Friday, December 29, 2006

All Nupped Out

Yep, I’m done with each and every one of the 208 nupps in the Swallowtail Shawl! Yippee! Towards the end they were getting easier and quicker to accomplish, a fact that may have to do with my loosening up the stitches to just the right tension so the needle didn’t have to fidget around so much in order to pick them up. I am now halfway into the swallowtail border. I may even get this finished today or tomorrow at the latest. Wow! A land-speed record!

Meanwhile, I thought you might like to see what the “extra-needle nupping technique” looks like. This here blog has been awfully light on photos lately.

First we get the skinny needle into the nupp stitches by whatever means necessary:


Then yarn around the needle and pull it through all 5 stitches purlwise:


Lastly we transfer the new stitch from the skinny needle over to the circular without twisting it:


Hopefully I’ll have a Finished Object to show tomorrow. But for now, since we’re heading to the finish line on this year, I thought I’d do my crafty version of the best and worst of 2006.

Best book: Donna Druchuna’s “Arctic Lace” because it’s so much more than a knitting pattern book. It’s a window into another culture, a lace knitting and design tutorial and a great read. Runner-up: Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay & Ann, another fun read as well as practical projects and tips.

Best new tool: Tori, my new Louet S-95 Victoria spinning wheel. She’s just a fun little wheel that’s very easy to spin on. Runner-up: my Pfaff Cover/Style serger. It cost even more than Tori. It works.

Best discovery: podcasts. Well, I actually started listening to them late last year but this year has seen a plethora of new ones giving me many choices to amuse my mind while my hands are busy working. Runner-up: blog feeds, thanks to IE 7 making it easier than ever to access them. I don’t have to waste time checking my favourite blogs only to find they haven’t been updated.

Best shopping experience: Shipwreck Beads in Lacey (near Olympia) WA. Biggest. Bead store. Anywhere. But they still didn’t have everything I wanted! My wants are just too big for any one store. Runner-up: Helping my local yarn shop with their inventory. I uncovered many hidden treasures.

Most annoying sales ploy: Pink. For breast cancer. Is it just me or is it not good to make money off people’s wish to help where only a tiny percentage, if any at all, goes to the charity? Am I supposed to think that the business is somehow better and more deserving of my patronage because of their “charitable” gesture? Also note: There are other noble and deserving causes and other colours besides pink. Please.

Most incomprehensible purchase (by others): The competition for hand-dyed sock yarns in shops, at craft fairs and online. Sorry. Not that I want to put enterprising boutique dyers out of business, but I’m not one of their contestants…er, customers. You can dye your own, people! It’s not hard and a whole lot cheaper. Even if you buy your white or natural yarn by the 50 g ball at full retail it’s still gonna be less than half the price. Runner-up: Light-up knitting needles and crochet hooks. Why would you want to knit in the dark and would those who might be sharing the dark with you mind the lights flashing around? Do they really allow you to see your work or are they just a gimmick? Second runner-up: Glass drop-spindles. Self-explanatory.

I personally find this odd/weird/creepy: The Church of Craft. Maybe it’s my ex-Catholic sensibilities but getting together to craft shouldn’t be considered a “religious experience”, should it? Why aren’t meet-ups and craft guilds enough for these people? Runner-up: “What-were-they-thinking” vintage fashions type of humour, like Stitchy McYarnpants. Maybe it’s just my strange sense of humour or maybe it’s because I was actually around when many of those patterns were published (and yes some of it is definitely ugly), but I rarely find the accompanying text amusing. The Christmas one is kinda funny though.

Most insufferable phrase: “Not Your Granny’s [fill in the blank]”. If they think that any content that follows that title is going to be automatically perceived as ultra-hip, anybody can see they’re trying Way Too Hard. I AM a granny. And I might have been interested, but they’ve turned me right off. Runner-up: “Not Your Mama’s [fill in the blank]”. Yeah, I’m one of those too. And ditto.

Interesting trends noted: finer yarns, lace, updated crochet, more challenging designs, slightly looser but well-fitting clothing, non-bulky layering, recycling (think fulled or unraveled sweaters, re-cut and recombined garments, repurposed jewelry components), more people making more things.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s up for 2007. Meanwhile we’re awaiting my grandson whose due date is today. No word yet!

1 comment:

Sharon in Surrey said...

Geeze Louisa, guess I missed those "Light-up" needles & hooks!! And thanx for the 'NUPPS' info. I looked at the 'Lily of the Valley' shawl & article & wondered how that was done!! I'll have to try it out sometime.