No pictures today, but lots to talk about. Things are going very well with Puss in Boots. The actual knitting is very simple (broken in places by difficult or laborious – but not complex – sections. Last night, for instance, I knit the brim of his hat. To do this you use a double strand of yarn on the same little needles. It certainly produces a stiff piece of work, but at the cost of sore fingers and a stiff hand next morning.) and with each piece I add Puss becomes utterly more charming. There are all of these little, simple details that really just make the design, and demonstrate even more clearly Jean Greenhowe’s creative genius. I appreciate how hard it can be as a designer to create something that is both visually appealing and simple for others to reproduce, but she has absolutely done it.
My only complaint (what, aside from sore fingers?) is that the entire thing is knit flat and then seamed! I understand that to be a traditional method, but you’d think that someone who makes so many toys would have adopted tricks to make her job easier. Who knows. Maybe she gets a kick out of seaming. It would not be any trouble at all to convert the majority to the round, but I decided to follow the pattern, as written, in order to assimilate the technique. If I make another of her designs – a distinct possibility, cast into doubt only by my tendency to dash off and design everything I make on the fly – I will be carefully converting to the round to save myself a lot of work as well as a lot of purling.
For those of you who’ve expressed an interest, the pattern is written for DK yarn on size 2 needles. Since I have neither DK nor size 2s (er, that’s not quite true. I do have two balls of this, and a set of size 2 Knit Picks dpns. But stay with me, here.) I used worsted and size 3s, of which I had both a set of straights and a recently purchased set of dpns. It seems to be working well.
I watched The Princess Bride last night with the boys, and Charlie kept turning off the television. He’s got a thing these days for pushing buttons – he especially likes to turn off the computer monitor, but only if someone is using it. Anyway, near the end I stopped turning it back on and just listened while I knit. It was really enjoyable. Since I was home alone for a while after the boys went to bed, so I decided to see if I could dig up an audiobook to keep me company. I went over to Librivox.org, a site I’d bookmarked a while back but never used, to see what I could find. It’s really an amazing website; volunteers read books that are in the public domain, and you can access the recordings for free online. Rather like Project Gutenberg, but audio. Anyway, I stumbled across recordings of The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. I’d never heard of the book before, but now I’m in love with it – it’s a collection of fairy tales (some familiar, some new to me) that makes fantastic listening. I’m going to buy the book, and probably some of his others – I do love fairy tales.