Sunday, 14 December 2008

Messing About with Knitting

I've got too many projects on the go! This weekend I have been learning to knit with the yarn round my neck, trying to finish the Simple Garter Stitch Jacket, making a ribwarmer in one piece and working on the Aran Cabled Shrug. I thought again of the BBC time management experts (whose names I can never remember, two little chaps in suits). They were trying to stop one woman from flitting from task to task, so they laid out some kids puzzles and timed her while she did them, first in her usual pick up and drop manner, secondly not moving on until the puzzle she was working on was complete - result? Sticking to one project at a time is 30% faster.

We are both tired so this weekend we did nothing - I had a lot of knitting time but most of it was spent wrestling with the garter stitch jacket. I'm struggling with the patch pockets at the top. I undid the messiest pocket flap and tried out several edgings, but none of them looked right, so I might just re knit the pocket flap and trust it will look OK when it's got a button and a crotchet edging.

The ribwarmer is going well. I had some maroon Aran in my stash which is interesting to work with - it's very rough and scratchy - it spit splices like a dream! This is good for the ribwarmer, because there is nowhere to hide any ends. It's interesting how some yarn will splice easily, and other yarns go dirty and little ends poke out. I think roughness is the key - smooth yarns don't cling the same way. I'm following the DVD and trying out several new techniques. Meg Swanson uses the 'twisty-wrap' provisional cast on, so I used Lucy Neatby's crotchet version, which is much, much easier to do. I'm using a braid edging (except where I forget to do it) and knitting up the back in one piece.

I got into a mess with the shrug and ended up frogging two panels. The problem was caused by following the chart accurately. How unfair is that? I have discovered that the cable repeat along the side is a 6 stitch repeat, and the diamond panel is a 28 stitch repeat. 6 does not go into 28 and the bottom of the chart does not correspond to the top of the chart - so there I was in cable hell. It took some time to work out what was happening and why I was going wrong, but at least I understand it now! I've bought a knitting notebook (and A4 sketch pad with a spiral binding) and it's full of scribbles and curses!

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