The air sort of tingles, today, despite grey, wet weather.
I can't let the year end without writing to you. I miss you dreadfully when I am away.
All well here, knitting-wise. I finished the final Awesome hat a few days after Christmas – but it turned out I had ordered a different present for the intended recipient. It arrived on Christmas Eve and took care of that problem. The Harlot posted a good essay the other day about the Christmas presents that don't get finished, and the people they were destined for. I don't know what to do with the surplus hat.
Then I clenched my teeth and finished sewing the bits of the centre of the Dunfallandy blankie together. I like the result a great deal. I have written to the designer to ask about the curious number of stitches specified to be picked up for the border, 174 per side I think it says. No response yet, but it was only a Ravelry message. Maybe, like me, she doesn't look there very often.
Now that I've actually done it, I feel sure that I have done the right thing by picking up the stitches available as each triangle was finished, 52, making 104 per side. I have also picked up an extra two stitches per side in the space in between the two triangles, which seemed to gape a bit.
That's plenty. Indeed, after knitting around once or twice, I am in a bit of a panic about whether it is going to be as easy as all that to finish the border in time. (“In time” = sometime in March.) The border is to be 5.5” wide according to the schematic, 7.5” according to the written pattern. We'll have a look at things when we get to 5.5”.
That's a lot of knitting, and the border increases by 8 stitches every other round. And then there are 16 rounds (still increasing) of a sort of horizontal ribbed edging.
I also have what amounts to the opposite anxiety, that I will run out of yarn. I bought eight skeins, I think, and now have nearly four. I can easily knit four skeins of worsted between now and March 1 -- but will they be enough?
I am using a separate circular needle for each side, as the pattern recommends. I am afraid that is a recipe for disaster – one day I will pick it up carelessly and whip the needle out of the stitches of a whole side. I've already got one super-long circular of the right gauge. I think I need to order two more. It would be quicker that way, too. The hand-over at each corner is fiddly and takes a bit of time.
It occurred to me only yesterday that square is not the best shape for a blankie. Rectangular, like Kate Davies' Rams & Yowes which I knit last year for grand-nephew Ted, is much better. Too late now – I must press on. The same difficulty will arise with the ten-stitch blanket.
As for non-knit, we had a grand Christmas. Reports to follow. And, almost better than that, I have made a good start on the income tax and it isn't even January yet.