My friend the Red-Fish came to visit a few weeks back. He's a knitter, and for his birthday we'd gotten him the Stitch-n-Bitch book which had this awesome hat with cat ears on that I wanted. While he was visiting, we ventured over to Sheep's Clothing, a fabulous yarn shop in Kennewick. He was looking for something specific, and I just kept pawing and fondling all the gorgeous yarns. I know how to knit; I used to do all sorts of crafty things. But I haven't for ages and ages.

So, Sheep's Clothing has all this fabulous beautiful yarn, and the proprietors have oh so wisely stashed lovely finished projects throughout the store. I came across this skinny, wonderful scarf, too pretty for words, all girly and shiny and with fringe. Which I just had to have. A bag of amazing yarn (really more like ribbon) and some size 11 bamboo knitting needles came home with me. That was project 1. The Red-Fish taught me how to cast on differently from what my memory came up with and away I went. I've since knitted 2 of these impractical beauties. Then, I wanted more.

When I was in Scotland years ago, I bought a blue/purple/green lambswool v-neck pullover which fast became my favorite sweater and was subsequently eaten by moths. Right down the front. I continued to wear it at home or under a coat for some more years, but really the time had come to give it up. Now I had the power to knit myself a new one, or a reasonable facsimile. Michael's (the craft store chain) had a yarn sale going on two weeks ago, and I bought the exact right color yarn (Lion's brand) though worsted and not 100% wool, 12 skeins for cheap. And I bought the Stitch-n-Bitch book for myself and this fancy coffeetable knitting book called Simple Sweaters from Luxurious Yarns. The patterns in this book gave me the idea I could pretty easily knit a v-neck pullover. I've got the front and back done so far. I also bought a pair of long size 10 needles at Michael's, which are a pretty pearly blue, but plastic. I knit most of the front on these, and it was a horrible experience. Plastic needles bend and twist and straight needles are hellishly heavy when the whole of your workpiece is shoved down to the nether end.

I knit continental style, which means I manuever the yarn end with my left hand and wave my right needle around like a symphony conductor. This is rough with 1/2 a sweater hanging in a wad at the far end of your flexing plastic needle. When it got to the point of making the v-neck, and I realized I had to have another set of needles to make this work, I ran back to Sheep's Clothing for bamboo. Judy, a knitting maven, steered me toward a circular needle and gave a quick yarnless demo of how you use one. She sold me by saying "And the weight of your workpiece always stays in the center!" Perfection!

So, like I said, I've got the front and the back done. Before cranking into a sleeve, I decided to whip up something different with some plush Jewelbox chenille yarn I had also bought at Michael's because it was just too gorgeous and soft to pass up. I'm knitting a big long tube to wear like a cowl/hood. This is my first go at knitting in a complete circle on the circular needle and so far the only complaint is I can't tell when I've finished a row, so I just keep compulsively knitting and knitting and knitting away. Also, (and this is kinda cool) you do just knit, you never have to purl (if you're doing the smooth stockinette stitch). After this is done, it's back to the sweater sleeves (which require some ribbing at the cuff).

Then, maybe, I'll finally do up the thing that started this obsession - the hat with cat ears on.

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