisa asked me in mid-sweater "Douche-bagness?" Anastasia, a print designer, is a new Knit PH member. She mentioned a cultural rift with her pier group and their burdened sense of entitlement. It might be for the fact that she's Russian and most of our white collar Americans are douche bags. "We live in an age of douche-baggery." I replied, and she nodded. I didn't even want to mention ass-hattery, which involves a life-time supply of anti-depressants and supporting your child's poetry hobby well into his late-30s. Anyhow, we're all working on Christmas gifts. Hooray.

Eliza, started her plum sweater over after realizing she was working on smaller needles at the Flatbush Stich n' Bitch in Midwood. A beautiful Cascade Tweed in deep plum — that's worth frogging and starting over. I worked on my moss green LOTR hooded scarf. It seems as if I've been working on this thing forever, ripping it out and re-writing the pattern, ripping it out again... etc. At one point this thing was just too heavy to wear. I re-did the top of the hood in a lighter-weight wool (Filtes King "Extra"), but kept the rest in Louet "Riverstone." It keeps getting bigger, but how long can I keep pushing this Sysiphus-size ball of yarn up a hill?

Naomi is also a new member, she lives in Greenpoint. She braved the G train to knit with us. She wrote me earlier about a Berroco sweater with confusing instructions. After reading the instructions for the left front panel we figured that the first two instructions didn't apply to her size. But the increase v. decrease instructions for the neck and arm went to hell! Eliza took a stab, she's made a few Berroco items. Then she rolled her eyes and shook her head, just as we both did. To add insult to injury, the instructions for the right panel read "mirror the left panel."

Epilogue: We all confirmed that the Berroco instructions are confusing but the sweater on the model looks simple.

Naomi performs in a traveling stage production called "Piaf, Love Conquers All." Piaf was a tricoteuse and a chanteuse. I asked if she knits as Piaf on stage. She said no, but there is a scene where she descends into madness and rips out a sweater. A frogging frog? So before each performance Naomi has to re-knit the same sweater — more like Penelope than Piaf.

Robin arrived at around 8:40 pm. On Tuesday nights she knits with her mother in Queens. I'm amazed she still had the energy after that. She took off her hat and revealed a new short afro. "What happened to your dreads?" I asked. She took out a hat in progress "Brother, I don't even wanna get into that." I reminded her that I still have all the cotton/silk yarn she gave me before she left for Micronesia two years ago.



Soon it was time to go. Eliza asked about my Eskimo Pie hat, I have the hat pattern written down somewhere, I just have to find out where I filed it. I made this Waffle Stitch swatch (below) with bulky Icelandic Lopi, "Cranberry". Can you imagine putting something this rough and itchy against your head? This probably explains why Bjork punched that reporter in the mouth at Don Maung Airport: She was too itchy.



I sent Eliza the pattern. I found instructions on a Japanese site that were so confusing that I thought it was "Knitting as a Second Language", KSL? I re-wrote the stitch pattern using the "row" system.

Waffle Stitch
(Multiple of 2+1) For swatch, cast on 25.

R1: (WS) Purl all.
R2: ∗K1, sl1 knitwise; repeat ∗ until last stitch, k1.
R3: ∗K1, move yarn to front, sl1 by inserting right needle through left side of st†, move yarn to back; repeat ∗ until last stitch, k1.
R4: Knit1, k1tbl, until last stitch, k1.
R5: Purl all.
Repeat R2 to R5.

Note: The slipped stitch is right-twisted twice, first on R3† and then again on R4.

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