Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Political Post.

I don't often make one..


It started here—with this story.. It continued when Ramona JoyCarmelly linked to that story  (see her face book page  and  scoll down to the Prom dress controversy (at this posting (blog) the face book post is over 6 hours old)which started a lively (but reasoned) discussion. 

It continued (scoll back up) to posting by Marty Coleman—or jump here

Which prompted me to write this..(if you just read what I have written here--you are sort of coming in at the middle.. At least read the story that started it all.)

Prom—short for promenade (a noun: A formal dance; a ball; A march of all the guests at the opening of a ball.

Until recently—a dance for HS or College graduates.

The “prom” in the article? For middle school students (8th graders). 13 years olds.

What is appropriate for 13/14 year old GIRLS? (or boys, for that matter?)
Girls is not a word I use lightly—13/14 year old girls are at the edge of puberty.

Girls (and boys) on the edge of puberty are at a difficult age. They are beginning to take on sexual traits--(enlarge breasts, wider hips, narrow waist for girls, as well as menstruation) and similar/different physical characteristics for boys ( broad shoulder, muscles, and fully functioning sexual organs) But—our society (and many others) realize that in spite of their physical ability to be fully functioning sexual beings, they are not emotionally or psychologically ready to function as adults.

For just this reason, 13/14 olds are not considered to be mature enough to drive a car, or live on their own, to sign a contract, or (in most states) old enough to give consent—to either non marital (or marital!) sex. This is true in civil law and in many religious canons. (The RC church is not alone to considers 16 years old to be the age of consent for a girl).

Yes, I realize many 13 and 14 year old girls are engaging is sex--(another topic!)
But legally and traditionally, they have been considered to young to do so. (And we tend to judge those societies were girls are married off as pubescent—as cruel and abusive of girls and women)

Is this old fashioned thinking? Are 13/14 year old girls to be treated differently than 16, or 17, or 18 year old young women?

Certain new science shows that the teen years (from about ages 12 to 20) involve a huge amount of brain grown—that young teens (of both sexes) are physically incapable of thinking (and acting) the same as older teens (and that 21 as an age of majority has some real grounding in science!)

Yet, here we are—reasonable (am I wrong to think those engaged in this discussion are reasonable?) are arguing for the right of pubescent girls to dress up and display their bodies as if they were adults and to do so in a very explicitly sexual way.

HUMANS, like all animals, have instincts. Unlike most animals, we also have reason. There are instincts  that are part of sexual arousal. REASON keeps us from acting purely from instinct.

Instinctualy, humans (both men and woman) see symmetry as beautiful (symmetry is only skin deep—but it is a clear indication of good physical health—and signals potential for being capable of bearing healthy children)

Instinctualy, humans see broad hips (in the context of a narrow waist) as an other clear indication of good physically health (and a signal for being capbabile of bearing healthy children.)

Instictualy, clear skin is another measure of good health--(ask any one with acne!)

When aroused, both men and woman exhibit some  classic responses.
The lips (on the face and the “lip's” of woman's genitals get red--and slightly swollen)
For men, it is the lips and the penis--and for a man's penis, it goes from slightly to very swollen--very fast!) 

Like wise, the pupil of the human eye dilates—which make the eyes look bigger and darker.

So lets look again at the 'prom' dresses/girls attire. Narrow bodices (tightly fitted at least) –that accentuate (or create the illusion of) full hips.. Lots of exposed skin. The girls will also likely be wearing make up.. mascara, eye shadow, and perhaps eye liner—to make there eyes look bigger and darker (as they might be when aroused), lipstick, too, to darken, and accentuate the lips (making them look bigger)-- High heels complete the outfit—and these change her posture—and thrust her hip forward (in to a sexual position)

Combined, the effect are a collection of visual signals of sexual arousal and availability.
It this appropriate for 13/14 year old girls? Do we really want them promenading about announcing their sexual arousal and availability?(at a dance? At any time?)

