Monday, June 20, 2011


I don't think of myself as a superstitious person.

That said, I never fail to throw spilled salt over my left shoulder (it occurs to me I don't actually know why--must Google that*) or knock on wood when talking about something I don't want to happen (if all that's available is laminate, I knock my own skull on the grounds that it's more authentic), and it's no coincidence that my street address is an even number (my own personal idiosyncrasy). So understand that it is taking all my courage to publish these words:

KNOCKKNOCKKNOCKThe cabled Noro purse is going well.KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK

I realize that the knitting deities now have no choice but to smite me. I accept my fate. 

That's not to say that there's been no trouble at all. For one thing, I have discovered one of the reasons Noro haters hate with such passion. I mentioned that this yarn is spun loosely. In some places, it isn't spun at all. 

The empty needle is pointing to a spot where the yarn is not so much yarn as unspun batting. When I run into these spots, I have to resist the urge to yank on it to make the gauge match the rest of the yarn. The problem with that is that yanking creates very tight stitches, and knitting too tightly makes it very difficult to cable. I'm learning that, whereas most yarns go out of their way to please you, the Noro insists on being itself. The knitter has to adjust to the Noro, not the other way around. I can respect that, as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

I also had a minor setback yesterday when I had to rip back one full pattern repeat because of a miscrossed cable, but careful "proofreading" of the cables has caught most errors early and kept ripping to a minimum. (Who would've thought that editorial skills would come in handy in knitting?)

As of this evening, I have knit the top, horizontal portion of the purse to here: 

I have four more pattern repeats to go. The empty needle is at the halfway point, at about 9.5 inches. I'm planning to try to block it to at least 10 inches wide. I am a ridiculously slow cabler, but the cables on this portion are going much quicker than I anticipated, and I hope I might finish it tomorrow. 

But then the hard part starts. The cable chart for the main body of the purse is so wide it has to be printed in landscape view and contains instructions to repeat the center section four times. Didja catch that? It's too wide to print on letter-sized paper, so it can't be fully charted. And since the purse has a front and a back (doh!), it actually repeats eight times, not four.

This will be prime smiting opportunity for those pesky deities. But, like Odysseus battling the cyclops, I will persevere! Or stab myself in the eye with a dpn. Whichever.

*Apparently, I'm throwing salt in the devil's face.  Another site says that good spirits live on your right side and bad spirits live on the left. Good spirits cause you to spill the salt to warn you about the bad spirits. The origin of knocking on wood is less clear; it may be associated with good tree or wood spirits or with the Christian cross.

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