Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Knitting, worrying, knitting.

Oh for a Newfoundland to pull my children from the deep,
Oh for a Border Collie to from harm them all four keep.

That, sung to the tune of "O For a Thousand Tongues," was running through my head today while we were at Natural Bridges State Beach. Northern California beaches apparently are nothing like the tame beaches I grew up with down south. I don't remember signs saying things like "Intermittent waves of unusual size and strength . . . Wading and swimming dangerous." Actual quote from the brochure: "Hazrdous rip currents and large waves that can appear out of nowhere and sweep the unsuspecting visitor out to sea. . . extremely dangerous . . . never turn your back to the waves." Eric says it's because of the litigious environment that America has become, and I'm sure that plays a part. Every year, though, there's at least one headline in the paper about some poor soul who was pretty much just standing there when a wave came along and snatched them from the shore. Ever since last summer's close-but-it-all-turned-out-okay water incident, I worry when we swim.

I don't really want a big, hairy, drooling dog. I just want to rent one around water.

I even got a teeny bit of knitting done, but none on the brown sweater. Contributing to my lack of knitting were not only the big, adventurous kids but also Thing 4, who was gung ho on sand ingestion. This little project uses two techniques that I've only done theoretically until now. The first one was the cause of an actual "aha" moment last night. I give you tubular edging:

You just take your odd number of stitches, k1, sl1 purwise with yarn forward, k1, all the way to the end. Next row, you do the opposite -- slip first, then knit. Well, when I started trying it, those little purl bars that you can see really bothered me. I kept pulling out the stitches (must rip, apparently, no matter what the project) and trying again.

I finally went to bed in disgust with my lack of knitting prowess. As I was lying there with my elaborate pillow system employed, it struck me: Those purl bumps are really (really) the bit of yarn in between any two stitches. It's just that, in this case, the stitches are every other stitch, because the slipped stitches become the other side of the tube. Elegant in its simplicity. I suppose this is how Mrs. Whatshername in War and Peace knit two stockings at once to amuse her children, sort of. At any rate, it makes a truly nice flat bit of hollow knitting -- edging, or in this case, strap. It is going slowly, though.

As the light became ever more blue as Mr. Sun went down, I focused on this:

Picot edging formed with a yarn over followed by a k2tog. Yarn overs are apparently going to keep showing up! I like the effect, although the color on the picture is distorted. I hope when it's washed and blocked the "fat" look will be muted a little bit. I can hardly wait, because this little confection is so scrumptious it almost makes my fillings hurt.

Anyhow, fun stuff to liven up my knitting life. Tomorrow at the lake I'll get a lot more done.

If I either get a Newfie for the day or coax the middle two into life jackets. Otherwise it's going to be a full day of hovering.


sewingsuzee said...

No waves at the lake - yay!

Please show me the tubular edging...I get the pattern, but not the effect.

Glad you all got home safe and sound from the far away adventure!

Rain said...

That type of knitting does take forever, but is worth it in the end. The picot should settle once it's washed.

amy said...

what is it??? This is meant to be a surprise reveal at some point? Goodie!