Thursday, December 31, 2015

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.


  1. I missed you, too

    Great knitting orogress!

  2. All that and taxes, too!

  3. Yay! I was so happy to see you on my blog roll today! I'm so glad your Christmas was grand!
    The blanket looks good! I think you have enough wool.
    Way to go with the income taxes!

  4. Elastic bands wound tightly around the needle tips not in use will keep the stitches on a fixed circular. There are instructions somewhere in one of the ten-stitch blanket threads on Ravelry on how to adapt the pattern to give an oblong finished blanket.
    Good to see you back this morning. The missing is mutual.

  5. Lovely to have you back. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas. Looking forward to seeing how the border shapes up. I'm confident you'll have time to finish it!

  6. My mornings are so much better with a report from you to accompany my morning tea--I miss you too. Glad to hear you had a good Christmas! Oblong blankies are more satisfyingly bed-like, but square ones wrap comfortingly around children when they get to be preschool-age. Both are much loved (says the former preschool teacher).

  7. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Best wishes for 2016!
    Here's to health and happiness with family and friends. Oh and a lot of delicious yarn too!
    Thanks for the post today - it is indeed appreciated.

  8. Little rubber stoppers, or maybe corks for the needles not in use would work.

  9. It makes my morning to see you 'here', Jean! I did get my hats finished, by choosing bulky yarn and one in super bulky. I'll do a post with photos. Best wishes for a healthier, serene 2016.

  10. skeindalous2:07 PM

    such a pleasure to hear from you. I am trying to decide if I can order yarn for the Dunfallandy without it constituting a breach of my 'You MUST finish two WIPs before you begin a new project' rule! Surely just ordering the yarn is without guile or fault? Don't you agree???

  11. Anonymous2:13 PM

    As for the hat, I would say that you have your first finished object for Christmas, 2016. Congratulations!

  12. It's so nice to see you back at your blog, Jean. The blankie is looking wonderful, and I don't think the fact it is a square shape is a problem. I'm so glad you had a nice Christmas!

  13. Oh, how wonderful, you are back! I hope that 2016 will be knitterly productive and healthy and happy for your family.

  14. Hogmaney (sp) is almost upon us. Happy Day!

  15. Happy New Year! Lovely surprise to have a nice long post from you. The blankie is looking impressive.

  16. Carol4:34 PM

    Hooray - you're back on the blog! Quoting greenmtngirl: my mornings are so much better with a report from you. What progress on the blankie! Here's to a happy, safe, and healthy new year to you and yours.

  17. Happy New Year! Your horizontal cables are entrancing.

  18. Happy New Year! So glad to read you again... and before the end of 2015. You are so inspiring! Thank you for your blog... i love reading you in the morning before heading out to the work world and on the weekend with more time to savour.

    Sending good wishes for a grand 2016!
    with lots of knitting and continued good health for you and your husband!

    Bonne Annee!

  19. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Lovely to hear from you again. Wishing you all health and happiness for 2016.

    Helen (anon)

  20. I always read your blog first thing in the very early morning (today I´m late) so it is the entry from the previous day. So I can start the year 2016 with you and I wish you good health and good knitting and happyness. The blankie looks wonderful!