Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Awful Alef

Here's a photo that both depresses and cheers me up. Depresses because it's so unutterably awful - (look at my face! Did you ever see such a thoroughly fed-up knitter?). The good side is that looking at the above mess, there is no doubt that I'm improving! There's at least twenty things wrong with that Alef. It's the first one I made after a break of 20 years or so. I had to give up knitting because I needed two pairs of glasses, one for watching TV and one for knitting - impossible, and I'm not really a radio person so I gave up knitting. Then I got wonderful varifocal lenses. It's over £300 for the lenses (not the frames, that's extra!) but oh, is it worth it. It's like having eyes again! I can read maps, look at labels in shops, well, I won't go on, there are many convenient uses for eyes. And then, in February 2006, I suddenly remembered how much I like to knit. So, I went to the local yarn store, bought the current Rowan book and some yarn and launched in - with the above result.
I don't think I ever was a very good knitter - 80s garments had a lot of slack in them! I also knit a lot of ethnic type jumpers, which again don't call for a lot of technique. I used a lot of colours as well, which hid a multitude of sins. I must dig out some old photos - everyone I knew got one of my jumpers. It never occur ed to me to wonder how much they appreciated them! Old sweaters had a second life because they'd go to the local hippies. I went away to Japan for five years and when I came back I saw a couple of my jumpers still walking around the street or drinking beer in the pub.
I spent all night knitting tension squares, so Tangerine Nightmare took a holiday last night. I will do the grafting and sew it up this weekend, because we're at home. It would be nice to finish the last sleeve (still at 6 rows) this week.
I think the big cones are 2-ply anyway. I tried knitting with various needles and numbers of strands last night, but although 2 strands held together gives the right number of stitches for 4-ply, and 3 strands held together gives the right number of stitches for double knit, the row tension seems off, there's always too many rows - I wonder if that's because of the two strands? I think I've noticed this before with trying to get tension with my various bargain cones. Vintage Vogue books have glorious garments in 2-ply and 3-ply yarn, but where would I ever get the time?

If I don't have time to knit with 2-ply, and I can't get the tension for double knit and 4-ply patterns, does this mean I should stop stashing cones? Probably, but I don't think I can! Not when I see all that yarn for so little money!

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