Friday, August 30, 2013

Distraction

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The latest hat in my current series, entitled “Striped Hats:  Somebody Will Like Them”.  Looking at this, I worry about it sitting in a heap somewhere, picked over and disdained in favor of something store-bought.  I get too attached.  But, as Carolyn always says, somebody will like it, and somebody will love that it’s striped.  The pattern for this one is so easy—here it is:  Cast on 80 (I’m using chunky yarn) on a 16” circular needle, US size 9.  Work three garter ridges, or however many you want for a sufficient edging.  Switch to stockinette stitch and work in the round until when you try it on, the hole at the top is past the top of your head.  Make stripes as you please, or not, whatever.  Then begin decreasing as follows:  knit 8, knit 2 together.  Repeat, around.  Knit one round plain.  Next round:  knit 7, k2tog, around.  Knit one plain round.  And so on, decreasing in this fashion and changing to double pointed needles when it becomes necessary, until you have 16 stitches left.  Knit two together, around—8 stitches left.  K2tog, around—4 stitches left.  Cut yarn, run the tail through the remaining four loops, and weave in the ends.  Done. 

I knit frantically, in an attempt to distract myself from worrying about my poor, busted sewing machine, which came back from the repair shop not fixed.  You know how when they shut off the water to flush the hydrants or whatever, suddenly all you want is to take a bath?  You’d do anything for a bath?  You find yourself heating water in pots on the stove and hauling it to the tub like an old pioneer lady?  I caught myself wondering if I should go ahead and finish piecing this quilt by hand. 

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I could probably build a functioning sewing machine out of twigs from the yard in the time it would take me to piece this by hand, but the thought did cross my mind. 

Instead, I polished some silverware, and worried about Miss Kastner.  I found these and a whole bunch more like them in a wet ziploc bag at a yard sale for two bucks. I know, right? That little fork might be perfect for this.

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I did one time piece a bunch of quilt squares by hand, a Drunkard’s Path in black and cream, dang, that thing was pretty, and I can remember taking the workbasket on a camping trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and sitting beside the campfire stitching away on it.  It felt like the exact right thing to be doing.  I wanted to bake cornbread and smoke a pipe as Dean played the harmonica.  Somehow, away from the woods, that project got tabled, and now I can’t find it.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?  Somewhere out there in the storage bins is an almost-finished Drunkard’s Path quilt top, hand-pieced by me in the mountains of North Carolina.  If I weren’t so skeered of the snake, I might go look for it.