Nothing very much has happened this week. Small’s clarinet has progressed / regressed / digressed (choose a suitable verb) from Jingle Bells to Merrily We Roll Along with occasional bursts of Oh When the Saints (under protest) which if not more exciting are at least more seasonally appropriate and we’ve all been pootling about and slowly getting back into the term time routine. It’s an eleven week term this time, I think that might be a killer for us from the northern hemisphere who think eight weeks is a bit extreme!
The squares are slowly getting bigger, I have enlarged three quarters of them now, the pile on the right is the ones I have left to do. I think I am secretly just putting off the point where I have to join them together because the join in the pattern is a bit awkward. I could just do a different join but that would be cheating, wouldn’t it? I am looking at my pile of yarn and wondering whether I worked out the amounts I need properly, one of the colours that is finished now has a pleasingly small amount left over although it was a bit nerve-wracking while I was using it – I had to keep stopping to weigh the yarn and counting the squares left that needed that colour to see if I had done my calculations properly.
Things to be thankful for number two: The weather here means you can dry your washing (including big thick blankets, sleeping bags and children who fall in the sea) in hours rather than days and it is very good for blocking yarny things quickly. I finished Tiny’s blanket this morning and I am hopeful that it will be dry by bedtime.
The customer requested very firmly that the colours in the border should not go in the order stated in the pattern but in rainbow order with red on the outside and indigo in the middle. I explained that this would not quite be possible and we have settled for as close to rainbow order as we can get with ‘raspberry’ on the outside and ‘heather’ on the middle, it’s a bit heavy in the green section but I think it has more or less the desired effect.
Here is the knitting I promised to show you next time. My tension square came out exactly right first time on the size of needles listed in the pattern so I am a bit suspicious because that never happens and my tension squares always lie, I am not convinced that I won’t turn round one day and measure the cardigan and find out it is three times the size it should be. So far so good though. It is going to be a Luella cardigan by Suzie Sparkles, it’s quite slow because it is 4 ply yarn but it’s going a bit quicker now I have divided for the sleeves and don’t have 340 stitches to deal with. It has got a lace pattern on the yoke and is knit top down all in one piece, you go back and pick up the stitches for the sleeves later. It has got instructions for different length sleeves and pockets if you want them.
I have a thing about pockets, my favourite dress is the one with pockets and I have been known to buy men’s pyjamas just for the pockets. I like to have somewhere to shove my hands when I’m slouching along and to keep my useful bit of string, an interesting stone, a snotty tissue or two to mess up the load of washing and sometimes even knitting in (when it is small knitting and big pockets). I’m a bit ambivalent about the written pattern though, the lace part is written out very clearly but the rest of it could do with a bit more work, I don’t much like instructions like ‘Increase 13 stitches evenly along row’, whilst I am perfectly capable of working it out I sort of expect designers to do that bit for you especially if you are paying for the pattern. It is pretty though and it has pockets, did I mention that?
The pattern also doesn’t tell you the finished length and I normally add a couple of inches to things because of having a long back or a ‘low slung bum’, as my mum refers to it, (I think I have just got my body settings on a different aspect ratio to the one people use to design clothes) so I have been reading the pattern very slowly and scribbling numbers all way down the side to work out how many rows it has and how long it should turn out (assuming my tension square is not trying to deceive me) and where I could get away with adding a few rows without messing up the pockets.
It is one of those patterns that give you a load of instructions and then says ‘At the same time…’ and proceeds to give you a load more instructions so you have to remember which row you are up to with both lots of stuff. It usually involves lots of scribbled notes, swearing and unpicking the last seventeen rows to go back and put in the increase that you missed and wouldn’t, cosmically speaking, really matter if you left out but pride is at stake and it would be one stitch wider on the left than on the right and you would know, all the time you were wearing it that it wasn’t quite right. But it does have nice pockets and beautiful lace. I’m sure the best bit is the pockets. Or maybe the lace, I quite like that too.
I think there is a bit of a wobble near the end to do with how long it is by the time you reach the eleventh buttonhole but I think if you follow the instruction about the number of buttons and ignore the one about the length then it will end up being an inch or two longer than intended and with slightly deeper pockets so that suits me fine!