Ladies und Genklemuns… I give you, High Helen!

Ok. I’m not actually giving you High Helen. Maybe I should have said, “Presenting…” Oh, well.

There’s always a story, right? Sit back, knittin’ kiddies, this one’s a hoot. About two years ago while Rob and I were still living in Lansing, Michigan, we regularly haunted Yarn for Ewe in Okemos. One afternoon, I was minding my own business when a strikingly beautiful woman came in wearing an equally gorgeous sweater with horizontal stripes of variable width. Now, typically I’d have paid infinitely more attention to the gorgeous sweater, but after what I considered a relatively brief conversation, I knew that this woman’s name was Helen, that she was an artist… a painter, in fact, and that when she was feeling blocked, she’d get baked out of her gourd and just start painting. Now, having had my day in the sun, I found her candor and aplomb charming and didn’t even consider not asking her to wander around the shop with my while I compared her sweater to the yarns available. Presumably blocked at the time, she complied.

The final solution: six colors of Philosopher’s Wool 2-ply and two colors of Tahki Donegal Tweed. The Tahki is slightly heavier than the Philosopher’s, but they’re also the two lightest colors, so the difference is barely perceptible.

I’ve also knit the entire body from band to shoulder in the round with the intention of steeking in the sleeves. That’s probably why the sweater has stalled for nearly a year at the top of the sleeves.

Here’s where you get to razz me. I’ve always been the world’s worst about cajoling new knitters about getting past their fears. I’m even the one who tells people not to worry about steeking. But now, you see, it’s my turn. Not only have I knit the sweater, but it’s my own design, and now, I’m the one with cold feet. I know I’ll get over it, but… dang! Who knew it would be this hard?

Oops… someone’s at the door.


Hey, Teresa! Guess what I just got in! (C is so going to kill me one day.)

31 Flavors… (see where my mind is) ahem… 31 colors of Jamieson Shetland DK. Should we set places for you tomorrow night for Third Thursday?

I do so love being an enabler.


Knitting and Purling Backward

I’ve heard a lot of crabbing about magazines lately, and I’ve got to admit that a lot of the projects I’ve seen in magazines lately have left me flat. But I have seen one very good article in a recent issue of Vogue Knitting International.

In the Winter 2002 issue, there’s an article called, "Reversing the Course: A Guide to Knitting and Purling Backwards" by Shirley Paden. I can’t really speak for the depth of knowledge of Ms. Paden nor for the quality of the prose, but the content is out of this world. I love technique pieces, and this one nails it. She walks us through knitting and purling in British and continental styles. That alone gets her an A-plus in my book, but she then goes on to describe suitable practical applications of the techniques and how to do important but often overlooked things like yarn overs, increases, decreases, and color knitting.

If you can’t find the book locally, I’d seriously suggest contacting the publisher for a back issue. Complain as you will about icky patterns, but in my less-than-humble opinion, that one article is worth the price of subscription.

Anyone else out there know of any good technique articles? Any sources for good technique articles?

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