The observant among you may have noticed that I have a slight tendency toward absent-minded-professor-dom - i.e. that I
frequently occasionally experience a tremendous little life-and-death struggle difficulty keeping up with the minutiae of daily life. The really crucial stuff does get done, somehow. I do get the dog walked and the animals fed; I haven’t so far missed enough major meals myself to make a real difference; my somewhat haphazard bill-paying and record-keeping habits haven’t yet resulted in my losing the house to foreclosure or dilapidation; and everything else gets squozen in somehow between swatches whenever I manage to remember that there is a world around me.
One of the more embarrassing outward manifestations of this
syndrome pathology lifestyle is what The BoyTM refers to as Floor Soup. Floor Soup is what happens when you have a big solid front door with a mail slot, a large front hall, and a tendency to lose track of what’s right in front of your nose until it becomes part of the landscape. Floor Soup is the mountain that accumulates if you resist becoming a daily slave to your junk mail. (Yes, that’s it - I’m not lazy and slovenly and undisciplined, I’m a noble freedom fighter against the oppression of unsolicited correspondence cheers cheers cheers! Um, yeah, right.) It doesn’t start as a mountain, of course. It is remarkably easy to ignore at first because the opening of the door shoves it out of the way. When it becomes an actual impediment to the movement of the door - well, that is when you wake up and remind yourself that it is neither nice nor normal and that if you don’t want to end up going the way of the Collyer brothers it is time to face the music and sort through the stuff and haul it away.
Hauling is what it takes, too. I bet that the money that could be saved by not sending junk mail to my house for a week would be enough to power and feed a small country for a year.
I don’t mind the hauling half as much as the sorting, though. THAT, I resent. It offends me that so much of my time and attention should be committed to this litany:
Catalogue - chuck. Catalogue - keep. Catalogue - chuck. Catalogue - chuck. Catalogue - chuck. Catalogue - chuck. Solicitation - chuck. Solicitation - chuck. Solicitation - chuck. Solicitation - chuck. Solicitation - chuck. Ad - chuck. Ad - chuck. Ad - chuck. Ad - chuck. Authors Guild Quarterly - keep. Opera News - keep. (Though when I’ll actually get around to reading either… well, never mind that.) Sports Illustrated - chuck (unless there’s a big guy on the cover with shoulder-pads and a helmet). Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Keep. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Pay. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Read and chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. Chuck….
But you gotta do it, not just for the bills (I deal with most of those on-line anyway, though I still cling to paper copies for corroboration, and if they do contribute to the problem I can assure you that their contribution is as the widow’s mite compared to the other stuff), but because every once in a blue moon there is actually a letter sandwiched in amongst the unbelievable masses of cheap newsprint and glossy advertisements - a ha’penn’orth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack - a Real Letter from a Real Person, addressed for Real Reasons to the Real Person that is me.
Thus it is that when I bragged the other day about my latest yarnanza (packages, of course, are in a whole different class) I did not realize that at about the same time I had received another very exciting item in the mail. It wasn’t until I steeled myself for Floor Soup duty yesterday that I discovered a modest little Real envelope containing this latest manifestation of the Power of the Internet Tubes.
I should have known it would be there. A little over a week ago I’d received an e-mail from reader LillianG. She had been going through back entries of the blog. She had a question about Rovaniemi technique; she also had a cluster of my favorite split-ring markers lying fallow, which markers she offered to send me.
O Brave New World!
I answered the question to the best of my ability; I offered to buy the markers. Of course you know what happened next. Lillian just up and sent them to me. How nice is THAT?
Many, many thanks, Lillian. You know I will put them to good use! and I hope you understand why I didn’t acknowledge them sooner….
Swatching the Car-Cozy
I promised you swatches; swatches you shall have.
Here’s how the Car-Cozy Yarn knits up:
These two look identical - but they’re not.
Same number of stitches. Same number of rows. Same needle. Same gauge.
One is a stockinette gauge swatch. The other is a felting swatch.
Felts up a treat - a solid compact fabric with with a nice little fuzzy halo. This is the product of one cycle through the machine followed by a little vigorous hand-fulling. I think there may be a touch more shrinkage to be achieved here, but already we’re looking at a ratio of about 1.42:1 lateral, 1.35:1 vertical.
(Hey, wait a sec - isn’t that unusual? Don’t you usually get slightly more vertical than lateral shrinkage? Or has my brain twiddled it again? I’m too lazy to go back to my notes right now. Either it is or it ain’t.)
Want to do another set of felting swatches on bigger needles. These were done on my usual sock needles, US #1s (2.5mm), but to get a real sense of how the stuff felts I’m going to knit it up with a lot more air. Maybe a #7 or so, I figure. It’s a slightly finer yarn than I originally used for Swan Lake, but felting’s funny that way - you never know, it might actually work for that. It would certainly be very good for haberdashery projects like the Smoking Cap, if you wanted a fabric with a slightly velvety feel. (You do.)
And here’s how it knits up in the twist-stitch version of Kent Treble Bob Major:
Same gauge as Flock Sock, of course - I’d be surprised if it weren’t, because (except for the superwash factor) it’s the same fiber blend and the same spin at the same weight/yardage ratio.
As I said before, it doesn’t have the sheen of Flock Sock. Or the fabulous soft suppleness; the fabric it makes has a subtly more solid quality. Tsock yarn it ain’t - not by my tstandards. But for a tsweater… I’m liking it plenty. The stitch definition is still excellent. And the texture that I wouldn’t want in a sock becomes desirable rather than otherwise for a jacket/cardigan. I’m not planning to felt the piece, but I do want it to have a little of the feel, and some of the structural qualities, of a “boiled-wool” jacket - and I do want to steek it. (Not that I mind purling - much - but working all those twisted stitches on the wrong side could get old pretty quickly.) I adore the sock yarn; seduced by the way it swatched up I was fully intending to use it for this project. But in those respects it wouldn’t have given me what I was looking for; this fortuitous yarn will. Who knoo?
Life really is what happens while you are making other plans, isn’t it. A good thing, too, sometimes.