My nemesis

No, I haven’t yet managed to find that crocheting pirate who is surely out there to serve as my foil.  My camera is on the fritz.  I’m grumpy about this, because I didn’t get pictures of a lot of the giftie knits I made this year, and I have a lot of interesting things on the needles that will have to be left to the imagination for the moment.

So.  In your mind’s eye, picture the Sweetheart Socks (well, at this point, three quarters of a sock) from Interweave Holiday being knit with kettle dyed green merino.  I know.  I’m as shocked as anyone.  I’m knitting real socks.

I’m going to go ahead at this point and recklessly diagnose myself with Raynaud’s disease, in which the word disease sounds dire, but which actually refers to a problem with circulation that is annoying, but not serious.  For the second winter in a row, here in temperate Northern California, I’ve been experiencing amazingly cold feet.  The toes of my feet turn white and then blue, and this in an apartment that is far from actually freezing.  I lose all feeling in my toes, and only putting them under hot water seems to have any effect.  That effect is usually felt after about ten minutes, and it comes in the form of a feeling of being stabbed with little needles.  Then my toes turn purple and eventually a healthy pink.

I do not like this.  At all.  So I’m taking steps, and I’m knitting myself a pair of socks.  Real wool socks, knit in a gorgeous pattern, knit tight and in a pretty green, and they will serve as my first line of defense in the fight against my circulation.  I am, after all, my own best nemesis.  (Maybe I should take up pirating and get significantly better at crochet.  Then I can threaten myself back and forth, and it would all culminate in a very awesome pirate/ninja duel involving a sharpened hook hand and some seriously scary circular needle nunchucks.)

I’ve also been experimenting with my Colinette Jitterbug.  I like it, but it does not work for any of the things that I purchased it for.  Let it be known, here and now, that highly varied colorways do not work for the Clementine Shawlette.  I should have realized that, and to be honest, I am not usually one for highly varied colorways anyway, but I was reckless.  No matter, I thought.  I’ll get a skein of somewhat varied brown sock yarn and knit it into a chevron scarf of some sort.   My mom will like that, I thought.  So I bought some lovely nutmeg yarn and  knit a nice little swatch of several inches of chevron scarf.  And I can tell you that, my mother being a person of taste, she will NOT like that.

I’m having to accept that the Jitterbug is just not going to work for Mom’s birthday.  Sorry, Mom.  It has an almost minty blue, like Aquafresh, that stands out really really prominently, and that ruins any respectability that the chevron scarf might have had.  (I also managed to wonk out the edges of my swatch, but I think a solution might have been found to that.  The colors, alas, are a different problem altogether.)  So that’s been frogged, along with the beginnings of the second Clementine shawlette, and the Jitterbug has gone to sit in time out in the knitting cabinet.

I have instead the brown yarn that I bought to run alongside the Jitterbug, though, and I have higher hopes for that.  We shall see what comes of it.

I mentioned my impending agedness in my last post.  I got, from generous friends, an Amazon gift certificate this holiday that I think I’d like to use to purchase a gift for myself.  Now, though, with the ability to purchase one book only, I find myself torn between several options.  My Elizabeth Zimmermann library was completed at Christmas with the gifts of The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Around, so I am good on that count.  I need help.

If you were able to get just one of the following books, what would you get?

Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery

Vintage Knits by the Rowan team

The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes

Something else altogether?  I know what I’d most like, and that’s the new Kim Hargreaves book (Heartfelt) but it’s not available through Amazon (curses!) and with the exchange rate and shipping, it comes to significantly more than my gift certificate anyway.

I need your vicarious shopping abilities!


7 Responses to “My nemesis”

  1. Justine Says:

    I have Knitting Classic Style and The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and both are really, very good indeed. It’s a difficult choice. There’s some beautiful pattern in Classic Style, but I think that in terms of usefulness, I’d go with the Book of Yarn.

  2. Sarah Says:

    I finally got to take a gander at Book of Yarn, and it’s highly educational. Seriously excellent resource if you want to know about the differences between woolen and worsted spun yarns, care of different fibers, how Jamieson’s makes those terrific deep heathers (by dyeing the wool in the fleece), etc. But the only patterns I fell for were Adrian’s gorgeous mittens (both pairs). That said, I’m not dying to cast on anything from Veronik Avery’s book rightnow, either. It’s a beautiful book and I really like some of the designs, but nothing made me drool quite as much as those irresistible snail mittens. So I think my vote would go to Vintage Knits (which I still haven’t managed to acquire, but would like to).

    Happy birthday, Kristen! I will counter that 29 sounds very sophisticated. 28 has been forgetable (one of those years where I have to think about it before I tell someone how old I am), but I really liked being 27 and I have hopes for 29. I like saying twenty-nine. I like how the numerals look in print. I’ll be twenty-nine on the twenty-ninth of July. It sounds good. Anyway, I hope it’s a splendid birthday with warm toes.

  3. wazzuki Says:

    If it were me, I’d go with the knitters book of yarn. I have ‘Vintage Style’ and there are certainly some lovely things in there . . .but there are some very unlovely ones as well….think Starsky and Hutch on hallucigens. But the Kim Hargreaves patterns in the book are gorgeous, as always. Don’t have the Veronik Avery book – but that sounds lovely too!

    I love ‘heartfelt’ – this is definitely my favourite book at the moment.
    A very happy birthday to you! Your feeling old makes me feel even older. . . .

  4. Ellen Says:

    Kristen, these ( are my cold feet lifesavers. Best. Slippers. Evah. As far as I know, my feet don’t turn blue, but they do get cold enough to have the pins and needles sensation some of the time when my feet start getting warmer. That’s mainly when I stick them against Craig’s legs in bed, so it’s not a popular state of affairs at my house.

    I also recently discovered It’s a British website with free shipping worldwide. It still doesn’t negate the fact that things look really cheap in pounds (and really, really aren’t), but the free shipping is awesome.

  5. theLady Says:

    You might want to get those cold feet checked out by a dr.

    I’d go for the book of yarn or Vintage Knits. I wasn’t too impressed with the Avery book, but this is all m.o.
    Best birthday wishes!

  6. Burbler Says:

    This is totally unrelated to knitting, but, “Penguins” is perhaps the single greatest artistic achievement of the 21st century. Thanks for the recommendation & good luck with the socks!

  7. merete Says:

    i would go for clara or vintage knits. i love the clara book for its wisdom about all things wool. vintage knits has some lovely knits in it too and is more classic than veronik’s. is awesome.

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