Friday, December 5, 2008

Living in Egypt

I have mentioned in a previous post that I am not fond of metal needles, and especially Addi Turbos. OK, I am in the minority. However there are so many non metal needles out there that this minority must be somewhere close to at least 30-40%. After all Knit Picks’ Harmony needles sell very well and Brypuns do too, and they are pointier. Also Clover keeps itself in a nice profit with bamboo needles of all kinds.

It was time to start the next Holiday present. What exactly it is will not be mentioned here as the recipient reads this blog. She is not a knitter so hopefully will not understand the hints I am giving. This particular project is from Cat Bordhi’s second moebius book. The item is perfect for the many balls of natural colored hand spun South American Alpaca/Llama in my stash. Actually this present will probably use up most of that stash and not require me to buy more. A unique feat. I have done several other projects out of this book but none quite so large. It requires a 60” circular #13 (9mm). The only 13’s in my needle depository are dpns or Denise’s. Neither works well with a 200 count Moebius Cast On. I called up to Hickory’s but she only had that length in Addi Turbos. You know I had to wanted to start the project that very day. There is no time to order Bryspuns in the correct size as the Holiday is fast approaching. I read the pattern again deciding that the Addi's would only be used for a short time while the Mobius section was knit. Metal needles won't be a biggie for just a few inches.

I forgot that a Moebius Cast On of 200 really means 400 stitches. The Moebius section ends with an I-cord bind off. A fleeting memory of the unfinished lavender fuzzarelly EZ vest zipped through my brain but, I reasoned, this project was vastly shorter.

The cast on and first round on a real Moebius are definitely interesting. Once you get the rhythm going the cast on moves quickly, if you are not interrupted. The first round needs to be carefully knit, one stitch ktbl, one stitch knit regularly. The 60” cable is doubled inside the cast on stitches and as the rounds are knit the cable moves further and further apart. It‘s kind of like knitting from the middle out. This is fun magic.

Metal needles do not bend in the least, do not warm like Bryspuns, do not hold the yarn like wood. 14 rounds of 400 stitches are a lot of metal needle usage. But, they were quickly enough completed and the attached I-cord begun. Attached I-cord is this: * k2, sl1, k1, psso, sl3 to left needle* repeat, repeat, repeat endlessly. Really, for every ONE new stitch knit you are still knitting 3 old ones. That means I am knitting 1600 stitches in the I-cord bind off. That means that no matter how many iterations have been done there are many many more to go.

I whined to Jim about my lack of progress and he responded with, “Cleopatra, why did you take on another I-cord project when you know they take so long?” I tried to explain that if every knitter knew how many hours a sweater might take, she might never even start the thing. He chuckled his indulgent laugh. Yes, I live in the land of De Nile where knitting (stash, fiber) is concerned.  

He then mentioned the story of some guy (some myth person perhaps?) who only finished his task of plowing a field by looking forward and at what he had done, not at what was left to be done.  An excellent suggestion.  (I then spent the better part of 2 hours online looking for this story instead of I-cording, but cannot seem to find it.  Not Medea and Jason, not in the Illiad, can't find it in Aesop's Fables either. Maybe I missed something?)

Anyone who can successfully show me this story will win a free pattern.


Lily said...

I can't find it either. Need more info...Never heard it myself and I'm an avid fable & moral story reader.

mary said...

The reference is most likely to a quote from Luke in the new testament. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
—Luke 9:62

In order to plow a straight row you must be looking forward to where you want to be and not backward to where you have already been.

Carla said...

I asked my husband, who prides himself on knowing myths and fables (because he references them so often!) And he knows this one, but cannot place its origin, only that the moral of the story is "don't look back"

I did some googling and found an interesting Chinese tale about worms, told to plow a field for 100 days, with the reward of being turned into a dragon at the end. Only one worm did. IMO, the moral of the story is "keep moving forward and keep your eyes on the prize". Totally applicable in this instance as well :) Story is here