The Dissent Cowl (pattern by Carissa Browning) is done! I steam blocked it this morning. I like this with the dot pattern folded to the inside, and just the dissent collar portion showing.
It was best to knit this while looking at it, because it’s easier to maintain the patterning by reading the knitting instead of counting. Which meant I needed to *listen* to something instead of reading my iPad or Kindle while I knit. Game on.
Mary Chapin Carpenter has a new album out, The Dirt and the Stars, and it’s wonderful. A lot of it feels like it’s written especially for this time, so deeply introspective, but she’s been working on it for several years.
Carpenter made a podcast with poet Sarah Kay, called One Story, to promote the album. It’s a great example of pivoting and adapting to our pandemic times. Normally a musician would go on tour to promote a new album. Instead we get to know about what she was thinking when she wrote the songs, and then a deeper dive at the end. All three episodes are great, but the third one really struck me. Titled “We’re Doing What We Love,” it has so much resonance for all makers of art and craft. They talk about heroes, mentors, impostor syndrome, and legacy. Give it a listen; I hope you love it as much as I did. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and who knows where else?
Lots of introspection on the album, but my favorite track is this sly, rollicking song about…Lindsey Graham.
So that’s what I’ve been listening to. And I’m reading the memoir “All I Ever Wanted” by Kathy Valentine, the bassist for the Go-Go’s. It’s a fast moving read, with lots of name dropping. Highs and lows and lots of music and drugs fueling it all. I’m just getting to the part where money changes everything, but I’m enjoying the upbeat 1980s music while I read.
Do you multitask while you knit? What’s your favorite thing to do while you knit?
I sat in on a couple classes at Virtual VKLive this weekend. I enjoyed them both!
The first was Lucy Neatby’s 2 color double knitting in the round. I originally took this class in 2017 at Madrona, but I never did anything with it. Time for a refresher! I re-learned how it works, and several different ways to manage 2 yarns. It was fun, but it still doesn’t speak to me like brioche does.
I also sat in on Franklin Habit’s mosaic knitting class. I’ve done lots of slip stitch knitting before (most recently Half the Knit Sky), but not actual mosaic knitting, as defined by Barbara Walker. I learned a bit about how to chart mosaic knitting, and considered playing with different textures. All garter stitch? Garter on stockinette background? Stockinette on garter background? My personal preference is garter on a stockinette background, like in Half the Knit Sky and my Dotty Cowl and Dotty Cake hat.
I don’t love the waffle weave look of all garter stitch mosaic. And that’s when I realized…my Dissent Cowl is garter stitch mosaic. The waffle texture is most noticeable on the dot pattern at the beginning. But the collar portion is so iconic, it doesn’t come off as mosaic garter stitch. Well played.
The cowl is coming along nicely. It’s pretty intuitive knitting. I adjusted it to make it smaller, and the neck a little shorter. We’ll see how that turns out over all, soon. You know, of course, this just makes me want to knit a second one, with more modifications, but I don’t think I want to invest that much more time. So many things to knit!
What’s on your needles? I have this and Rio Calina, and maybe mitts to go with the Deep End Hat. I’m not feeling too excited about the mitts right now. I’m not sure I want mitts at this gauge? Would a cowl be more compelling? You couldn’t wear it with the hat (too much all together around your head/neck), but it would be a nice option for those who don’t wear hats. What do you think?
Last week, this street mural of RGB popped up in the neighborhood. Pretty awesome! A group of neighbors painted it overnight.
She’s getting a lot of attention in the neighborhood and on social media. Cool!
Inspired by RBG, I decided I need to knit a Dissent Cowl (Ravelry link). Pattern is by Carissa Browning; she’s donating pattern sale proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. There’s a crochet version, too, in case you prefer that. I’m knitting mine with Hazel Knits Lively DK, in Jam Session and Nickel, both out of stash. (Stash means I bought yarn for something, but decided it wasn’t the best yarn or color choice for the project, so I set it aside. I don’t usually buy yarn without a specific intended purpose.) The red is even deeper and plummier than this picture.
This has been an interesting knitting year. I don’t usually have much time to knit other people’s designs, but pandemic stay-at-home and a little bit of designer’s block made me knit other things while awaiting inspiration. So far I’ve knit 3 Love Note sweaters (Tin Can Knits), I’m working on Cat Bordhi’s Rio Calina cowl, and now this Dissent Cowl. At least the Love Note sweaters weren’t instigated by grief and loss. Sigh.
Speaking of grief and loss, one of my knitting students passed away last week. Judy Clymer Welles was a founding member of my knitting guild. She was hoping to live long enough to vote in the November 3 election, but decided to make a difference by writing to voters in swing states before she passed. She’s in the NY Times today, story by my piano camp roomie Katie Hafner. It’s a small world, isn’t it?
Onward. May RBG’s memory be a blessing, and Judy’s too.