We have some moving scenery out here in the flatlands. Monday week ago, it was moving about 35 mph and was Oklahoma-bound. We had a real howler. The trees outside my window couldn’t make up their minds between Martha Graham and Twyla Tharp. How brown was my sky? Medium tan on the horizon fading upward through pale beige to ecru/eggshell up top from the sun glare. It blew again yesterday and today, but only about 22 mph. We usually get these blustery days in March, but we’re getting them early this year, apparently .
Days like these take me back to walking home from elementary school. That was back in the 1950’s, before the farmers learned “sand fighting” techniques. Walking home through a sand storm, when the wind gusts were strong enough to knock you off balance if they hit you broadside. The air would be gritty and smell like dusty ozone. There was a park about halfway between the school and home that was bounded on the west by Orlando Avenue and on the east by Nashville Avenue, on the north by 40th street and on the south by 42nd street, which I crossed at a long diagonal, corner to corner. (In my town, north/south streets are alphabetical from east to west and east/west streets are numerical from north to south.) That was the challenging bit, crossing the park. There were no houses or fences to break the wind. It would slap me around and lull me into leaning into it, then fake me out by dropping abruptly to catch me off guard and make me stagger. We stayed with the neighbor lady after school til mom came home from work. Although she had three girls and I had a younger brother, our ages were staggered such that I never got out of school at the same time as anybody else. I always walked home by myself. There was a playground in the park, but I never stopped to play on it, not in all of the 6 years I went to that school. I always walked straight home. After we had a blow, there would be a rime of powder-fine dust along all the window sills and top sashes, the sugar would be slightly dingy. The air would have that dry, dusty smell for days as the fine dust settled out of the air.
This choice quote from one of the “homesteading” YouTube channels I follow: “I’m going to stick stuff everywhere until I run out of places to stick stuff.” Story of my life! LOL.
Mom seems to hear pretty well on her new phone, which is a relief. It has a better speaker and more volume. I’ve got some mail I need to take over as well as a couple of tubes of toothpaste as she’s about to be out of toothpaste again. Tomorrow.
Finished another hat. The turquoise one is made from the same pattern as the green one, only instead of using yo (yarn over) to do the increase, I used kfb (knit front and back). The yo produces an eyelet and gives a lacier effect. The kfb makes a tighter fabric without the eyelets.
There’s a lady in the knitting group that wanted to learn cables. I did the second hat to show the difference between twisted cables (blue) which have two strands, and braided cables (pink) which have three. When you work cables, you are literally changing the order of the stitches on the needle. You pull some off the left needle onto a cable needle, work the stitches behind them, then put the stitches on the cable needle back on the left needle and work them. Whether you held those cable stitches behind the work or in front of the work (cross in front, or cross behind) when you worked the stitches behind them determines what the fabric looks like. The instruction for a cable cross is “C(number)” followed by “F” or “B” (Front or Behind).
On the blue hat, I worked the cables over six stitches against a 4-stitch reverse stockinette “ground” (which makes the cables stand out). Since a twisted cable has two “strands,” each strand is 3 stitches. The (number) in the instruction is the number of stitches in a strand. That last letter (F or B) tells how the strand crosses — in front or behind. On the blue hat, the cables that twist to the left only use C3F crosses. The cables that twist to the right only use C3B crosses.
The difference between the twisted cable and the braided cable is the number of strands. On the pink hat, the braided cable is worked over 9 stitches, which gives three strands of 3 stitches each. Think how you braid hair. The right strand crosses over the middle one, then the left strand crosses over the middle one. To accomplish this in knitting, you alternate a front cross with a back cross, but because you’ve got three strands in play, you’ve got to offset the back cross because you’re not only alternating crosses, you’re alternating the strands that cross. So across a braided cable of 9 stitches, your first cross would be C3F, k3, — you’re crossing the first (right side) strand over the middle strand, with that “k3” being the left strand. The second cross is the cross of the left strand over the middle strand but because knitting, in order to do that, you have to cross the middle strand behind the left strand (C3B), and you’ve got to get past the first strand to do that, so the second cross is k3, C3B. You don’t need to see a picture of the finished article to know what kind of cable you’re doing. All you have to do is look at how the crosses are written in the pattern.
When you knit something where the bind-off is on the knitting — like the sleeves in a top-down sweater, or the ribbing on a top down hat like the kitten hat, I like to use a variant of that bind off where you knit two stitches together, put the resultant stitch back on the needle and knit it together with the next stitch.
This works fine on stockinette but on ribbing, it doesn’t look right. What I like to do is after I’ve knit the two together, I look at what the next stitch is. If it’s a purl, I bring the yarn forward before I put that stitch I just worked back on the left needle. Then I purl the two together. Here’s the finished kitten hat for a baby.
Periodically, I like to mortgage my mythical firstborn son so I can pick up half a pound of brisket at the deli in Market Street. This works out to four or five sandwiches’ worth. Now and again I can come across the tanduri naan made in a “sandwich round” form which, oddly enough, makes an excellent sandwich. Chop up some brisket and give it a 35-second zot in the microwave. Get one of those “beefsteak” tomatoes that one slice will cover the bun, and put mayo on one piece of bread followed by a slice of tomato. I put tartar sauce on the other slice of bread because I like the pickles+beef taste combination, and then put the chopped meat on and amalgamate the sides. Serious nums! Of course, the portions of the meals Carillon provides are quite generous and it’s not unusual that if they’re serving ham or roast beef, I’ll have meat left over that’s suitable for sandwiches. That was the case today. I had two sandwiches for my meal, one of brisket and one of leftover roast beef from a meal earlier in the week.
3 thoughts on “In The Old Days”
Your childhood memories made for a good read! Fighting against the wind gets annoying pretty fast, lol. I’ve used your bind-off variant just once, and that’s how I did it too–makes a lot of sense considering the stitch construction.
Your description of walking home in your sandy wind reminded me of walking home from school in snowy wind: particularly, that ‘stagger’ that inevitably happened when the wind decided to drop abruptly. Right now, we don’t have brown air, but greenish air. It’s still a very faint tint, but if you look on cars that haven’t moved for a couple of days, there it is: pollen. The oaks are coming into their own, and then it will be the pine trees’ turn. If it’s heavy enough to collect on the surface of the water, it can make for some great natural abstractions.
I’m glad your mom’s phone is doing the trick for her.
I’ve just spent the best 45 minutes browsing your posts, your reader dialogs, and your other blog, River of Stones, which I just love. Thanks for filling my imagination!