Friday, July 13, 2007

Always read the pattern before packing for travel

Today I tell you about the mistake I made packing for my recent travel to Australia, show off my new mini-project, and tell you what I'm doing tomorrow with the baby blanket (hint - it involves scissors!). And that paper presentation - well it went fine, and people actually came into the room to add to the small crowd and listen - which is much better than people leaving.

When knitting Pomatomus, If you just shove your current knit kit into your luggage you may find yourself knitting Pomatomus, on the four needles as instructed, and in deep trouble with no fifth needle when needed. I missed the sentence that said " Though 5 needles are required" and remembered only the bit that said "only 4 of them will be used for most of the sock". Being a tidy soul, I had only read the beginning of the pattern, and carefully stored the 5th needle away in my needle case.

In Sydney I completed the leg section using the four needles as in the pattern, then knit the heel flap, on 3 needles (2 in use and 1 holding stitches), then I got to the written instructions to use all 5 needles - and silently, quietly inside my hotel room I screamed, knowing, that there was no hope of finding any 2.25 mm sharp pointy object to substitute anywhere in the room or in my bags.

Yes - yes I know a clever resourceful knitter would work out how to continue to knit on the 4 needles she had, but after a full day of conference presentations, my wee brain was all worn out from absorbing lots of new ideas. And I was using little needles, 5" ones, so there really was not room to fit all the gusset stitches to be picked up. And really I just wanted to knit, brain dead, simple follow instructions type knitting. So I parked sock one on a loop of yarn - at the heel flap stage and began sock II. I'm amazed it took several weeks to knit the leg of sock one - and only 2 nights to knit the leg of sock two.



Which brings me to image 1, showing how far I got with no t.v. t distract me and lots of evening time to knit. And the second image, with the twisted rib of the heel flap. There was some frogging of sock one while away - wouldn't really be me knitting if there wasn't would it? I had stopped and started the third lace repeat so often I lost my way, several time - but got there in the end.

And this is my miniature gansey sample. I flew back on Thursday, went to work on friday only to be rung by an administrator at around 3, who aplogised for bothering me on my break. Yes thats right, I was actually on annual leave on Friday - but went to work - well I guess it all evens out in the end. And on Saturday - well it was another of the local spinners and weavers knitting workshops. This one was on making a miniature gansey - for a teddy bear. We knit and talked from 11-2 ish, and fitted lunch in there somewhere. This 'class' is very informal, we meet in a church hall, and pay $2 for our share of heating and hot water for tea and coffee. Nothing more - How can i ignore such an opportunity to learn more about knitting?

The 'class' is over two sessions, the next in a month. So today we cast on the front and back bands, joined them, and knit a plain band with an initial. Most of the group knit their own initial, but knowing the sweater was destined for Curley bear - mine has a C. We are to get to the end of the underarm gusset before the next class - I have just started so should be ready. The initial was initially in garter stitch, but the uprights of the letter folded clear away from sight. So I tinked them down and picked them up as garter - but in hindsight moss or seed stitch would be better - and was I think recommended. The yarn is the naturally coloured yarn, the same I knit the clogs in. The Gansey is knit on 3.75mm dpns.

And the blanket? Tonight I whipped the legs of the steek stitches together, tomorrow I plan to machine stitch and cut. Don't worry - there will be photos, lots of photos. Then I will pick up the edge stitches and knit the facing. I am tending towards a single rib, but with a base of double knitting sandwiching and hiding the steek and end edges inside.

1 comment:

juliet said...

I can't imagine what I would do if I discovered I needed a 5th needle in another city, actually yes I do - I'd go out hunting for a yarn shop and new project - as I would need some retail therapy to help cope with the trauma. The socks are gorgeous, I think they are really pretty, and the colour is fab - very wearable.

The baby blanket is extraordinary, it is totally gorgeous, good luck with the ends! I am chewing my nails.