Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Return of Sweaterhag

Hello blog friends. Yes, I have fallen off of the blog map of late, but am trying hard to reestablish my blip. Funny, I thought that when I started a blog, that I would have nothing to write about. It seems that just the opposite is true, and I have been too busy to blog like I want. I will be talking about what I have been doing, but today is for remembering an internet friend.

I was stunned by the sad news of the sudden passing of our beloved list Aunt Gail; Gail McHugh, the moderator of “KnitU”, the Knitter's magazine email forum. I have been a long time member of KnitU, mostly lurking, since the early days. Auntie Gail was professional, warm, funny and unfailingly positive while dealing with what must have been the huge piles of mail that chatty knitters generate. She was also a machine knitter. KnitU is overwhelmingly a hand knitters forum, but she did all of us machine knitters a huge favor by also proclaiming herself a machine knitter. I wish I had been able to talk with her about this; what machine she had, how many, etc. I hoped that we would meet face to face one day, perhaps at a Stitches event, and we could chat carriages and ribbers. Alas, Gail has moved on to the big afterlife yarn shop. (Where I know that they have a big comfy couch, unlimited yarn, a shop cat and dog who get along, tea, coffee, wine, chocolate, and lots of good company; Elizabeth Zimmermann and Sidna Farly, among many others.) We will miss her. My heart and thoughts go out to her family.

Gail’s pet project was Covenent House in New Orleans. She and Dez Crawford were spearheading a drive to contribute 1000 warm knitted items by the holidays. I am ashamed to admit that I was only listening with half an ear as Gail urged us to make and send our contributions to wrap those devastated by Katrina, assuming that "others would take care of it." Then she was gone, so I am stepping up to be one of those others.

I've fired up my old 150 Bulky machine, and broken out the Wool-ease. This was my first knitting machine, bought sometime back in the early 1980's, and is still the dearest to my heart. For no-frills, non-patterning heavy-duty knitting, this guy is unstoppable. Since my knitting time is limited, and I lost some time at the outset coming up with a prototype that I liked and can be produced quickly, I only have a few hats to show so far (I'm getting bogged down in the seaming, too.). But now I've got a simple Fisherman's Knit cap that I can produce in under an hour (not counting seaming).

That is where I'm at, I'd like to have at least 10 hats by this weekend so I can get them off and hopefully they will arrive in time for the holidays.