when i should be working

How do, everyone?

Glad to be back among the mostly living. I’m busy-busy as we near the moving date, but as Rob mentioned at Black Dog this morning, there are some things in the works.

First, yes, we sat around and watched TV with our friend Christy last night. She’s been as busy as we have, and our paths just haven’t crossed much lately, so it was great to have her over for an evening. As Rob mentioned, we did watch the Designing Women Reunion Special, and growing up gay about an hour outside of Atlanta, I know the show and the settings like the back of my hand. So, of course, I had to follow the link above that Rob posted straight to the “Which Designing Woman Are You?” questionnaire. Again, as a devotee, I had no question, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

I am…

"Which Designing Woman Are You?" MARY JO SHIVELY

That works. I’m an Annie Potts fan from way back.

So, given that I was living room all evening, I spent my time spinning some of my hand-painted Targhee top. Oh, my. I love it. It was actually one of my least favorite dyeing jobs, but it looks quite snazzy on the bobbin.

This is the two-ounce bump that I originally posted on June 23. It was pretty, but I really liked some of the other stuff that I did that batch more.

The colors are mainly an aquamarine kind of blue, some pale green, a few patches of purple, and small bits of gold, red, and darker blue.

Below, see the spun fiber on the bobbin. I’ve still got about half of the bump to spin, but I really, really like the way the colors are meshing. I was concerned with the thought of selling this before, but I’m very excited about it, now. I’ll be in the kitchen dyeing this weekend!

I’ve also been trying to perfect the Sigma Jumper. Unfortunate name, that, and it’s going to have to change. The American connotation for jumper just isn’t what I was after. It’s a top-down pullover in the same vein as the Sigma Tank, so I guess it will be the Sigma Pullover. I really don’t like some of the other patterns I’ve knit trying to find the issues that I want ameliorated in my design, but I have had some good luck with fabric.

This one is knit with one strand of cotton chenille and two strands of variegated cotton thread, and I love the way the colors pop out of the soft green, but I don’t like the raglan lines.

It’s way too snug at the neck. This particular pattern also provides no additional fabric at the back of the neck for back/front shaping. That’s kind of icky. Sigma will have to correct that.

Oh, I also plied some of the Lorna’s Laces top that I’ve been spinning.

The colorway is Seaside, and it’s quite sharp. I’m going to have to have some socks out of the same colorway of Shepherd Sock, but in the meantime, I have to finish up the spinning of this stuff.

There’s maybe an ounce each of the Lorna’s and my own top to spin yet, and I’ve only plied the two skeins of Lorna’s. Rob’s started spinning, too. He spun some Beast over at our friend Patsy’s this weekend. I’ll have to post pics as soon as I can get to them. They had a nice little going-away toast for us, and we all had to get a little sentimental. Of course, then we went back to spinning and watched Tate play with Patsy’s new feline fellow, Baxter. As I said, pics will follow, but for now, here’s the Little Man… Tate.

I know Rob’s shown you pics before now, but I still think he’s just adorable. Of course, Connor and I have shown him bad habits like eating too much and shedding on furniture, but he’s doing just fine. I posted twenty “FOUND DOG” posters around the neighborhood this morning and took them around to vets’ offices and shelters, but no one has heard anything, yet. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s starting to kind of look like there won’t be some great reunion.

It’s been absolutely blow-the-doors off busy around here, otherwise. Not only have orders been coming in non-stop as usual, but we’ve also been building stock for the shop. If you’ve ever seen some of the past shots of the shop, you may need to sit down for what’s going to follow.

Say goodbye to W. Allen, folks. We’re bursting at the seams.

Also, as Rob mentioned earlier today, ThreadyBear is on it’s way. I’ve got to contact some test-knitters yet, but it looks good for a late August/early September start date. I’ll keep you posted.

Much love, people. And enough of everything to keep you.

Lest anyone forget: Preppy Confessions

Hi, My name is Matt, and I’m a… *nervous cough* I’m a Preppy.

God, people!! You’re supposed to say, "Hi, Matt," and make me feel all welcome about it.

Well, all right. I don’t exactly have the full wardrobe anymore, but then again, I don’t really have a full wardrobe anymore. If I did, rest assured that it would be full of oxford cloth, khaki, club stripes, madras, and well… argyle.

I’m a geek, people. Born a geek, raised a geek, and perpetually, lovingly, and proudly a geek. And I never spent a whole lot of time fussing over clothes. That’s why being preppy was so convenient. It was kind of the uniform for folks that didn’t have a uniform. And it’s comfortable. I mean really comfortable. You can play in it, and you can work in it. You can go out for a drink or give a presentation or just hang out on the front porch in it, and you always look neat. Neat was always a big selling point with me. Life is pretty untidy, so any order I can find helps.

But argyle? There’s always been a special place in my heart for argyle. I don’t know why. It’s kind of simple, really. Just a bunch of diamonds with some lines superimposed over them. No biggie, right?

Wrong! Maybe it’s the neat thing again. Maybe it’s just that Billy Joe Campbell, heart-throb of my sophomore year of high school, looked positively adorable in his baby-blue button-down rolled-cuff long-sleeve Izod, Duckheads, Jake Ryan sweater vest and matching Abercrombie & Fitch socks (back when A&F was the preppy outfitter). Hmm… where did that come from? I don’t know, but I have always liked argyle… and I haven’t the first clue in Hades how to knit the stuff.

Then today, I find Mare Smith’s post at Knitted Wings about an argyle article and pattern in the Fall 2002 issue of Interweave Knits. WHAT?!?

I’m sure the book is somewhere in the house, so you better believe I’ll be looking for it.

*sigh* Jake Ryan and Billy Joe Campbell.

Yeah. I’ll be working on an argyle vest in no time.

Socks, Tanks, and a Miniature Fair Isle

Well, thanks to everyone for the kind words about the Sigma Tank. I hope everyone who knits one (and everyone who wears one) enjoys it thoroughly.

But frankly, I’m more proud at the moment that I finally finished my Aslan socks! The poor things languished in my project basket for ages while I got other stuff taken care of.

I know it’s been a while, so here’s a quick reminder. They’re toe-up socks using the short-row toe technique in Wendy Johnson’s article in the Winter 2002 issue of Knitty (Seen here). The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Aslan, and they’re knit to fit… me!

They’re the first socks I’ve ever finished for myself, and I’m delighted with them. Now, if it would just cool off a little, I might actually wear them! Seriously, they’ll hang around as shop models for a bit, then I’ll try them on and just enjoy. I can’t wait.

ThreadyBear

And then, there’s the ThreadyBear.

I’m in the process of developing a Fair Isle pattern sized for a teddy bear. The point is to offer beginners a smaller project to learn the techniques used in making Fair Isle sweaters. Knit in jumper weight wool, the project should be relatively simple and quick. I’ve got the basic idea for the patterning done, so now I’m looking at dimensions. Unfortunately, I don’t own very many teddy bears. What size do they come in? And where exactly do you get that kind of information?

So that’s where I am at the moment. Where, though, do I go from here?