WE denounce societies that treat 13 and 14 years girls as ready for marriage—but we seem to be willing to fight to the death to allow our 13 and 14 year old girls to project themselves as sexually  mature and aroused. More mature than they really are.

Part of rape culture is an attitude that men and boys can't be REASONABLE—and can only act on instinct—an argument I reject. Men and boys are HUMAN, and as humans, can act responsibly and reasonably (if if they do at times have an instictually response to certain stimuli)--and I believe most men do--Boys? well its harder for teens to make reasoned decisions--see that thing about their brains not being fully functional!-- but still, I think most boys do.

But another part of rape culture is an attitude the woman are MOST valuable as sex object available for pleasuring men. (And secondarily, as thing to gestate children.)  

Unfortunately, we all (men and women alike) often buy into this. WE CHOSE to wear high heels that thrust our hips forward (and arc our bodies into an upright sexual postion!) WE Chose to wear clothing that reveals lots of skin (and shows how healthy we are for breading!) We redden our lips, and darken our eyes—and emulate sexual arousal. We act as if our only value was our physical appearance, our sexual body and ability to get pregnant. Woman buy into the idea that being beautiful (and sexy) is vital. Not all women, but many, many women. 

WE start training girls at a young age (see Toddlers and Tiaras) to the idea that they should measure their value by their looks—and that the that best way to looks is ready for sex—to the point of looking sexual aroused all of the time.

Media, (TV, movies, magazines) re-enforces the message. We pay lip service to the value of education, sports and other aspects of our humanity.

No, the girls don't (shouldn't!) wear burka or cloth sacks to the dance (and yes, it should be a dance, not a prom). The girls should dress like girls. Not like sexual aroused and ready to go sex objects.

Yes, the boys should be taught to respect girls and woman (and not to act like animals and use animal instincts as an excuse—because instinctual urges are not an excuse.)

Yes, we need to change the culture of our society—we need to change how men view woman.. but we also need to change how we woman view women. Yes, we are sexual beings. Yes, we should be in control of our bodies, our thoughts and our actions.

And we need to be in control of our children, too. We need to protect them from them selves at times. We recognize that our 13 and 14 year children are not of an age to sign a contract, or to drive a car, or to drink alcohol. We also need to recognize that they are not ready to consent to  or engage in most sexual behavior. And we need to stop thinking is OK for them to dress and act in ways that present the message that the most valuable part of them, is their sexual nature.  We need to step up and change the culture. Not just as it present the world to boys and men, but how it presents girls and woman.  If we see our selves and value our selves most as sexual object--how can we expect men to do differently? Rape culture exist not just because of men, but because of women, too. 

There are pressures on boys, too, in our society--and these are just as real, (very different, but there!) and these too need to be addressed. (but that's another essay!).


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yesterday


The real yesterday, and the allegorical one. Yesterday—the real one—was Earth Day, and I spent most of it with my daughter at a Earth Day celebration at St John's University (the Queens one—for you sports fans, the RED MEN one.)

Curiously, I have lived in Queens more than 30 years, and this was just my second time on this campus--(the first was for my son's HS graduation. His graduating class was too large for the his HS auditorium—forget about the class plus parents and family.)

The Earth Day fest was small—but it was pleasant doing something for Earth Day—and spending time with my daughter. She was there promoting her local CSA—Many of the kids were interested--but not really candidates—since they didn't live locally. Some of the staff was more interested—and more likely to join a CSA.

The weather was –well spring like. Most of the day was sunny and moderated the cool air--(the high for day was just 53°--(11C))--which wasn't really uncomfortable cool (even when standing and sitting around most of the day)—but it was breezy—and gusts of wind knocked over many of the displays—and when the sun was behind the clouds and the wind gusted--the cold cut through warm clothing leaving us chilled –A special thanks to Coffeed—fresh brewed cups of coffee were a treat--and warming.

