Monday, January 08, 2007

Magic Loop, Among Other Things

I'm a Magic Looper! I honestly never thought I would be -- what's the point, after all? I love my DPNs, they're honest and sturdy and serviceable. All those things you want in a needle, and yet ....

I got on the two circulars bandwagon at one point. And they work fine. Yes, there's the need to have two needles in every size, and the feeling like you're knitting with a floppy octopus, and the ladders I get in my socks. They're fine ... but I always go back to my DPNs - reliable, always where you expect them to be. And don't even talk to me about two socks on two circulars. For me, that turns something pleasurable into something so stressful it's not even worth discussing.

But the Loop -- somehow that seemed outside my understanding. Oh, I've viewed those videos online that make it seem so simple. At one point I think I even paid $7 for that funky little booklet that was supposed to explain the mystery that was the Loop. I haven't seen that booklet in years, and somehow I never got IT. The Loop never made sense to me.

Then, yesterday, sitting at our first guild Shop Hop knit-in of the year (The Purly Gates, thanks Ginger and Dana!), I watched Karen knitting the most beautiful Malabrigo lace-weight yarn into the most beautiful Charlene Schurch socks, and I begged her to share with me the mystery, the magic, the ecstasy that is the Loop. Ten seconds later (what in the world was my problem - I should have gotten this years ago), I was jumping up, plucking a 32 inch Addi off the rack, and transferring the last few rows of my CIC sock to it. And knitting. Simplicity itself. Ahh .... While I was there, I fell in love with a Mission Falls baby sweater (Sam) that just screamed to be made for my new (third?) cousin Diego. I think that will be knitting for the Mountain retreat.

And in other knitting news in the Pug household, I did, of course, finish that second CIC sock minutes later, so FO #2 for the year. I was using stash yarn, some green wool from God-Knows-Where and some natural-color discontinued Passport yarn. Do you remember Passport? It was manufactured for a short time for Michael's and I bought several skeins, all of which are gone now. It was 80% wool, a little scratchy but knits up soft and I don't know why Michael's discontinued it. But it was perfect yarn for knitting in a houseful of pugs, because in the natural shade at least, it was sort of pug-colored and therefore impervious to pug hair. And, of course, pug hair is what we have in mass quantity in this house. Normally, when I see a pug hair in my knitting, I have one of two reactions:

o If the knitting is for me, I go, awwww, that's my baby's hair. Cool!
o But if the knitting is for someone else, possibly even someone who doesn't regard pug hair as a sacred relic, I feel guilty. I pluck, I tweeze, I remove and destroy, looking over my shoulder all the time.

Anyway, I'll wash these socks and hope those little fawn and black things that look suspiciously like pug hair are really part of the yarn.

And, let me see, there have ben some additions to the Pug knitting library: Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falck and Knit Christmas Stockings by Gwen Steege. Both are part of my non-resolution to knit in the Christmas spirit all year to avoid the awful Christmas rage that take me over in the fall. And I ordered Nicky Epstein's Nicky's Knitted Christmas Stockings from Amazon after seeing someone knitting one of the most amazing Christmas stockings at this month's guild meeting.

Well, speaking of the guild meeting, it was a terrific meeting, as usual. A speaker talked to us about color -- sort of an updated version of the Color Me Beautiful thing we all did in the 70's. But the fellowship was wonderful -- I love our members. We named a nominating committee for next year's slate of officers, and that made me sad, because I'm almost at the end of my two year stint as president. Before that I did two years as treasurer. So next year I'll still be on the board as past-president and then ... I guess I'm done. I'll definitely find some way to stay involved -- run workshops, or something.

And, of course, I bought two hanks of Jitterbug, Colinette's new sock yarn from one of our guild member shops, Needle Nook. I convinced myself I was buying it to send to my sister Debbie for her birthday, but, uh, no. Well, she might get one of the hanks at some point, but, uh, no, not today. The colors were just so amazing ... and it didn't surprise me to see Karen and Debra buy more at Purly Gates yesterday. Very soft, very colorful. My only concern is that there are 267 meters in a hank, which is, I guess, around 300 yards, which might make a rather short sock for my size 10 foot. Well, we'll see.

Just in case you think I forgot about actually sending Debbie's gift to her, no, I got it in the mail on Saturday. It's knitting-related so it can be revealed later.

Finally, grandson Jake came into the Inner Knitting Sanctum last night to chat. After asking what might be the most naive question of all ("uh, DB, uh, what do y'all DO at those knit-in thingies?"), he began to fondle the Reversible Cable Scarf, #1 FO for the year. I originally bought the yarn (Mission Falls 1824 superwash wool) with him in mind, then mentally assigned the project to the semi-spouse, then decided it would hold in the 2007 Christmas pile. But watching him hold and stroke the scarf, I immediately knew it was his. He left with it wound around his neck after a big hug.

It's all good.

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