Here is Elizabeth Zimmermann's justly famous Moebius ring, to the pattern in Knitting Around, in about 2 1/2 balls of RYC Cashsoft DK in white, worked as a gift for an elderly friend who remarked recently about the chill in her upstairs room, in snowy Bristol. "Aha!" I thought to myself.
I gussied up the I-cord edge with a little bit of faggotting (or is it technically only a column of eyelets?), by working a K2tog, yo at the end of each row in the garter-stitch section. This had the very satisfying effect of looking pretty much exactly as I had hoped it would, setting off the I-cord just a little. I regret to say, though, that I did not have the brains to figure out how to graft it, so it is not as invisible a join as I would have liked, but it's finished and off to its recipient.
The finished size is 15 in. x 10 in., when laid out as in the photo below. Wasn't sure how big to make it, but thought I should err on the larger side, rather than the smaller. It does tend to leave the neck a touch bare when draped artfully, but there it is -- it could also, as EZ points out, be laid flat against one's chest, thereby providing a double-layer of warmth.
I read an interesting review of Sebastian Faulks' A Possible Life recently,
and was pleasantly surprised to find that my local public library has it. (They do not seem particularly interested in fiction, I regret to say, though I must confess that I myself was not either until a few years ago.) It is unfortunate that Faulks' book comes on the heels of Cloud Atlas, which in its structure of different stories in different voices it resembles very much. Faulks' stories are much more independent, though -- a certain block of flats, a plaster statue, and so on, are the only links between them, bar of course the common themes of humanity, love, and the complexities of our relationships with each other. Mitchell's ability to create unique and amazingly disparate voices is what impressed me most about Cloud Atlas, and Faulks has some of this too, though not quite so dramatically -- his one piece set in the US is narrated by an Englishman, and I had to wonder why (except that it is said somewhere to be based on the relationship between Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash). The problem, I think, with this format -- like with Cloud Atlas -- is that perhaps inevitably there will be parts that a reader will relate to far more (or far less) than others. As with Cloud Atlas, I was bored by the story set in the 1970s, and was completely absorbed in the Victorian one. This of course makes the whole book feel more than a little uneven.
In other news, Mary Lou was wondering a while ago -- well, it was more than a few months, I guess -- about a stain on a piece of cross-stitch her mother had worked. This is the first cross-stitch I ever worked --
and I didn't realize that what I thought was a clean hand (blush) was not, and that holding it in the same place for hours on end left yellowish stains on the canvas. This disappointed me so much that I rolled it up and left it to knock about in various cupboards and boxes since then (thirty years!). I found it again last autumn, and thought I might as well try anything as it was unlikely that I'd mount the thing with long yellowish streaks across the corner.
I started out gently, as one does, with laundry detergent, graduating to stain removers, nothing worked -- then I thought, "oh, well," and poured bleach straight on it. This worked pretty well, in fact, and didn't fade the colors of the embroidery floss at all. I ended up doing this twice, and re-blocking. You can still see a hint of stain in some lights, but it was good enough to frame at last.
I'm not sure I would recommend such a drastic measure with something really valuable, but I was impressed that this floss came through so beautifully. Aaron Bros. framed the piece very nicely for me, too.