That’s what yesterday was.
I will spare you my entire public transportation rant. If you read any news stories from Washington DC, you’ll understand. But I’ll tell you this. It was not a good feeling, being on a train, inching slowly across a bridge over the Potomac River, going 3-4 mph due to icing on the third rail, particularly when we were close to the other side, the driver announced over the intercom, with relief in his voice, “It looks like we’re going to make it!”
That is all.
(The metro-savvy and observant among you will realize I was on the Yellow Line for that trip. That was after being dumped at National Airport by a disabled Blue Line train.)
Going into work yesterday was a very bad idea, transportation-wise. But a good idea work-wise as all sorts of problems cropped up that I would not be able to deal with from home.
And then the federal government closed early, due to the ice storm and the transportation problems likely.
But I went home a very cranky girl. Seems to be my modus operandi these days.
My mood improved almost immediately when I got my mail. There was a package from Rebecca in France. Inside, beautiful stitch markers! This one:
And two of these!!!!!
Are those the cutest little stitch markers you’ve ever seen? Thank you Rebecca!
Lucy decided to remain inscrutable in the face of all that cuteness!
Felted Kitty Beds!
I’ve added some more photos to the gallery, so be sure to check them out. Thanks to those of you who’ve sent me photos.
And a felted kitty bed question from the comments:
Does practically any fun fur type yarn work with the felted kitty bed – that is, is it a safe bet to put any fun fur yarn with the bulky yarn and felt the project? Are there fun fur yarns I should stay away from when I felt?
I think any fun fur should work. The trick is to hold it with your “regular” feltable yarn and knit them together for as many rounds as you want for the edging. The feltable yarn felts, and the fun fur goes along for the ride, as it were.
I’ve completed the left front band on Abalone. See?
And started the right front band.
The neckband is knitted first. Then each front band is knitted separately. If this were corrugated ribbing, I would have steeked across the bottom and knit both bands at the same time. But it’s two-color garter stitch, so it behooves me to knit back and forth. That way, I’m knitting on each row. Cool!
Do you use machine sewing for all your steeks, or do you sometimes just cut them and tack down loose ends afterwards?
I dug through my old archives because I know I talked about this a long time ago, and here is my slightly rewritten answer:
All traditional fair isles done in jumperweight (fingering) shetland wool are steeked pretty much the same way. You put the stitch that is at the underarm on a holder and cast on 10 stitches — an edge stitch, 8 steek stitches, and another edge stitch. The edge stitches are always worked in the background color and the steek stitches themselves are done by alternating the colors used on that round of knitting.
Now . . . how you do your steeks depends a lot on what yarn you’re using. Shetland wool is fine and very hairy and stitcks to itself well, particularly when you steam it with an iron. When you cut the steek down the center and pick up stitches for the sleeve along the edge stitches, the steek obediently folds over and lies down all by itself — just like a well-trained dog. After you’ve completed the sleeve you trim the steek to a width of two stitches and lightly stitch it down. It will never unravel, even after years.
If you are using a smooth yarn (and a larger gauge) you need to do your steeks differently, because the yarn doesn’t have the right properties to make a fair isle steek work — a smooth yarn won’t stitck to itself properly. If you’re using “fatter” yarn, the steek will be too bulky, too. In this case you need to do a Norwegian style steek where you just knit the body in a tube (doing nothing different at the underarm), then use a sewing machine to machine stitch on either side of where you’re going to cut open the armhole. You would knit the sleeve separately (in the round) with a facing at the top of the sleeve and set it in the cut armhole, sewing the facing over the cut edge.
Okay, after that long-winded explanation, I’ll add that these on Abalone are traditional fair isle steeks — no machine stitching. Just cut ‘em open and pick up your stitches.
I’ll tell you a dirty secret. Sometimes I don’t even tack them down. After I’ve finished my sweater and steam it from the inside, the steek sticks to itself quite nicely and I don’t feel the need for any extra finishing. Ah, the joys of shetland wool.
Please note that I would never do this with a non-shetland wool.
Okay guys. Unscheduled leave for the federal government, but I’m going in . . . or at least attempting to, metro willing. Nothing is falling, but it is very windy so it’ll feel really cold. May the train come quickly and move swiftly!