One of the “joys” of working in a large building in a city is the ever-present vermin. This morning when I came into work I surprised a mouse in the hallway. And further down the same hall I passed a squashed cockroach that was a good inch and a half long. (Now I know that being in a squashed state rendered said cockroach longer than if it were in a three-dimensional state, but still.)
I had a brief encounter last week that so skeeved me out that it is likely I will never recover. I went down to the snack bar in my building to get a pre-packaged salad that they keep in a refrigerated case, and brought it back to my desk. I popped the lid on the plastic container. And watched in horror as a cockroach crawled out from under a lettuce leave and started to saunter across the cucumbers, slowly waving his antennae at me in a jaunty manner.
Needless to say, I popped the lid back on and threw the whole thing into the trash can out in the hall. Ew! Ew! Ew!
I know that stuff like this happens. I know that if I could see the place where the salads are made I might run screaming into the night. Ditto for plants where stuff I buy in the grocery store is processed. But it’s a lot easier to ignore when you don’t have Mister Cockroach smiling and waving to you from your salad.
So I’ve been bringing my lunch since then. This is a challenge because I don’t have access to a refrigerator or a microwave. And I detest making lunches. Today I had a peanut butter sandwich (reduced fat Jiff peanut butter on low-carb whole wheat) and an apple. I am not a fan of sandwiches. Anyone have any brilliant ideas for healthful lunches that don’t take a lot of at-home preparation and don’t need to be refrigerated or microwaved?
I don’t ask for much, huh?
Okay. Enough with the self-pity. On to some Q&A.
I scored some ‘lace weight’ yarn on eBay – 1760 yards of gorgeous slowly changing shades of orange, meant for a shawl for a friend who’s getting married and whose favorite color is orange. However, I think it’s what might be called ‘cobweb’? — it’s finer than the ‘lace weight’ I previously used, which I think I knitted on size 2-ish Addi Turbos and did fine with. (I guess I need to keep track when I’m making things up as I go along….)
I have tried swatching this very fine yarn, and the Addi needle tips are too big & blunt to pick up the stitches readily, the yarn skitters all over the place, and the stitches look sloppy big on even size 2 needles. Halp, halp! So: along with Siouxz, I am interested in what kind of needle is your personal favorite for very fine lace yarn, and also, are you aware of any books/pattern resources for this extremely fine yarn? I’ve found a couple shawl patterns that call for ‘jumper weight’ and ‘Shetland’, but being ignorant of this particular area of the knitting world, I don’t know exactly what that translates to; my guess is that weight is rather heavier (?more like fingering weight?).
A couple of you asked about needles for lace. My favorites so far are the Knitpicks Options. I read about the Addi lace needles last week, but likely will not get any, because the Knitpicks needles work so nicely for me. Back in the Summer of ’05 (the Summer of Lace) I yapped about needles for lace a lot, and as I recall, liked the old Boye metal needles and Inox and Aero needles for lace. But I do like the Knitpicks needles better. They are slippery, so you have to remain vigilant. Wooden needles work better at grabbing the stitches, but I’ve yet to find a wooden needle with a cord and join I like quite as much as the Knitpicks needles.
Now about that laceweight yarn you got . . .
There is quite a range of weights in what is considered laceweight, I think. From yarn that feels like a sewing thread to almost-fingering weight. The only thing I’ve knitted in “true” shetland cobweb weight is a lace handkerchief that I’ve blogged about before. And I knitted that on size 0000 needles. I know Jamieson & Smith has a laceweight shetland (finger than the fingering weight jumperweight wool), and then the cobweb weight that is finer still.
Kidsilk haze makes me itch fiercely, but there are so many beautiful patterns that are enhanced dramatically by the halo. Would you consider alpaca laceweight to be an acceptable substitution or have any other recommendations for the “mohair challenged”?
That would definitely work for me. I used the Cherry Tree Hill suri alpaca for the Inky Dinky Spider Stole and it had a slight halo and was lovely to knit with. Ditto for the Misti Alpaca for the Tina Shawl.
Count Sassy asked:
I have a (possibly stupid) blocking question. I have a scarf with Crystal Palace Kid Mohair I need to block. Did the iron actually touch the shawl? Or was there a towel between the two?
It may be wrong of me, but yeah, the iron touched the shawl. But I was pretty freaking careful, and had no mishaps.
And in my continuing series of Still Life With Sock in Progress . . .
Emma, do you recognize this scarf?
Lucy thanks you for all your good wishes and would like you to know that she does get off her Cozy Cushion from time to time.