Catching Up

Hey, I have energy!  It sneaked up on me.  When I was a kid, we said “snuck” but I don’t think that’s a word.  Anyway, somehow this week has been a big improvement and I’m feeling better in spite of the tapering of prednisone, with the exception of those sacroiliac joints.  The sacroiliac joints (SI joints) go down your buttocks on either side of the spine, and when they are inflammed they can sure sure make you know you’ve got a rear, but only when you are walking or standing.  (Truthfully, I think Stevie Wonder could see that I have a rear…)  So I’m sitting…but with great energy!  I love it when better health sneaks up on me!

Yesterday a big Barnes and Noble box landed on my front porch and I was delighted to see my copy of Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair by Crazy Aunt Purl herself, Laurie Perry.  Speaking Southern with a vengeance, Laurie has me laughing my a– off (a possible cure for sacroiliitis?) and hollering in recognition at her journey from pitiful to powerful.  The last portion of the book is a nice selection of fairly easy knitting patterns.  I’m halfway through the book and loving it, but if you want a preview of Laurie’s writing before your copy comes, go to her blog at  It’s the antidote to what ails you.

Hmmm, next catch up item is that lilac block in Dayna’s blanket.  Hang on while I get a photo-oh, wait, I’ll have to add that later.  It’s too dark to throw it on the deck and shoot a couple of views.  I tried out a new stitch for this block. 


The bottom of the block is the traditional bamboo stitch:  on the right side you (yarn over, knit two stitches, then pull the yarn-over stitch over the two knitted stitches) repeating to the end of the row.  On the back you just purl across.  It has the effect of dividing your fabric into vertical bundles like stalks of bamboo, but I had one worry:  it was using yarn faster than my patterns in other blocks.  I didn’t want this block to turn out too short to fit in the blanket, so at the top half I changed to a partial bamboo stitch.  You won’t find that in a stitch guide because I made it up, but what I did was (yarn over, knit 2, pull yarn-over stitch over the two stitches, then knit 2, then yarn over, knit 2, pull yarn-over stitch over the two stitches, knit 2) repeating to the end of the row…this has the effect of only bundling every other pair of knit stitches, so it uses less yarn for bundling.  I also added a couple of rows of garter stitch in between every eight rows of the bamboo pattern.  That allowed me to get to the end of the block without undue shortening of the piece.  Here’s a closeup, with two sections of partial bamboo at the top, and two sections of bamboo stitch at the bottom:

daynas-blanket2nd-stripf.jpgYou can really see the little horizontal wrappers that those yarnovers make in this photo.  Many thanks to our expert photographer, EssieWB…rinkydink one-woman show!

People ask me how I do this design stuff, and frankly I’m kind of backwards about it.  Sometimes I have a detailed idea of how a piece will be made before I start, but usually I just put the yarn on the needles and start knitting.  It kind of evolves from there as my fingers feel the yarn and I see it developing a character.  I think very three dimensionally, so I can put in shaping elements and predict how they will work.  I don’t write patterns down unless I’m designing a piece for a contest and know that I’ll need to duplicate it stitch-for-stitch.  I can look at most of my work after the fact and write down details so that I can lead someone else in making it.  If this doesn’t make any sense, remember that my undergraduate degree was in Biomedical Engineering, so I was trained in problem solving and I’m used to looking at problems on a number of different levels (materials, structure, cost-benefit, ecological impact…).  This applies in knitting, and it helped me tremendously in medicine. 

This is a lovely morning.  I have frittered away two hours talking to two of my sisters, one out of town and one across town.  I got to do catching up with them, too.  It’s now late enough and bright enough to make a photo of that lilac block and paste it in.  Hold on.  I’m gonna get my camera.  Don’t you love it when I talk to you like you’re here? 

Well, I’m as caught up as I’m gonna be for now.  Go out and enjoy.  Make some peace.


One Response

  1. Crazy Aunt Purl is a cute blog. enjoyed reading it. I’l have to go back and catch it again. We should all go back a reflect on the humor in our lives, maybe we won’t always take ourselves so seriously all the time.

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