Ever notice that learning a new hobby can inspire you to become adventurous in your other avocations? Something about learning the ukulele has gotten me to look at knitting techniques that I’d previously written off as too difficult. Case in point: colorwork. We all have an intarsia project that took a wrong turn (at least, I hope we all do), and after my attempt at knitting a monogrammed bowling bag I had consigned all colorwork to a musty, holey shelf. Of course, my love of Mad Men and my pile of scrap yarn made me reconsider Fair Isle.
I cast on for these on Friday morning, once I’d completed a previous hat. By Sunday night, I’d finished the first mitten. I definitely see some things I should have done differently with these. I kind of almost wish I’d used the salmon pink yarn in place of the baby pink as the accent color in the middle, since the pale pink doesn’t pop against the white as much as I would have hoped. Also, the decreases don’t line up along the sides of the mittens. I will at least do the decreases differently on the second mitten.
The white, crimson, and baby pink yarns are Berrocco Ultra Alpaca. The “Wes Anderson pink” is a semi-mystery Plymouth worsted alpaca that was discontinued when I bought it in 2009. I knit these on an Addi size 3 needle. Soon they will be Raveled.
One of my favorite bands of the New Wave era is the Waitresses, an innovative-yet-accessible ensemble known for a short run of novelty hits. While the gossamer guitar runs and surrealistic lyrics of “Make The Weather” tugs at my heartstrings and the instrumental break in “Go On” blew my mind when I first heard it, I have to link to “Christmas Wrapping”.
I first heard this when I was in seventh grade. The late, lamented WFNX played it with such frequency in the Christmas of my twelfth year that we were convinced it was a new song by the then-reunited Tom Tom Club. Surprise! It was actually several years old by the time I heard it.
While Patty Donahue has since gone on to the great Danceteria in the sky, Chris Butler has kept himself busy with some pretty fascinating work, including writing the world’s longest song, recording a series of EPs on early non-electric recording devices, and collaborating with Fluxus. Always check out what he’s doing, because it will surprise you, make you think, and make you dance.
While I was cleaning out my stash this week, I found some sock yarn inspired by a very special man who may be familiar to a few of you:
A few years ago, Gentleman Caller had given me two skeins (!!) of sock yarn in a colorway inspired by the Purple Shirt of Sex from BBC’s Sherlock as consolation for my unsuccessful attempt to complete UMB’s math placement test. I used one of the skeins to make a shawl as part of a knit swap, but that leaves me with a skein and a half to make…something. I’ve since gotten through my algebra requirement and graduated…but I’d forgotten I had this yarn.
Since I’m going on a yarn diet as part of Project 333, I wanted to make good use of this delicious skein. After boy genius sock designer Josiah Bain favorited one of my pictures on Instagram, I looked into his designs and found his Mirror Socks. I identified with Josiah’s musical inspirations (even though I’m not familiar with Ellie Goulding), and his elegant designs and use of garter stitch look cool. On the other hand, I love Alana Dakos‘s Cosette Wrap, which would go well with some of the things I’m knitting for myself for the spring.
Which should I make?
Do you have any treasured skeins of yarn?
Last week I started taking ukulele classes with Amy Kucharik. I’ve been practicing on my own, I’ve taught myself a few chords, and I can stumble through a few songs. Like this one: