Saturday, 19 September 2009

How Could Any Knitter Resist this Book?

Friend: 'Hi Andy, how's Louise?
Andy: 'Oh, Louise is fine. She's busy knitting herself a Henry the Eighth.'

Or a Madame Pompadour, or Nefertiti, or a little Puritan Couple, or - honestly, there's about 50 of them, including the one that made me laugh out loud: knit yourself a Biblical Rabbi!


I may not actually attempt them at this stage in my knitting career - they look intricate, but I simply couldn't walk past this book.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Another Restart

Once I'd got the two halves of Andy's ribwarmer united, I tried it on him. HUGE! Massive, and even worse, stretching.

Sigh. Off to the frog pond.

Restarted. This time, I am not going to do the increases at the side of the garment. I am using a size smaller needles, so will probably knit the same number of rows, but it will be smaller and tighter.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Water Wheel Chunky Ribwarmer

As the size of the ribwarmer grows (slowly - very little TV time this week) the little imperfections mount up. I forget to knit on the tips or I forget which way to slip a stitch or drop the whole thing on the floor and other knitting crimes.

I think this stage of learning is called "conscious incompetence". I know I'm goofing off, but I can't stop goofing off. The thing to do is stay with it until perfection results.

Or good enough! The designer garments at the V & A were a revelation to me - they do not strive for machine like perfection, some of the sewing is irregular, the beading and hems especially, but the overall effect is good - and the slight imperfections announce the presence of hand work.

That's all very well, but I think until I can knit a garment I can actually wear, I'd better keep aiming for perfection.

Monday, 14 September 2009


Is really hard work! Despite my best intentions little glitches and gaffes are creeping into Andy's ribwarmer. I forgot to slip the edge stitch here and there, which should hide in the I-Cord trimming. Also, with the short-rows, I hadn't realised that when you knit back, you have to slip the stitch that was turned last time in the same direction when you slip it, then, after you have wrapped it, when you slip it back on the needle. Once I noticed this I decided to slip it knitwise each time.

I must be improving, right?

Not had much knitting time this week - I am knitting down the second side of the ribwarmer, still.

I did write down where I turned at the front, so they should match. I also used markers for the increases - which I might not make next time. I know what Meg Swanson means about not having wings at the shoulders, but I don't like the look of the fabric growing out on the way down, either. Also, it's something else to worry about! I marked the wrong side of the fabric and checked the appearance of the increases each time, but still managed to get one of them messy - I don't know how. It's on the wrong side of the fabric though, so I've left it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Yet Another Ribwarmer

The ribwarmer is my benchmark garment. When I can turn out neat, beautifully knitted rib warmers that fit the recipient, then I'll be able to knit!

I got a pile of lovely green waterwheel acrylic chunky for £6 from the charity shop. I planned to make another Stockport, but Rowan's Cocoon yarn isn't a chunky either. I thought it would be, seeing as it isn't an Aran, but it isn't a chunky either, so it is difficult to find a substitute yarn for Coccon. I discovered this after I'd gone away for the weekend with only a few needles in the basket. Read through the entire Rowan book. I didn't have the needles for the only chunky pattern in the book. Growl.

Began a scarf from the book, Rochdale by Martin Storey. Hm. It would take 5 balls of Cocoon, which is an expensive scarf by any standards, and I wasn't keen on the pattern overall. The fabric is a rather nice cable and moss stitch and I did like the effect of the right side of the fabric, but the wrong side was very ugly. I hate scarves with a wrong side - however I arrange the thing the wrong side always shows. And the scarf was too narrow to fold in two and sew up (and anyway, I'd knit on a circular needle if I was going to make it into a tube). Not impressed. I might have carried on if I'd had a circular needle to hand and if I'd felt like casting on another pattern repeat to make it wide enough to be two sided. But I didn't. Frogged the six inches I'd started and hummed a little tune while I thought what to knit with only one yarn, two needles and no pattern.

Of course! A ribwarmer for Andy. He liked the colour of the chunky, and I want to practise being consistent so off I went. It was a wet weekend, so I knitted the whole front. Hurray! And, it does look a lot neater because I wrote down which way I was slipping the edges and which way I was wrapping the short rows and heroically stuck to it. Being consistent is definitely part of the secret of good knitting.

Friday, 4 September 2009

I hate Stockport

Look at the neckband! It wants to roll and curl. If I stretch the band to the point where it stops curling, it pulls it in too much and the sleeves look wrong. Grrr!

It is too short. The chunky seams look numb. A seam looks vile on the neckband - why not graft it? (Lucy Neatby's DVD tells you how.)

I do like the cap sleeves, and I do like the cables running up the front - but it's the long walk to the dustbin for this - and no, I won't be forking out for the designer yarn. Hurray for test garments, that's what I say.