Monday, November 21, 2005

Something Wicked

Unlike musicians working for a certain Christmas show, Santa's elves don't go on strike, perhaps because they don't need to. This past weekend, they played hooky and invited me to tag along.

So instead of holiday knitting, I cast on the Rowan Kidsilk Haze that Pepe the Prawn, my excellent SP6 pal, sent me. Appropriately, the colorway is called Wicked.

Beginning of Kidsilk Haze stole

KSH is a magical cobweb-weight kid mohair-silk yarn that knits up as light and soft and cool as smoke. The silk content keeps the mohair hairyness down to a fine bloom that does not snarl nearly as badly as pure mohair and – wonderful to relate – does not obscure intricate lace stitches. I love it! I've never worked with KSH before, but I'm guessing that two skeins will produce a goodish sized stole, maybe 20 inches by 80 inches (about 50 by 200 cm) when pinned out.

The stole consists of a picot hem, yo and fagotting edges, and Ostrich Plumes body – all standard lace knitting. The Ostrich Plumes make the solid st st hem form picot scallops across the width of the stole while the openwork edges tame its lengthwise undulations (although I rather like wavy edges). It seems unutterably silly to call this a pattern, but it's published under the name Lace Dream by Eugen Beugler in Shawls and Scarves. I've tweaked the number of cast on sts and plan to knit until I run out of yarn, not worrying about gauge or reps.

After putting up the storm windows, Santa's elves and I also scampered off to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It must be said that condensing the sprawling book into one movie is a remarkable feat. However, like Santa's elves, I was disappointed that the movie was all about Harry (for example, nothing about Hermione's concerns for house-elf rights or scenes of her knitting) and much of the rich texture of the magical world was missing (eg, no caroling suits of armor). The extremes of feeling in the book were nicely portrayed, especially the funny bits, but the segues between them seemed abrupt and strained, reflecting the difficulties of making a children's movie with a body count. IMO, Bambi remains unrivaled on that point.

As I'm not a child, the comments on magic used for Unforgivable purposes – coercion, torture, and killing – have special resonance, especially right now. Fortunately, the Gryffindors among us possess moral courage as well as physical daring – something I'm deeply thankful for this Thanksgiving week.

[Added a bit later] Something else to be thankful for: thanks to my excellent SP6 pal, I'm now the happy owner of the pattern for Eris! You remember Eris, the goddess who was the keeper of the golden apples (some called her the goddess of discord or strife) that were desired by all, even by the gods themselves, which supposedly caused the Trojan War. Well, her namesake virtuoso knitting pattern is 40 meticulously written pages and similarly awesome. Curved cables! The press of holiday knitting, the allure of KSH – all bow before mighty Eris. Thank you, Pepe!

1 comment:

Songbird said...

Hello, and Happy Thanksgiving from a lurker here. I found you some time ago via something related to Prayer Shawls.
Your words about Harry Potter and Unforgivable Curses are well worth pondering. I, too, missed the ghosts romping through the school and other charming representations of magic. Perhaps the argument for leaving those things in would be that they remind us why we want to keep the world save from the dark magic: for ordinary things such as friendship, and socially conscious things such as rights for the marginalized, and acts of pure delight such as knitting! These are the things that make life beautiful and worth defending with all that we have and all that we are.