Archive for the 'clapotis' Category

Citron and Clapotis

June 25, 2010

Amid my anguish at the oil spill, disgust at the U.S. political system, fear of our current Supreme Court and attempt to keep all of that in perspective by engulfing myself in the enjoyment of summer, there has been knitting. First, another Clapotis. Then, Citron.

Knitting one Clapotis wasn’t enough for me. I know some people report taking months, if not years, to complete the scarf. However, as soon as I finished the first one, it occurred to me that there was not, anywhere in the universe, a better vacation knitting project. Simple. Rewarding. Easy to pack. Easy to pick up and put down on a whim.

I started a week before we left on our two-week vacation. I wanted to get through the increase section so I could weigh out the yarn and set the same amount aside on the other end of the ball for the decrease sections. On this second version, I twisted the stitch on either side of the dropped stitch on both the knit and purl sides of the pattern and I think it made a crisper line. On both, I purled the dropped stitch in lieu of markers.

I decided to block it much less severely than the first. I thought it would be nice to have the two variations. After it dried though, I wasn’t sure I liked this version and was planning to reblock it — until today. I took it out to the bench in the courtyard to take some photos for you.

While I was photographing it, I made a discovery. No matter how it falls, it looks nice. I have decided to leave it as it is. See:

I finished it the day before we came home from our trip. I cast on for Citron that same day. If you’ve read any of my prior posts, you know that Citron and I didn’t get along so well. I misread the pattern a few times. I think of mine as Kelp —

with Bubbles.

Obviously, there was a little misinterpretation with the m1. That and a miscounting error that resulted in slightly wider ruched bands which then required a longer ruffle. I still like it. And indeed, it would have been too small without the extra rows I accidentally added.

What’s next? Probably finishing a pair of socks, then back to Rosarie in Blue. Or, can you suggest something that I might enjoy better for summer knitting? The idea of having a lap-full of wool doesn’t hold much appeal on a warm summer day.

The horse

May 11, 2010

had a bump under his tail when I bought him. The vet said, “Let it be; but, call me if it changes.”

Seven years later, it changed. Instead of one bump, there were three. These bumps are melanomas. I called the vet and asked him to come take a look. He did. Oscar was a total jerk that day, and while we were trying to get him to stand still, I casually mentioned he had a bit of a “wart” in his mane too.

The vet took one feel and said, “We need to get that out.”

It’s not a wart, it’s also a melanoma and a quick growing one since it grew in just a year’s time. They have been removed and he’s on some drugs now to prevent their regrowth. All is good with the horse for now.

There has been knitting:

I made my first Clapotis. I have no idea how to say that. I use the Midwestern pronunciation which phonetically equates to “clap oat is” (three distinct syllables with no clear accent on any one of them). Clearly wrong. But there you have it. Hooked on phonics.

I purchased some stainless steel welding rods and used these for blocking:

I read that it’s a good idea to use a file to smooth the ends into points. I didn’t do that. I wanted to see how these welding rods worked for blocking first. They are brilliant.

It might have been easier with points on the ends, but it certainly wasn’t hard to thread the rods through just like they are. If I ever get really bored and can’t figure out what to do with myself someday, I’ll use a file to smooth the ends. In other words, not going to happen anytime soon.

I got inspired to knit the ubiquitous clap oat is thanks to Books & Hooks & Sticks. I mentioned to her I was in a bit of a knitting funk and she said she was going to knit yet her third clap oat is, suggesting it was a sure-fire way to get the mojo back. It worked!

Bev isn’t the only new friend I’ve been chatting with. Here’s the new gang:

I just love these little guys: Cassin’s finch and perhaps a Pine Siskin or two. The way they poke their heads up over the window sill to give me the “eye” just cracks me up.

I’m not sure, but I think they are keeping an eye out on my work habits. Have they embarrassed me into shaping up and working faster? Nope. I just sit and watch them. It all started when I put seeds on my window sill because of the wind. It just didn’t seem right to make them perch there on the feeder when it was swinging all crazybob out there. But it’s turned into an event that all of us seem to enjoy immensely. Until the cat shows up. She has been banished to the garage again today for bird stalking.

I even had a few new (to me) birds visiting the feeder yesterday and today. First, a black-headed grosbeak.

Then today, a rose-breasted grosbeak.

I wish I could get a video of all the birds at the feeders. It’s very cool. Even a non-birder, as I formerly was, gets inspired by the variety and sheer number of birds in this pinyon juniper forest. Watching the interaction between species and within species has been interesting and entertaining. No doubt, I will be inflicting more bird photos on you in the future! Brace yourselves.