The news out of Victoria today is horrifying. I've been worrying over every Aussie I know for three days now, and will continue to do so. I know the fires are supposedly dying back, but there's still the aftermath to deal with. Damn. My thoughts are with all of you, even those in other parts of Australia who have to watch the news and worry over distant family and friends-of-friends.
We get firestorms here in the US, in southern California, but I don't think they move as fast, from the sounds of it. They're also driven by hot winds and made worse by drought. We used to get a mild version of them in Hawaii, and watching those out the window (a mere camp fire in comparison), was bad enough.
Anyway, I'm thinking of you guys.
In knitting knews, such as it is, I fear I will not be making the Feb. 20th Twist Collective deadline. But I'm designing something that may well be suitable for their winter or even spring issues, so I'm keeping at it and am actually very excited about the project. In fact, the project has spawned another idea. Heaven help me.
For years people have told me I should write a knitting book, and for years, I've said that if I could think of a knitting book that hasn't been written yet, I'll write it. And hello, while working on one of about fifty lace swatches, it hit me. Nobody's written much of anything about designing lace patterns, or how lace WORKS. Yeah, there're a couple, but I've got them and they aren't that useful once you dig into the elaborate stuff. And the only book that really explains HOW knitted lace works is out of print ("Knitting Lace" by Susanna E. Lewis. Yes, I own a copy. No, Alwen, you may not have it). Even that book, while excellent, doesn't get into design too much, though it is the best I've seen at how the structure works.
So. It's an idea. I've even cooked up a new method of swatching for lace (well, a new method of 'doing the math' with the information you GET from the swatches), so if it works, I may be on to something.
In the mean time, I'm working on a doily-knitting article for Knitty. That'd put the information in the hands of most of the people who'd want it.
While thinking of all this, I actually couldn't face knitting laceweight yarn any more. Three months on the shawl for Christmas, then immediately turning around and spending a month and a week knitting the Faux Russian Scarf (it's done, by the way; I need to take photos), and, well, fifty-hundred lace swatches and a sample, I just ran out of steam. Instead, I cast on some super-bulky (yes, you read that right), and am working on a poncho for the Goober. She needs something light to put over tee shirts on spring days, and a poncho would fit her for more than one spring, unlike the jackets we keep buying every time we turn around. I'm using stash (and hand-spun stash), so it kind of counts for the "Finishing" deal. And more than that, the Goob's all excited. She's calling it the "Blueberry Puff", and I may well name the pattern that. The pattern will be available for free, one size fits most, with a collar and neck opening for kids with big heads (like mine).
It appears I am more of a pack rat than I realized. (Gee. There's a big shock. I bet you're all swooning.) I keep finding yarn in odd corners and pokey places (often behind books, go figure), and inevitably, those motherfucking carpet beetles have been into it. I've pitched about ten skeins of yarn in the last month or so. But I've found something interesting, that may be useful to those of you with carpet beetle (or other bug) worries of your own:
Moth-proofed appears to also be beetle-proofed. Wool yarns I know to be moth-proofed (such as anything from Brown Sheep), are untouched.
Superwash also appears to turn their stomachs. It's possible that because of the extra processing required for superwash, the yarn manufacturer just sort of throws in moth-proofing, but you'd think they would mention it on the label as a selling point. But balls of yarn that ARE superwash that are NOT marked moth-proof, have also been untouched.
My hand-dyes also are mostly untouched. It appears to have to do with the vinegar smell; on yarns I know I practically pickled, the beetles haven't touched them. Hand-spun yarn I dyed in the wool seems to be especially distasteful to them.
And of course, they still hate the lavender. No damage done to anything in the Yarn Closet.
Anyone know how to torture carpet beetles? Stomping them just doesn't seem good enough. Anyone?