I was around –and participated in the first earth day, too. I haven't always done something for earth day over the past 40 something years—but I have for many of them.

I brought knitting with me, and got a cast on done—more yarn from the same garage sale as the last yarn--(now a buttonless sweater vest)--11 skeins of thick and thin wool and mohair blend (that is a guess—based on how it looks and feels—since I don't have any labels for this yarn.) Not very soft, --and interesting. A catch  word for I sort of like it.. but I am not sure. I like the colors—but I am unsure of the texture, (how it is spun) and unsure of the softness (or rather the lack there of) and unsure of the quanity—Well I know I have 11 skeins—but I don't know how many yards that is—or how far that unknown yardage will go towards making a sweater. I am starting top down.. and we'll see how far I get. Enough I think for short sleeved sweater.. maybe enough for half sleeve—or maybe not. The first skein didn't seem to get that far—just a few inches—but its hard to figure with a top down sweater and every round increasing.

It's all ready too big (too many stitches on the needle) to stretch out and see how it really looks. Plain--just stocking knit.  A busy yarn like this doesn't need any stitch pattern.  It will be a fast project too--this bulky wool + size 13 needles means it won't take long at all to knit.  (After this something fine I think  Maybe another top of sock weight yarn and size 3 needles.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Not Done Yet--


But—getting closer! Last night I finished off the back--and had less than a yard of yarn left in the full skein I used for working the back.

There is still quite a bit of yarn on the other two partial skeins—and only a few yards will be needed to knit the garter band for the back neck facing. The remains? Trim I guess on something (some lace trim on a pair of white (or solid blue?) arm warmers? Or some trim on a hat? Or both? Or something else? Well nothing I am thinking of right now.

So here it is, garter bands till to be knit, but shoulders grafted and ends woven in.

Finished-- it is a few inches longer than the spice vest—but it's also an inch or so short of the ideal length. I love the results anyway. The yarn—almost all partial skeins was $3 at a garage sale—and the results? Easily worth 10 times that—if this were machine made. Hand made? 100 times increase in value!

Already it is a match for several items in my wardrobe--but it will be pretty paired with a navy skirt (still to come) or a grey one.  


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Arm Holes Get Deeper

While the skeins get more and more anemic. I try not to look at them, or to worry. I got many more rows (earlier in the knitting) than I thought possible for anemic skeins, and now each row is so much shorter. I am hoping that all my angst is for naught.

The front sections, original had 65 stitches—they each lost 5 to the armhole (the back lost 5 too), The front V neck saw 15 stitches whittled away over many rows —and is now just 45 stitches. 3 more single stitch decreases to go-- as the 3 purl stitch “ditch” between the lace columns become 2 stitch ditches. This will make the shoulder a bit narrower—since I have narrow shoulders. Not very narrow (my shoulder or the vest!)--but the small decrease will make the shoulder area less stretchy—and looking narrower.

The back hasn't changed much... originally 120 stitches, is now 110 stitches. But big changes are coming soon. Since the front bands (5 garter stitches/1 inch) will be continue (after the front shoulders are put on stitch holders. These bands will added to the back neck, so I will need to start the neck line early—but not too early—plus I want the back of the vest longer than the front. I think 2 extra rows rows are enough to make the back just a little longer than the front. Adding two extra rows when knitting flat is piece of cake.

I want the back neck to be slightly lowered--(about ½ inch or so below a normal neck line ) and since the band adds about 1 inch—I need to begin the neck shaping at about inch 8.5 (or so) of the armholes. Maybe latter, if I think I have enough yarn. There will also be some “AT THE SAME TIME” shaping of the back neck and the shoulder—All lot of things will be going on at once! Fortunately, the front neck shaping is complete—from this point the V neck is going to have a straight edge. The decreases in the ribbing will effect the shape of the neck edge is a subtle way.

