Last week someone said to me that they wished they had a hobby they could spend money on. I kind of know what they mean - I've had lots of fun with exciting parcels arriving this week. As soon as the tangle over a different Louise Armstrong cancelling my knitting order was straightened out, the Woolly Workshop got my order sent first class and it arrived today. I ordered 3.5 wooden needles in the end. They look lovely - and are so light. Knitting the first panel of my shrug on 5 mm metal needles made my hands ache - there's a huge weight difference. I can't wait to try wooden ones out. I don't know why I didn't order wooden needles to knit my shrug on? I knew it was next in the queue. Oh well. For the second panel I changed to my lovely Addi circular needles. There's a bit of excess wire flipping around, but they are light.
I've come to a halt on the Simple Garter Stitch Jacket - my attempt at pocket flaps is nasty. I'm considering not having pockets at all, and trimming it in garter stitch I-cord instead of crotchet. I've put it to one side to think about.
As you can see, (apologies for the lousy picture but I couldn't get the chart and the knitting in focus at the same time) I couldn't resist casting on for the next Aran cable shrug so I could try my new toy - highlighter tape. It is brilliant - at the moment you can't seem to get it anywhere but the Woolly Workshop but I'm sure it will catch on. I can't imagine ever using a lace, intarsia, Fair Isle or Aran chart ever again without this handy dandy little aid. I have tried using a ruler, but it always moves, and also, I often need to see where I've been so that I can understand what I'm supposed to be doing on top of it. This tape is perfect. Because this is a free pattern printed out from the Internet, the ink is lifting slightly, which wouldn't happen if you were using a book, but one strip of tape still did two diamond repeats or about 60 rows. It might well have done more, but I was mad to try another colour! The green is pretty good too.
I have made a couple of errors, but overall, this is the most accurate cable knitting I've ever done and, as an agreeable side effect, it makes me faster! No stopping to count rows and stitches, no pausing to scratch my head and wonder where I am. No frogging and re knitting. With the first shrug, I was completing a panel repeat in an evening, and sometimes, if I'd gone very wrong, I'd sit up a little later in order to finish. Using the tape, in the same time, I did a panel repeat and 6 more rows. Good - I like anything that makes me faster!
A text came today saying: 'Thank you for the Alien Shrugigan Cardiug'. This suggests that Andy's sister may not yet be completely in love with her Shrug. Had visions of it being stuffed in a cupboard unless we came round: 'Quick, get out the Alien! Louise is visiting.' Texted back to say seriously no offence if she wants to chuck it out or pass it on.