Well, I guess she’s not called The Sneak for nothing. She really does have a funny way of sneaking off without a trace whenever I actually need her for something.

On the other hand, it is perhaps slightly presumptuous of me to assume that I can use her car when I want to in the first place…

My plan for today was to sneak off with The Sneak’s car and go to a yarn store (or three, depending on how my sense of direction was feeling today). I know it’s rather hard to believe, seeing as I’ve lived here since September, but I have not yet made it to one single yarn store in Kalamazoo.

Although I think it really fits quite well by definition, here is the real way in which The Sneak got her title. I know it’s not nearly as exciting as whatever you imagined, but I really just enjoy the linguistics (and effects) of going “YOU SNEAK!!”. This eventually just became “Sneak, can you get me toothpaste when you go to the store?” “Sneak, I don’t want to do my work!” “Sneak? I’m really sleepy and there are couches having a dance party in the room upstairs.”

Moving on.


How silly. Of course I couldn’t resist the silk. Emily is resigned (it doesn’t take much persuading with silk) and has taken to carrying the ball around on her neck.

The pattern..can develop as I go along. I started with a provisional cast on of 102 stitches on a 2.75 mm. needle, knit nine or ten rows, knit the cast on row together with the live stiches to make a hem, and worked it straight to 2 cm. Now I am decreasing toward the waist. See how professional I am? I haven’t even decided whether this is the front piece or the back piece yet. Let’s not talk about that.

Silk tends to grow when you wash it, so I actually made a little swatch for this project. And washed it.


The swatch is the bit at the bottom with the ruffly edges. Those are because I started out on a 3.25mm. needle for about six rows like the label recommended, then switched to a 2.5mm. for about six rows, then finally switched to the 2.75mm. The first fabric was looser than I wanted, and the middle fabric was nice but not drapey enough for a shirt. The top section was a nice mix, with the solid visual effect and some of the stitch memory of the 2.5mm. fabric, and some of the drapey effect of the 3.25mm. fabric.

Now, even the non-knitters reading this can see that..uh..I didn’t go about swatching in a logical manner. At all. Why put the smallest needle size in the middle? It pulls the whole thing in and makes it impossible to measure accurately without some very creative placements of the feet. Yes it’s funny, I do seem to avoid a lot of subjects about why I do things, have you ever seen a dancing couch?

Seriously though, I was more concerned with the texture than the gauge when I was trying needle sizes. Technically a gauge swatch should measure 5″x5″ so that you can easily measure across 4″x4″ in the middle. I kind of cheated. (That is an understatement, as I have never knitted a full-sized swatch in my life. Don’t take my advice, but it can be overlooked. I swear.)

It will work out, I promise. The fabric is light enough that it shouldn’t stretch that much lengthwise when I wear it (as is a concern with cotton and heavier weights of silk), and I actually reached the recommended gauge on the 2.75mm. needle after swatching. It remained the same after I stretched it in every possible direction for about ten minutes, then back into shape.

I realize that if you can’t knit, none of this really makes that much sense. Tough cookies. However, here is a knitting thing that might actually be interesting to you.

A fiber that releases vitamins when it comes into contact with your skin? Intriguing. Apparently this still works after multiple washings, too. Hmm. Apparently this yarn is actually nicer than pure silk. Anyone up for a quest this summer?

I have to go.


Yeah, you wish you had a snout too. Amanda is here!!

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