Persnickety Persistence Pays Off

For a while there, I thought everyone had lost interest in the mystery cable contest. I know I was getting worried about running out of clues . . . but then Persnickety Knitter handed in a truly inspired summary of research! She has not found the cable, but boy-oh-boy, has she ever looked for it! Check this out:

Cable Clues research

The bad news is, I looked at the wide serpentine cable in Viking Knits, but no, it doesn’t look even close to me. That one has a more orderly look to it and a lot more negative space. The ribs of mine are really squeezed together in some spots, and the whole thing looks more organic—almost ugly (and of course, that’s what I love most!).

And no, you can breathe easy, it’s definitely not in the aran harmony book. Or any harmony guide for that matter; they seem to stay away from the tougher cables as well (though my copies of them are practically shredded from being carried around so much).

The good news is, you do NOT have to chart the pattern (I did that; it was in the clues!!). I could never make you do that. You are on the right track with Barbara Walker though; this cable is right up her goth alley. And make no mistake; this woman has a goth streak a mile wide! I mean, in the later stitch treasuries, she really gets carried away (anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, needs to take a look at her treasuries 3 and 4, as well as mosaic knitting.

And don’t even get me started on the tarot and mythology books! In addition to being the patron saint of knitting stitches, she is a scholar of female mythology and symbology. And the stitch treasuries reflect all her interests. The cables get so involved, that some are almost grotesque; the magic mosaics are so numerous and graphic that it gives you the shivers; there is every conceivable permutation of these very complex pattern types. And what about those cabled lampshades, that coat, those ankle-length mosaic skirts?

Some people might consider this extent of her interest to border on sick-o, but as a knitter, I totally get the desire and fascination with which the woman pursued new combinations of knit and purl.

I could probably get away with scanning some of the best pictures for you and posting them, but really, you owe it to yourselves to go look up the books, sit down on a free afternoon with them, and just let the tsunami of stitch pattern information wash over you.

You probably have come to the conclusion by now I consider Barbara Walker a grande dame of American knitting. My paperback copies of her books are in pieces. I need to see about getting new bindings on them (I heard that kinko’s can put a spiral binding on; how cool is that?). Of course those are just my “everyday” copies. I also have a “for good” or “dressy” set of old hardcover copies that I try to use sparingly. I know, now tell me who’s really sick-0.

Now, I’m sure you want me to get back to the mystery cable, eh? Well, I’m pretty sure one of you does . . . I’m guessing persnickety does not have access to book numbr three, and that’s where I found the cable. So I think (and I’m sure everyone else will agree) we should should declare a winner here and let her FINALLY see the cable!

Tangled ropes cable and chart

I did have to re-chart it for my project; I just have a hard time following her hand-drawn charts, so I usually put them into my software and print them with the international symbols, which I am more used-to.

I am SO relieved to have a winner. Now I will not feel compelled to make daily progress for photographic purposes!! Email your address, and tell me if you would rather have some of the wool/cotton from the sweater itself, or something hand-dyed (i.e., gurlier). And congratulations!

In other, more everyday news, Susan, a student of mine, has completed her first sock. She is SO delighted with it, that she bought two more sock yarns (she made the smart move of using really nice yarn)

Susan knitting

And wore her one sock home from class. She said she was going to sleep with it on, and we believed her!

We just got some Lorna’s laces sock yarn in at the store; we are hoping to see more than just these 2 colorways. Hopefully more is on backorder.

And of course, if there is yarn, Debbie will buy some . . .

Colorful yarn

Debbie is knitting an Ostrich Plumes Lace Stole with the koigu. Maybe she will expound on that more in comments . . . ya think?

I really want to have Debbie be a Knitspot correspondent (Debbie gives great email, BTW). I am thinking of using her emails about the yarn and supplies she discovers, to make posts on days when I cannot (like my teaching days). She’s very good at describing her opinions on yarn in detail. In great detail, actually.

We just need to get her to try things she HASN’T heard about already. Steve is saying, “that shouldn’t be too hard.”

Right Steve, like those four pounds of BFL.

Cover Image Design: Vendange

Bare Naked Wools Artisan Yarns

Originally posted by Anne Hanson on April 6th, 2006

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