Friday, March 23, 2007


I'm working on a new design for Schaefer Yarns--a lacy wrap/rectangular shawl in the colorway called Indira Gandhi--my skein is predominantly purples and browns, with some deep gold and green. The yarn is Martha, a blend of lambswool, cashmere, and angora which comes in absurdly large skeins (I've just noticed that it's 9 ounces, not 8 ounces--good heavens!). This is the one that I wrote about a while ago, which didn't work in the garter stitch lace the way I'd hoped it would. I started again in a much more open stitch pattern form the second Barbara Walker treasury, which I'd originally avoided because I though the colors would overpower the lace. But it turns out that the yarn is dark enough to create consistent contrast between the open areas and the fabric, so it's working out. It's going pretty slowly though because both the wrong side and right side rows have a pattern--no plain purl rows on the WS.

It doesn't help with knitting progress that this is supposed to be a big week for working out, and Kevin is trying to get in the scheduled number of hours even though we didn't have time to exercise on Monday or Tuesday. I ran home from work yesterday afternoon--the weather was just about perfect, but I miscalculated my route pretty dramatically, and ended up having to run up a large hill (I hate hills!) to make up the distance I was missing. There's a rails-to-trail trail near campus, and I had the idea that the end of this section of trail was about 2 miles away (the original rail line went all the way to Northampton, MA, but there are still many sections which haven't been turned into a trail). But it was only a little more than a mile away, so I had to add the hill. I may try again this afternoon, although I'm tempted to take the day off... days off are important too!

The trail runs past these abandoned (or else operational but very run down) factories that I think are really beautiful. One of them has the steel frame of some kind of small room on the roof, with exterior stairs going up the side of the building to it. I'm not sure what the outside walls of the little room were made of, but only the frame is left, so I like to imagine it was roof-top greenhouse (don't ask why the factory needed a greenhouse--it was probably something much more boring and practical). If the factory were converted to studios or apartments, I'd definitely want that room to be mine.

One of the best things about our house is that the developers who converted it left a lot of the wacky quirks it accrued while it was a factory as they were. In addition to the elevator track in the bedroom, there are still those old-fashioned spike nails in the mortar of the brick walls (must have hammered them in while the mortar was wet!), and one funny pencil scribble on the wall that I swear says KrocsKnit. (I see that Google suggests Korockinit instead, which turns out to be a Hip Hop concert or other event in the UK... that seems just as unlikely as graffiti artist-knitters, don't you think?). Anyway--the factories are the same way, but on a larger scale.

OK, this was maybe the most random collection of topics ever!

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