Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

28 March 2006

Cotton Candy Socks

I'm so naughty. It's a good thing "real" sock knitters can't reach me to smack me.

I said I was using up my stash, didn't I? I had this baby yarn stashed away, good old Red Heart Softee Baby, in a color mysteriously called "Kitten Print". (If your kitten is this color, shame on you, and step away from the dye bottles!) It doesn't look like kittens to me: to me, it looks like the cotton candy they sell at the county fair.

I had used this yarn to make a pair of baby socks, which I ended up not giving the intended recipient. Reason: the stuff overtwisted as I knitted it, despite letting it unwind after every needle, and they came out disappointingly firm-textured. These days I realize I might have been able to try a larger needle size to overcome the combination of overtwisting and my tendency to knit tightly.

But the firm texture has been roiling around in the back of my head, along with a design for "moving ribs", spiral ribs that move back and forth like a goose-eye weaving pattern. The other day the two got tangled together, and started to come out as these socks. My plan is that the ribs will be on the instep, then after I turn the heel, I'll knit the whole cuff in them.

I have no idea how they will wear. If I like how they turn out, I do have some "real" sock yarn to try them in. This sock-knitting thing is like eating peanuts: as soon as one pair is done, I can hardly wait to start the next one!

Today's "Living in Rural Michigan" Essay

I saw a unique sign of spring this morning after I dropped my son off at school. It is fairly common around here for people who keep chickens to let them out in the morning to peck in the yard. I often see a flock wandering over a lawn, and sometimes crossing the road [sorry, I had to say it].

But someone on the road home from school keeps pea fowl. Several times in the fall we saw the white peacock and the standard peacock sitting on the porch railing of their front stoop, up against the house to keep out of the rain. Once we saw one of the pea hens leading a clutch of chicks across the road.

Today I had to slow down to let the flock, a couple of peacocks and at least three hens, fly low across the road like giant pheasants. I guess they've been let out of the pen for spring!


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