Celtic Cable

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Can't Math

I've seen a lot of funny on the the internet, but one thing that really tickled my fancy was a picture of a restaurant receipt with I can't math  written on the line where the tip was supposed to be added. I can commiserate; I calculate tips by figuring ten percent, then splitting ten percent in half and adding that half to the whole, then haphazardly rounding up just in case. I can't estimate volume or height (if snow is up to my mid-shin, it is not two feet). With knitting, if I'm casting on a large number of stitches I have to place markers at carefully calculated intervals. And sometimes, I just don't think. Cases in point:

One of these socks is much tighter than the other, because the first one was 36 stitches, but the second one was 32. I thought 36 = 16 + 16 (I knit on circs, so everything is divided by two). One sock is 18 and 18,the other is 16 and 16. That's about an inch difference.36 stitches is just about too tight, 32 is like an ace bandage.

I've been trying to finish this sock for quite a while
now. I cannot get the toe to finish. This is the fourth attempt -- you can see how terribly awry it has gone. The funny part is, I stopped working in pattern for the toe, so as not to confuse myself.  So much for that.

On to happier things. Silk! 

This stuff sticks to my hands as if I were dipped in glue. Every tiny little flake of dry skin is a silk magnet. It's maddening!

Here is some unspun, wrapped around the mini niddy. It's so pretty and shiny, but it has big slubs in it, from the edges of the hanky, which are thick.

I gave up on knitting it unspun, and started spinning it. I haven't knitted anything with it yet, though I have pulled apart several layers of silk. That is very therapeutic, despite the sticking to hands.

I thought I'd measure up the clover honey shawlette, so I put it on two circs and spread it out best I could. I think once blocked, it would be about 4 feet across. I have a baseball-sized ball of yarn left, still, so I think I'll keep going. The bottom edge is the edge with the needle, and it is meant to be beaded. I have to find beads big enough to go over the wonder why alpaca. What color beads do you all think would be best? Should I go for wooden or acrylic?The grayish appearing yarn is actually a purply-gray.

And, despite having ... hold on, have to do maths here ... despite having five knitting WIPs and three spinning WIPs already started, I have cast on a fifth sixth project. I won't say what this is, except that it is baby apparel. It's on Knit Picks yarn, fingering or something like it. And it looks ribbed, but it's not really -- it's k2 p2 one row, then k (on the wrong side) next row, alternating back and forth. It makes a very pleasing sort of rolling ribbing.

I leave you with a spring harbinger (snowdrops or crocus?) and a post-dental surgery cat:


Edgar Allen Poe Cat had 6 teeth pulled, among other horrors. He might have bone cancer, or he might just have a severe infection. I really hope it's the infection. He was still stoned from the surgery in this photo, and couldn't quite control his tongue. He is on a rather expensive diet of canned food only, into which I mix crushed dry cat food, and antibiotics. If he loses weight, I'll have to give him tuna and canned chicken.

The things we do for our pets, eh?

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!


  1. WoW! A Fiber Arts Maniac after my own heart. Your sock story makes me happy. Not because you messed up but because you were honest and explained it very well. The Wonder Shawl is GORGEOUS! I can't wait to see it blocked. I'm not sure what to tell you with beads. Wooden would be beautiful with the shades of purple and lilac but the acrylic would help pop the color. I guess it depends what effect you want.

    Happy fiber Arts Friday!

  2. ROFL, I can't do math either. Thanks for the laugh.

    Love the shawl! I too am trying to figure out when to actually finish. Mine is about the same size as yours right now and I decided to keep going too.

  3. Oooh the orange silk is gorgeous!

    I'm pretty rubbish with numbers, mostly mis-reading them but basic calculations can leave me stumped as well...not good when I'm knitting!

    I hope your kitty only has an infection and gets on the mend soon.

  4. Beautiful silk, did you dye the hankies yourself?

  5. The silk is amazing! Best wishes for kitty.

  6. I'm curious to see how that baby project works out! Looks cute so far.

  7. The silk is sooo pretty! It always amazes me how well they take on the bright colors. Good luck with the spinning! Your socks might not match in size, but I sure love your hardwood floor ;-) I cooked for Bucky for the last year and half of his life, yep, my pups are my family.

  8. Lovely crocuses. That orange silk is beautiful! I can't wait to see how it knits up. Great job on the shawl, I think I'd use an acrylic bead in a smoke color just to give it a little weight and shine.

  9. Hehehe... more fiber obsessed. I can't math either... if it's any consolation. That's probably why I'm not much of a pattern follower. If it's someone else's math, I'll likely screw it up. Love your post!

  10. I know I said this last time, but I loooovve that orange silk.

    The baby apparel is beautiful and your math story made me smile. Hope your kitty is better soon.

  11. Oh, I hope your kitty is going to be o.k. He is beautiful. I love black cats. And yes what we do for our animals. I think I have about 52 total now! Eeeks!
    This orange silk you are spinning is amazing. I cannot get over the beauty of it. I love it! You are not alone in your math situation. It can be very frustrating! And I have ripped many, many projects. I prefer spinning now.

  12. I have the same trouble with silk hankies! If you have any fancy salt scrub on hand (I often get things like this as gifts)...using it on your hands just prior to attempting to separate them can help!
    I'm sorry to hear about your cat, too. :(

  13. Thank you everyone for visiting! Thanks for the best wishes for my kitty. He's sitting here next to me now, getting ready to jump up and interfere with my typing.

    The silk hankies were pre-dyed, purchased from Blue Moon. They have an amazing array of colors to offer, and many different fibers. This is my first purchase from them.

    I'm off to find some beads for my shawl, which only needs to be bound off with beads, then blocked! Yay!!


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