Thursday, July 30, 2015

Piries, Not Peeries

I'm travelling at the moment. As a result, I missed the conclusion of the Tour de Fleece and also blogging time is scarce. There are compensations, though. Here's my current view.


Which occasionally is obstructed.

View obstructed

It may be a little hard to tell from these photos, but ordinarily the view would not be quite so misty – the normally placid South Shore surf was unusually rough for July. Inexperienced beach-goers on sheltered beaches were knocked down, and even experienced swimmers got into trouble in the rougher spots. The old adage is so true: Never turn your back on the sea.

Meanwhile, my landlady keeps giving me mangoes. Perhaps appropriate for a knitter, they're golden Pirie mangoes rather than the more usual purple-green-skinned Haden mangoes.

Pirie mangoes

Although I'm working on yet another pair of socks, alas, I have no Peeries to show off. That will have to wait until I get back to Casa Jersey Knitter.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lamentation Rules

Lamentation rules at casa Jersey Knitter. As of Bastille Day last Wednesday this was the sum total of my TdF spinning. The usual causes apply: too much traveling, not enough down time – a situation unlikely to be remedied for a while yet. Earlier this year I had my hopes up, but no. If anything, prospects are rather sadder than happier. ::Le sigh.::

TdF spinning as of Bastille Day

Consistent with my indecision (huh?) about what to spin, I kept changing my mind about how to spin the singles, even over this pitiably short length. Laceweight? Fingering?? Sportweight for weaving??? When I saw the Knitty surprise I briefly thought it should be fine laceweight for a fiery version of Ridge and Furrow shawl by Jenn Monahan, which would be fabulous. And it would be fun to spindle-spin 850 yards (777 m) of cobweb singles, oui? But, during times of lamentation, iron discipline applies – that's the rules. So, Imma gonna try to stay the course with sportweight for weaving.

Meanwhile, I finally finished my carbon footprint Juta's Stockings by Nancy Bush... then was utterly unable to take a decent pic of the FO, even with the aid of bright July light. This rather indistinct image is my best effort so far out of many. The socks are slightly different sizes because my gauge changes when I'm stressed. I've decided not to stress about it. The modeled shot will have to wait until cooler weather.

Juta's Stockings FO

Realization dawned that I never documented the FO for The Stroop Stroop Socks by Ros Clarke, a Sock Madness 9 pattern knit and completed for April Sockdown. I love the clever motifs – the sock is sprinkled with round ribbed and barred stroopwafels of varying sizes. Alas, my poor digicam is flummoxed by the tigerish yarn and cannot display the gentle beauty of the stitch pattern effectively.

The Stroop Stroop Socks

This hot day that's about all I can manage. More later, in the meantime, Allons-y!

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Amid the patriotic festivities yesterday I found myself distracted by a head-spinning existential Tour de Fleece quandry.TourdeFleece What to spin?

Back in May I thought I'd try ply on the fly using an MDS&W 2015 fairing, a braid of Into the Whirled Falkland with the suggestive colorway name Rhinebeck. It's somewhat similar to ITW colorway Royal Platypus (purchased at Rhinebeck 2009, spun for TdF 2010, and knit up for Sock Madness 2011). I thought it would be interesting to compare the finished yarns. It's a worthy goal but somehow the enterprise no longer appeals.

Into the Whirled Falkland, colorway Rhinebeck

Then I thought about various braids that for various good reasons are only part-finished. There's ::cough:: a fair number. Finishing them (or at least one) this summer would be a good thing. Yet what beckoned was these braids of Cloverleaf Farms Merino, colorway Chili Peppers.

Cloverleaf Farms Merino, colorway Chili Peppers

These fiery beauties were a 2014 MDS&W fairing. I dimly recollect I was going to spin them for competition, then spun and won with Gale's Art undyed BFL instead. This time I plan to spin to weave, then to sew a minimally tailored SAORI-style vest... not without some trepidation. A lot of handspun, handwoven textiles look like they have the weight and drape of cowhide, and I'm hoping for something rather lighter and more supple. So, goal the first will be to finish the spinning during TdF; goal the next will be to evaluate the finished woven fabric. Allons-y!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dec Page

It's the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the U.S., which means among other things somehow the entire month of June got away from me, including my 10th blogoversary. Welp, I can't do anything substantive about that just now, but I'll give it a go a bit later. In the meantime, gentle readers, amuse yerselves with this animated image from an article on the Declaration of Independence. For those who may have been wondering, the date of the document is significant: the nation's birthday.

The weekend seems a good a time to reflect on why some Americans find this foundational document racist. Or maybe the deeper question of why all Americans don't acknowledge our national original sin and engage in the difficult work to expiate it. Lately it seems a particularly urgent question, one that requires attention at the highest levels and by everyone. It was only a week ago that President Obama gave the eulogy for slain South Carolina state senator and pastor Clementa C. Pinckney.

For all that solemnity and deep thinking, my weekend has been fun thus far. It's not an irony, it's just life. The county concert and fireworks was Wednesday, there are parades and more fireworks tomorrow, not to mention the Tour de Fleece has its Grand Départ. But more on that later this weekend.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Today is Manhattanhenge! Or, to be precise, half-sun Manhattanhenge – the day the half-disk of the setting sun aligns with the Manhattan street grid and illuminates both sides of its cross streets evenly with no shadows. With all the tall buildings, it's just like Stonehenge, sorta. Tomorrow is full-sun Manhattanhenge. The phenomena, beloved of urban photographers, are as meaningful or as random as you make it. If you miss it, not to worry -- there's another alignment on July 12 and 13, plus there's winter Manhattanhenge, which involves the rising sun (not nearly as popular as the summer setting sun for some reason) and some other cities have their own-henge phenomena.

Meanwhile, Sock Madness 9 is winding down and Summer of Socks 2015 is heating up. I suppose The Stroop Stroop Socks by Ros Clarke could be considered my crossover pattern from one to the other. Maybe those stroopwafel motifs could be construed as sun signs overlaid by the Manhattan grid. It's a rare triple-dip with SKA as well. The above photo shows progress as of Memorial Day (didn't have the time to post until now; also, how can there be hockey in late May?). The goal is to finish before the end of the month – we'll see how the stars align.