I had reserved a full skein for the back, and 2 partial ones for the front. Enough I thought—but now, as the skeins become see through—I worry that I underestimated.

This is the exciting (scary!) part of knitting with left overs (and in this case, OTHERS left overs) the question is: Will I have enough? The yarn (all of the yarn in this project) was $3—the cost of yarn is not the issue. The issue is—will I have enough? Do I have enough yarn to add another 2 inches (at least!) to the armholes? Will I have enough to complete the garter band? Will my fear cause me to come to an end too soon? Nothing worse than shortchanging a sweater or a vest (for fear of running out of yarn) and then finding yards and yards of left over yarn (and skimpy sweater).

It would be a shame to have put in the effort—and not have a well fitting FO. Will I have enough yarn? Or will there be a short fall? Tune in tomorrow to see!




Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Other Inch

And then some more—now the armhole is at 4.5 inches deep –not quite half way.   9 inches is about the minimum depth—and unless I am in serious danger of running out of yarn—I will make the arm hole deeper. Not much (10 inches?) but a bit.

The V neck shaping continues. So for the front at least, every couple of  rows there are fewer and fewer stitches.—which makes guestimating how much yarn I have left harder. The back is still pretty plain (that is just the same stitch pattern; no decreases or shaping—I am counting on the slight rib of the pattern to make the most of the shaping—But I do plan a bit more shaping at the top—the 3 stitch purl “ditch” between each column of lace will be reduced to 2 stitches in the last inch or so of the shoulder area.

The garter button band will be continued round the back. This is the trickiest part. Decreasing early enough to make a big deep (deep and wide) back neck.

Sewing is reductive (cut X, allowing 5/8th of inch seam allowance) and the final edge is reduced (a high neck becomes lower) But knitting is the opposite. I need to make the neck line deeper and wider than I want it, and then ADD on an inch or so of banding, making the neckline higher and smaller.

I have the shoulder seams to think about, too. I think I might bind off the back, and (half) graft the front edge to the back. The lacy columns won't quite line up—the stitch pattern is P2/K7(lace)/P1—If I keep the counts even—a must for grafting—the patterns won't line up the front will be P2/K7/P1, and it will folded onto the back (which will be P1/K7/P2—in effect.)--Which is why I am thinking about the decrease in the Purls—a pattern of P1/K7/P1 will match up better.

But I think I need one bound off edge to help support the knitting.

So I am off to get my daily inch (at least) of knitting done—Who knows maybe even 2 inches. The idea is to finish this project!





Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Tome


All 700+ pages of it.

I piggy backed on a friends order (KnitPicks)--she had a big enough order for free shipping and I got free shipping, too.

And now I have the UR of all knitting books. Last night I turned the pages, and looked here and there at a detail or two. There is a lot of information here. I know most of it.. but there are still ideas that are new to me. Stitches and details that make small differences-some detail that I KNEW (but had never thought about or analyzed, and really understood.

There are (I think—but it was late, (11 PM before I really got to read) some cast one variations (like yet more variations of basic long tail) that are new to me. And some new bind offs, too. (and maybe as a result, another matching pair of Cast on /Bind off. But cast ons and bind offs are just two of many many chapters.

I know this book will help get my creative juices flowing.. with new uses for techniques—both new and old.

Meanwhile-- since yesterday the armhole (newly made) has grown to be 3 inches deep (or about 1/3rd completed. If I am able to keep up this rate (hardly a cut throat pace) I should have the vest complete by the end of the week.  

I don't plan to rush--and I reading --both the tome and other books will cut into knitting time.  But I do want to have a FO--its seems like ages since I have finished anything!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Perseverance


If I had knit a little every day (just a row or two) , my little knit vest would be completed. But it hasn't been abandon, and while I haven't worked on it every day, I have worked on it some days.

