Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A man yu whatsis?

First up....proof of progress: ....though it's highly doubtful anyone will need these in the next few days. Linda and I had a mitten discussion the other day, and she is posing the question "what is your favorite mitten pattern?" The pattern I have always (and only) used is from a booklet that came to me from my mother-in-law several years ago. The booklet is of unknown vintage, and has patterns for gloves and mittens in all sizes, with directions for flat knitting or 4 dpn's. Me, being the 2 circ girl that I am, adapted the pattern and have made 3 or 4 pair now. They seem to work up fine, but I'm really keen to try the afterthought thumb pattern---the thumb gussets slow things down a bit and cause you to have to pay attention. Simple mittens would be much more fun, I'm thinking. Do any of you have a favorite mitten pattern you'd like to share?? With the mittens done, I turned my attention to the sock in progress last night, and got a few more rows done. It's looking rather splendid, if I must say so myself. Here's what I love; things that look really hard, yet are not hard at all. Cables, for example, or home made cheesecake. You just know folk will think you're a genius, all those fiddly cables, or smooth rich dessert. It is the wise man or woman who simple smiles and says "thanks, It is rather wonderful isn't it?" And now on to New Words. I've been reading a new book this week, Arthur and George by Julian Barnes. It's not what I'd call a real page turner, but it has held my attention for several nights now. Mr. Barnes, aside from being English (I'm presuming) is quite the wordsmith, and I have quite often found myself coming across words that I have never seen before. More than 20 years ago now, I was totally enthralled by the Blackford Oakes series of books by William F Buckley Jr., yet found myself in the same pickle, having to read with a dictionary close at hand. This brings me to our word for the week: amanuensis. Any guesses? Here is the sentence in which it appears: "Arthur also took on a secretary and amanuensis: Alfred Wood, a master from Portsmouth School, a discreet efficient fellow with the honest look of a pharmacist; an all around sportsman too, with a very decent cricket arm on him." Not very helpful, is it? Just looking at it I can tell that it has something to do with the hand, in that we can see the Latin root manus there in the middle. But beyond that? So I looked it up this morning and here's what Webster has to say: amanuensis is a noun which basically means "a slave with secretarial duties" or "one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript." Given that the 'Arthur' in this novel is none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the word amanuensis is quite logical, though I think I might have used a word more common to today's vernacular. Still, it's nice to read something that stretches the reader, at least a little. Now it's time for me to stretch a little, and grab some lunch. Happy Wednesday!


At 8/23/2006 12:54:00 PM, Anonymous Brie said...

Cute mittens! Don't need them outside, but I could them at work some days. (I'm sure I could find a way to type with them on.)

I actually did know your word of the day, but only because it's the online moniker of a friend of mine. I always mispronounce it in my head, though. (Turns into to "amanis". Oops.)

At 8/23/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger margene said...

When I first looked at the word I broke it down into 'A man of many uses.**sis. LOL You can certainly see 'manual' with the word, too.
Thumb gussets make a mitten fit better. They may be fiddley and while you may not enjoy knitting them you'll enjoy wearing them more than an afterthought thumb.

At 8/23/2006 02:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cute gloves!! :)me I have no progress to tell about. :(

At 8/23/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

That's a good word. I won't remember it in 5 minutes, but a good word. :)

I try to avoid knitting mittens! I hate knitting thumbs... But your mittens look great.

At 8/23/2006 08:55:00 PM, Blogger Linda said...

I love mittens of all kinds, but lack of thumb gussets never bother me. I think it's because after the first or second wearing, the mittens conform to my hand. And, I can change hands every so often, so the wear and tear are spread out, making my mittens last longer.

My boys like the fact that they do not have to worry about which mitten is right or left, anything to make it easy!

At 8/24/2006 06:57:00 AM, Anonymous Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

For wearability I like ones like you jut knit. The gusset it much for comfortable. But, my first mitten pattern was from Lambspun from their learn to knit class. It uses the afterthought thumb, though you cast off the thumb stitches and then pick up, rather than unzipping live stitches. But, basically it's a tube with the end done in the same manner as a star toe for socks. At the end of the class we learned about ways to change the cuff with ribbing etc.

At 8/24/2006 09:34:00 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Never made mittens coz my favs are storebought polartec. I don't even know anyone who wears mittens (okay, til now, fine, be that way).


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