Wednesday, September 19

Reading Lace

Did I mention that I've gone back to my old job? I think I drafted a post but didn't finalize it. Yes, the day my kid started high school (full time after two years of part-time school/homeschool) I started back at the bookstore.

Some folks fantasize about working at a bookstore just as some fantasize about working at their LYS. Truth is, it's not all standing around reading and having happy chats with customers about good books. And the pay? Um, small business, retail, part-time, those are not words associated with getting rich. But it does have its rewards and it is only part-time. The owner pleaded with me to come back. I don't know how much of that is that I was a model employee and how much of that is that I'm a warm body and they were desperate. Probably a little bit of both, but that's OK. I felt wanted and that's usually a good feeling. She doesn't know about the blog, but I'll have to write as if she'll find out eventually. That's OK. She's a great woman but she does drive me nuts sometimes. And I may mention that here. But nothing that I wouldn't say to her face. I am pretty candid and there isn't much that I wouldn't say to her face, regardless.

I will get access to galleys again and the discount is nice. I already have a list of books I want to order. I'll space them out to keep purchases less than my salary, but that is hard! My knitting book collection could use some expanding, especially Lace books.

Lace! Oh, how I love you!

When I started reading blogs I would read about folks who memorized lace patterns. Patterns that seemed infinitely complicated to me. And sure enough, my first lace projects were hard. I never got comfortable with the pattern in Cece. I persevered and finished the sweater, but each row was slow. Cozy, well, I could never get that pattern figured out. So many mistakes I ended up frogging it. It was only a few different pattern rows, but I never could figure out where I was.

Either something changed or I chose easier patterns, because lately I have been able to read the lace on my needles better. Most of Estonian Garden Wrap was done watching TV. This weekend I cast on for the Large Triangle in Leaf and Trellis in Victorian Lace Today. And to my surprise, I have A) become faster --- already have 10 of the 30 pattern repeats finished and B) Memorized the pattern. I haven't checked the chart since about repeat number 6. And even then it was just a glance or two. What I still cannot get over is that it is so mathematical, so logical, so easy to read, yet the result is so fluid and graceful and curvy.


I am using some wool I got from a vendor at Madrona. The photo does not do it justice. I was told that it was dyed by none other than Judith Mackenzie herself. That's not on the tag, which just says Davidson Corporation. I don't remember the vendor, but she was clearly associated with JM and Jessica was with me at the time and seemed to know the vendor. Anyway, the yarn is a beautiful green, a richly heathered deeply layered green. I loved the yarn at first sight, but didn't realize just how heathered it was until I started knitting with it. How do you dye yarn so heathered? It almost seems impossible, like that it must have been dyed before being spun, but I don't spin so have no knowledge of that.

I've been dyeing some lace myself, some Zephyr. I don't like strongly variegated yarns for lace, but have become so attracted to hand-dyed yarns that commercial dyed yarns just seem flat and one dimensional. My method of dyeing the Zephyr is to slowly add one color after another to get depth and variation within a limited palette. So far I have sold two skeins and have two more available at Yarn Forest. I have one more that I dyed to keep, but it is red. And we've been finding that photographing red is a challenge. And silk is a challenge with its sheen. So getting a picture I like of that will have to wait until I have more time.



MonicaPDX said...

Hi Dorothy - this is an OT comment (although definitely an interesting post here). But I just pulled my two skeins, Rainforest & Rainforest Variant, out of my mailbox. I emailed Erika, which she'll no doubt pass along; but I wanted to let you know directly that the skeins are both perfect. Utterly gorgeous! Wonderful greens and accent colors! Great depth of color, and fantastic work; I love them. Thank you so much!

And I'll definitely get some of the Aurora 6 next time. Which will likely be soon...ish. [g]

Lindsey said...

That green yarn is fantastic! I'm a sucker for anything green or yellow and that is just the absolute perfect shade!

KarenJoSeattle said...

I worked in a bookstore years ago. Though an independant, it was in a largish mall and not much like the stereotype of the cozy, dark and quet bookstore where the owner/employees putter about.

But it lead lead to me meeting my husband.

If you figure out how to dye heathery yarn without starting with roving, let me know, please.

Patti said...

I can't work in bookstores anymore, I spend all my wages there and my son and I would starve.

I made Cozy once, but out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino - what a mistake! It pilled up like mad immediately. Completely unwearable.