So now, it's a bit longer, with a pretty clear cut V neck taking shape, and I've divided the work to shape the armholes. It won't be a long vest (the kind I like best) but it will be a little longer than the allspice one I knit earlier this year. Just an inch longer in the body, and maybe 2 inches longer in the armhole (I think the upper portion of the allspice vest is a little small—I was anxious to be finished, and I shortchanged it.) 3 inches or so longer in total--still an inch or so short of an ideal length--but  still very wearable.  

So--at the rate I am knitting-- it should be finished just in time to be too warm to be of much use! But there will be still be some cool days, (and nights) so it will likely be worn once or twice this spring—and come this fall, I will (I hope!) have a nice dark teal blue shell (one with short sleeves) that will go well with it--and a pair of socks, too.  Not to mention I have a nice skirt in print that will go well with this--and will have a navy skirt by then (the fall) too. 

I have to find some buttons for it—I haven't seen anything I really like—and with out a car, I am limited—I likely have to schlep into Manhattan one day soon.

And some day, when I return to knitting socks(it seems just yesterday, I knit them with unending joy—now its been months since I've completed a pair)--I'll make some socks to match the little vest. This yarn has been in my queue for a while now—it graduated to being in a home made sock club kit late last year. I am not sure exactly what pattern it will end up being—but I suspect something with beads—since I have a little box of matching beads.

That's it!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Resolve.


It's a good thing to have. It makes everything else easy.

I have resolved to lose weight—again.
I lost weight last year—and slowly but surely, as I lost my resolve, my weight has been creeping up again. That is going to stop.

I have resolved to accomplish more of my goals.
I need to be diligent about knitting, and designing (actually the easy part) and to be especially diligent about documenting my work—both for my blog (as fodder) and for sale.

I have resolved to exercise more.
I need to shake myself out of my low grade depression (and attendant agoraphobic tendencies) and get out more, even if just for a quick walk around the block—but I also need to do more than that.

I have resolved to clean up my surrounding
To get rid of the clutter, to organize the things I want to keep, and to get rid of the stuff that I don't really need or want. (This is a hard task for me!)

I have resolved to be more grateful.
It's is paradoxical, but the more I appreciate what I have, the less I need.
The more I give of my self, the more I experience a positive sense of self.

I have resolved to try and stop fixing the world.
And to work on fixing my self. There is lots of room for improvement.




Friday, April 12, 2013

It's Been a Week


Things change. Change, is at time hard. But hard or easy, change is, in the long run, good.

Right now, it's hard to see the good. A friend of some 20 years, is becoming part of my past. It's sad.

But, I have a future. He doesn't. He is all about the past: his hard luck childhood, the terrible treatment he received from his adoptive parents (side note: these same adoptive parents who paid 100% of both his undergraduate and 100% of his graduate schooling), the terrible treatment he received from his graduate adviser, and the terrible references they provided. He goes on to complain about his failed career, and life long difficulties. All these problems caused by other. He is blameless about all of it. Life happened to him. He didn't have any control. Everything bad in his life is someone else's fault, and everything is his life has been bad.

His life of woes is not over—He has been taken advantage of by his stock broker, and the real estate broker, and by many doctors. All these people, all these experiences, and always, he was wronged. He KNOWS. A week ago, in desperation, I reminded him: The past is gone, its done, I can't be change. All you can do is change the future. He reply: Nothing is going to change in the future.

He is right, of course. One you decide things can't be changed—you set your self up in a trap—One where you have no part in changing the future.

Consistently, he is right, and every one else is wrong. His whole life is one of others ruining things for him. I have joined the group that is wrong, that is trying to ruin his life, and left him to be right. He is slightly mystified by my break with him. After all, he has been a perfect companion and never done anything wrong. (and as I re-read this, I see, clearly my mistakes in our friendship)

Nancy—a wonderful woman in my life, reminds me: Very often, in life we have to make choices. We can chose to be right, or we can chose to be happy.

