Thursday, December 07, 2006

I had a lovely time at Waitrose.

The car started first touch (a five-year-old Skoda; we’re fond of it). Driving is perfectly do-able, my grip on the steering wheel more secure than might have been expected. Changing gear is uncomfortable, but the discomfort doesn’t last once the gear-changing is over. This afternoon is to be spent at orthopedics again, trying not to lose my knitting this time. I will tell them what I did and how it felt, and see what they have to say.

I am grateful for all the suggestions yesterday about the Calcutta Cup sweater. I spent the day transfixed by indecision, rabbit-in-headlight fashion.

[I spent the day doing the things that needed doing, while thinking about knitting, as usual. Jane Austen says of Fanny’s mother, in “Mansfield Park”, “Her days were spent in a kind of slow bustle; always busy without getting on, always behindhand and lamenting it, without altering her ways.” That’s me.]

The Sweater Wizard ran me up a new pattern on fewer stitches. I had a serious look back through the archives and discovered that the number of stitches I have actually been using is identical, or nearly, to several successful sweaters in the distant past. When I got it off the needles, it didn’t look too bad, size-wise, although of course it’s still being held in by the ribbing. The gauge seems to be maybe 7.25 sts per inch.

I like several of yesterday’s suggestions, especially yours, Rosesmama, of putting a wee peerie pattern below the cup. But I can’t do that without starting again.

In the end, I removed the orange yarn which was the prime source of distress, apart from size worries, and went on from there. I’ll have to keep watching size closely, though. Alexander is right, that too big is better than too small, and that may be especially true of Fair Isle which is such a tight fabric. The slightest snugness can make the wearer look and feel like a cushion.

I have abandoned attempts at subtle colour shading. It’s just not me. The pattern is 18 rows (and 18 stitches, so that I can turn it sideways when the time comes), in distinct nine-row sections. I’m keeping the notion of using bright red-and-yellow for the centre row of each section. The remaining eight rows will alternate between grey and brown, with the foreground light throughout. There will be a small variety of browns and of lights, and the grey sections will be both charcoal grey and real black.

Picture soon. Most of last night’s knitting time was spent getting the stitches back on the needle, seating them properly, and retrieving – in the right colour – the ones which had chosen to run back a row. But I’m now moving forward again with some confidence.

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