The Tsuspense Is Killing Me

First, some follow-up to yesterday’s post. Which begins, of course, with - thank you for all the nice comments!

And some comments in response to some of said comments.

Phil the Badger brought me up with a round turn, rightly pointing out that I am OUT in my Pretenders. Not for the first time, I might add; I’m afraid I find it all too easy to get confused where Pretenders are in question (and don’t even get me started about the Russian ones!). Not that the latter period and aftermath of the Wars of the Roses weren’t rife with famous pretenders, mostly claiming to have been survivors of the Princes in the Tower business - Perkin Warbeck most notable among them. But whatever their respective ages they were not the ones known as the Young Pretender and the Old Pretender - those two came along a good bit later, under the Stuarts. Thanks for setting me straight, Badger. Somebody has to keep me honest.

Alwen asked about the crenellated edge - whether it was knitted-on. Indeed it is. I got the idea, sorta-kinda, from - well, I’m never sure exactly where the actual ideas originate, but the execution is loosely based on Turreted Edging, as seen in Barbara G. Walker # II.

Faith asks why four petals instead of the conventional five, kindly remarking that I always have a good reason for everything. So I do, though not always a clever artistic one, alas. In this case it was largely a matter of expediency. Let me put it this way: eight stitches to the inch. At this gauge and size I simply wasn’t able to come up with a five-petaled version that satisfied me. The resolution just isn’t high enough to compensate for the aspect ratio. I did try swatching it on smaller needles, but at one more stitch per inch that still wasn’t enough to make a difference; especially since I knew that not all the club members were happy about the idea of doing another sock on #0s. So I did a little poking around, and discovered rather to my relief that there is some precedent for four petals, especially in needlework. You see it sometimes in quilts, for instance. Granted the patterns I’m thinking of are more generally associated with Lancaster, PA than the original Lancaster - still and all, one was named after the other, right? and it isn’t a coincidence at all. And besides, the four-petal version works… so in the final analysis it’s a reach I was comfortable making.

Wouldn’t I just love to do a proper five-petal version some day, though. On teeny-tiny needles, at an invisible gauge. Uh-huh. In case you’re wondering, yes, I am crazy enough to do it. But I’m not sadistic enough to inflict it on customers.

In other news, I am now out of the most urgent phase of Pattern Purdah, having finished and sent off the last of the items that need to be printed up for the next club kit mailing; to wit, Tsuspense Project Part II.

That done, here as promised is a little more - a very little more - detail about Tsuspense Project Part I.

It went out in the mail a few weeks ago, and this is what it looked like:

Tsuspense Package I

As you can see, the directions are somewhat exiguous - two pages consisting mostly of “You’ll see” and ending with “Await further instructions.”

Now that I’ve written “Await further instructions” at the end of Part II, I trust it’s reasonable to show you what Part I actually looks like knitted up:

Tsuspense Project, Part I

That’s a side view, so you can see the patterning as far as it goes. And yes, the image is heavily Photoshopped to suppress all spoiling of subsequent Parts.

What is it? Some people have knitted two of it, whatever it is, because there is enough yarn. There are those who assume it’s a sock toe. There have also been suggestions that it might be the cup of a bra. My favorite theory so far (hmmmm, I don’t remember - did I come up with this one myself? maybe) is that it is a Kitteh Yarmulkeh - though so far nobody has succeeded in persuading a cat to wear it as such.

Whatever it is, there are now a bunch of them threaded off on waste yarn all over the world, awaiting the continuation in Part II.

Selected excerpts from the Notes to Part II:

I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most impractical projects I’ve ever designed - impractical, that is, in the sense of being awkward to work. And I have to admit that putting it into the Tsuspense format will tend to exacerbate that; I’m counting on you to play along and bear with the weirdness for the sheer fun of it. Unless, like me, you are absolutely made of spare sock needles, I’m afraid you’ll be doing a lot of juggling to and from stitch holders in the course of this project. Waste Yarn Is Your Friend. Some of this juggling may appear arbitrary at first blush; I assure you, however, that every crazy move this pattern calls for is made for a reason. The colors, the shapes, the textures, the changes of direction (yes, that’s a clue, of sorts) - every element of this design has a meaning and a purpose, and the sum of the parts does add up to a distinct and specific whole.

[I give you] fair warning: of all the instalments, Part II is the most ungainly, the most convoluted, the one whose execution most strongly resembles the herding of cats. You will wish you had at least three extra hands; I only wish I could include them in the kit for you.

So… still looking forward to it, are we, hmmmmmmm?

diabolical cackle

9 Responses to “The Tsuspense Is Killing Me”

  1. Mardi Says:

    I can’t decide if I’m glad or sorry not to be in the Flock this year.

  2. sharon Says:

    Tsock 2 has slayed me for the second time. I knit it up once with 64. Then with 68 (to the heel turn) and it is once again two delightful pull balls of yarn (almost became gloves, but couldn’t see wearing the lace. So just a question. I have the regular size ball of yarn. I need to knit the pattern with 72 stitches in order to fit my fat foot, but it is only a size 6.5 ladies. Will I run out of yarn?
    HELP eth me with this (have not quite cast on for the tsuspense HEEL (not looking like a toe to me….)

  3. Linda Says:

    I loves me some good mystery. Bring it on! :-)

  4. COlleen Says:

    This one sounds FUN!!!!!

    Thank you…I like nonsense!!!!


  5. RobinH Says:

    Hmm, very intriguing! But whatever is wrong with knitting socks on size #0s? *contemplates current sock- 100 stitches on size 0 at 11 sts/inch…* (Okay, okay, they do take a while! But such lovely fine dense fabric it makes.)

  6. Diane (aka dmcubed) Says:

    Yes, I am still looking forward to it. Actually, I’m now looking forward to it more than before. Perhaps masochistically?? I’ve never done a secret project (where you don’t know what the heck you’re knitting until you’re done), and I’m really happy to be doing this one!

    So, yeah, like Linda said: Bring it on!!

  7. Melissa Says:

    Tsigh….If only I could get past my “What should I do here” point on last year’s Turandot kit….Then I could finish sock #1, make sock #2, and try to catch up with the piled up tsock kits (Cookie’s Garden, 9 Tailors, Roxie, Firebird, Frenchman’s Creek, Imbas, Oktoberfest, Fiber Festival). I *have*, however, knitted the first installment of the Tsuspense project. It’s sitting on its needles and waiting for the next part.

    So, what’s my Turandot issue? Well….I have finished the Double Happiness and dragon’s head. Now it’s time for pagodas. But….I have an uneven number of stitches in the DH panel and can’t figure out how best to line them up under the pagoda and still have the bamboo stitch repeat work out correctly. Quite the conundrum. Having stared at the tsock for too long, I put it in Time Out, where it’s been (monopolizing two 24″ size 1 tsircs, no less) for months now. I really must (after sewing a tsweater tsleeve and tside tseam and possibly finishing a mindless but pretty tsock in Claudia Handpaint) dig out and re-analyze the Turandot. I refuse to start another Tsock kit until tsolving the Conundrum (not that I haven’t knitted tseveral pairs of small-ts-tsocks in the interim). Le tsigh.

  8. Mistress Wenzer Says:

    ‘K, I’m going to have to see if I can actually get my kittehs to pose with their yarmulkehs (yarmulkim?). Maybe if I nab them during their naps.

  9. MistressWenzer Says:

    OK, I do have a kitteh yarmulke picture (could only get one cat to behave) on my blog…

Leave a Reply