I can be right: my parents often failed to met my needs. Or I can be happy: my parents did their very best. (The truth lies in the middle, Yes, they often failed to meet my needs, and yes, they did their very best.) I can chose to focus on their failures and how they ruined my life, or I can chose to focus on how they did their best (even if they did at time fail) and how blessed I was to have them.

I can't change the past—but I can change how I think about it. And how often I think about it. I can constantly revisit the past, and catalog the things that went wrong, or I can look forward—and having learned from my mistakes, live in a better future.

My life is far from perfect, and my problems, are-- if not entirely my own fault—problems that I have contributed to. I WANT to be RIGHT. But I have been, slowly but surely, learning to happy. To make the choice to forgive, and if not always forget, to at least move on.

I have learned more than ever, to be thankful for all the good that has come into my life. I have been inconsistent in my gratitude—(I fail.) But more and more, I realize how blessed my life has been. It's not always been easy—being blessed doesn't make all of life's problems go away, it just makes it easier to deal with them. I still am learning.

I've done a little bit of knitting while mulling over this change in my life. I have spend more time escaping a bit—2 new books to read (and more to come!). I know that for me-- learning (not just life lessons, but stuff) is one way to deal with change –especially change I don't especially like. It doesn't have to be on topic knowledge—any topic will do.

So this week I have been reading (and rereading) my new books.(and thinking about adding others to my new Nook library)

The first book is Napoleons Button's, (Penny le Couteur & Jay Burrson) —It's more chemistry heavy than I realized—but not so much so that any one with a HS education in Science couldn't deal with. That's all I have (well-- I have pursued some chemistry on my own—learning a good deal of organic chemistry from Isaac Asimov (The World of Carbon and The World of Nitrogen)--and some more basic chemistry from Oliver Sack's (Uncle Tungsten) and others along the way. My knowledge of chemistry is shallow but it still growing and getting deeper—all the time. (Or maybe it isn't, and it's just I have been able to keep fresh what I learned in HS all those years ago!)

The second book—The History of World in 6 Glasses (Tom Standage)--is for the most part much more lighthearted. (but together, the 2 books work very well!). There is some overlap of information; sugars, starches and alcohol, and organic chemicals (Caffeine! Cocaine!) --presented from different perspectives.

And that's what I need: A different perspective.

Next week, I will have another book—I just bought Principles of Knitting. I don't know how many facts this book will teach me (not many, I suspect)--but I think it will be good for teaching me different perspectives—And that's important to me right now.

I have been sewing (still!) Come Sunday knitting, I have a new skirt to wear!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Inching Along

Doubled in length now—See I have gone from 2 buttonholes to 4 and then some. Partial skeins are disappearing and becoming sweater vest at a good pace. I am very happy with little vest. I love the color, I love the yarn, and I love knitting it. I love the lace pattern, too. It's not blocked yet (it won't be hard blocked)--and it looks so pretty.

It will be a bit cropped for my general taste. There just isn't enough yarn for a long vest--but that won't matter. I have (it's almost imperceptible) started the V neck shaping, too. I want the V to be long and deep.

More progress could have been made, but spring cleaning continues, and plus I needed to fit in a quick trip to the store to buy some more thread. I have spools and spools—and yet it never fails, I run out! Partly it's because the pretty 'denim' color way of thread comes in small spools (125 yards) only. I could just work with plain navy—but I was also short of the dark gold heavy duty top stitching thread, too.

After this vest, there are 2 more denim projects planned—so I bought out the store. Well, the spools were in short supply—4 (denim) and 2 top stitching spools is hardly a shopping spree. One of the still to come denim pieces is a print—It's not really denim at all--(since it's an even weave not a twill) but the indigo colors make it denim-ish. It won't be top stitched--or at least, not top stitched with heavy gold thread--The plan is that this piece will become  a simple pull over dress. (or will it be a simple shirt dress?)  But the other denim project is a 6 gore skirt –and all the seams in the skirt will be top stitched.     Plus I have some other small denim projects—so I am not sure that I won't run out of thread again!

The denim vest is still incomplete—but progress has been made. The outside of the vest is done, and the lining, too. I stopped last night midway through the pockets—welted inset ones, once again, but this time, not straight and short, but vertical and deep.

I still need to finish up the pockets (top stitching the pocket welt and sewing in the pocket lining) and joining the outside to the lining. That won't take long—But there will be details after that. Buttons and button holes, top stitching, too. Most of the seams have been top stitched already, but I will also top stitch all of the edge, too.
I expect to have it finished by Sunday.

There are lots of little details... Just the sort of thing I like. Its the same basic pattern I have been using for months now. But with all the details slightly different. I like this long, V necked, notched hem version of the vest best. Once I add riveted buttons, and the final stop stitching—it will have a very classic denim look. Casual, but detailed.. a curious mixture of work a day clothes and tailored dressy clothing.

So that's what I have been up to!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Yarn Has Spoken


I've been trudging along, unable to muster the effort to knit. Then this weekend, something snapped!

First-- it was a request to help someone with a very simple pattern—you can find it here- a reverse engineered pattern for a slouch hat with a twisted rib edge. I knit 2 over the weekend, as well as writing up the pattern. 


Since the pattern is mine (simple, but double checked!)--but the design, not, I am offering for free. I don't knit much on big needles (I think US8/5mm to be big—and this pattern uses size 11/8mm!), and I don't have a lot of chunky yarn to use to test knit. 

 One sample is Bernat's Felting, natural wool, (shown) the second is KnitPicks Swish DK held double, which needed even bigger needles to get the right gauge. But I am sure there are plenty of other chunky yarns that would work well.    This hat is a fast and easy knit. Suitable for a beginner even (well you do need to know how to knit in the round, since the pattern presumes that!)--there is even a link to a video tutorial for making the twisted stitches used in the ribbing.

Then on Sunday looking for something else—I stumbled across some  yarn, and in very quiet, commanding voice—something like Obi Wan Kanobi, it said: This is the yarn you are looking for. I resisted for a few hours.

The yarn is Patons Impressions--(discontinue) and I have a dozen or so almost complete skeins. Yesterday morning, the yarn was still sitting there, passively commanding me. I picked up the yarn, in seconds, I was knitting.    Now, 24 hours later, I have this to show. It's about 5 inches of a simple ribbed lace—the hem of a simple little vest.  I am knitting the whole thing as one till the underarm, (and with a deep V neck coming too.

The stitch  pattern is a simple one (the gauge is 10 stitches =2 inches—so I was sort of looking for a 10 stitch stitch pattern)--I don't remember the name of the stitch, or where to find it. It's not one I've invented—I have knit this pattern before sometime in the distant past, and my fingers just knew what to do.

So far, 2 of the larger partial skeins have been knit—and I have some 5 inches or so. I've taken the 1 full skein, and 2 of the smaller partial skeins and set them aside for the fronts above the armhole, and the back, too. I'll keep working the other skeins until I have no more and then I'll divide the work. I think I'll end up with a good 12 inches or so. It will be a little cropped, and a bit shorter than my ideal length—but that's OK.

The yarn was a garage sale purchase (from about 5 years ago) and I loved it from the moment I saw it—and the $3 price tag didn't hurt either! It is wool, so it will be warm, but the color is so cool and so perfect for the spring. The knitting jumps into my hands, and practically knits its self. Since it is a rib, I passed on making any sort of border, and just jumped right into the pattern.

If I were to make it again, I would rethink the garter stitch button band. It's OK, but I think I could have done better.

So the sparkly blue shawl is taking a rest, and socks are too. I might find myself making a pair of sock that sort of match this bright turquoise blue yarn—next--and force myself to work on the secret socks—and then reward myself with other.   Right now, I want to knit with this happy yarn.