Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Bother ....!

Bother, bother, bother, bother, fudge .... bother.
I am not sure if I'm exhibiting note worthy perseverance, or just plain dogged determinism, or some kind of knitting madness - but my current project is little slow to launch. More than a little slow ... in fact most of the time I seem to have been working backwards, for there has been as much frogging as knitting, but first, the family wedding.
Last weekend my little brother Andy married Caroline, at her mothers farm, south Canterbury, it was lovely, the weather threatened rain, but it was fine and warm for the garden ceremony, and warm for the evening reception in the local hall. The storm broke in the wee small hours after the party finished, and was cleared away in time for a cooked breakfast at the family farm to farewell all the guests.
The bride wore white, including the white lace jacket she had asked me to make, and I think it worked out very well. The dressmaker of the dress used a few of the lace motifs to decorate the dress and the two pieces worked together very well considering they were made in different cities.

I took my sock project along to knit, and didn't, there was too much to help out with. Poppy was a flower girl and I had forgotten just what was involved in having ones hair and make up and the general getting ready of a wedding. I had also forgotten the hospitality of a farm wedding, culminating in a barbecue breakfast with chops, bacon, eggs, whitebait fritters, toast and jam, and cheesecake - a surprisingly good addition to a breakfast I was assured by those brave enough to include cheesecake on their plates.

But this is a knitting blog, so my knitting, which has not been pretty this past week. I had so much fun knitting Poppy's turkish slippers, that I started a pair for Toby. I started Thursday at knit night, which meant that I spent much of the night casting on and frogging the toe, too many distractions.

The following Friday I made good progress and before we left for the wedding I was up to here .. the sole was in a neat diamond pattern, .

I had fun on the instep with a zig zag diamond, and I had left the heel empty and waiting and continued to knit, with a vertical stripe around the ankle followed by -

a pair of cute sitting dogs facing each other up the leg. It was looking good, and then I made the fatal mistake of asking Toby to try the sock on. Bother, he couldn't pull it past his heel ......
I thought carefully through all my options,
  1. Would it stretch with a block (nope, probably not enough),
  2. Could it be a second sock for Poppy for when she grows out of hers (hardly fair if she had two pair and he had none)
  3. Could he use a moisturizer so it slipped on more easily? (now I was just being silly)
  4. Could I frog it part way and add some sort of gusset (not easily without loosing the Turkish style)
  5. Could I work the heel over more than 50% of the stitches - again not easily and keep the Turkish look of the sock.

There was no option but to frog, but that took time, I needed to come to terms with it. Even frogging wasn't easy I had to ask Bear to wind one yarn while I wound the other - frogging colourwork is no easy feat.

Then I started again, aiming for a larger stitch count, and realizing that I could make it more interesting by choosing one of the other stitch patterns in Anna Zilboorgs Sock or Mitten books. Again starting wasn't straightforward, I cast on and worked and frogged multiple times, stuffing up the stitch count, the placement of the motifs relative to the increases, the colourwork so the carry yarn showed on the front, and the increases .. before finally realising that I needed to chart it. This morning I charted the two patterns I plan to use, dogs on the instep and a cute off set checkerboard on the sole. So far so good, I'm well into the increases, the toe is taking shape and the pattern is place neatly in the middle, and the stitch count should be enough to fit over his heel.

So that has been my week in knitting, a week since the last post and hardly any real progress to show for it.

Perhaps the next few days will be more fruitful?
na Stella


EB said...

It's not you. I think the knitting planet may be in retrograde, causing widespread frogging--I just ripped out almost an entire pattern repeat of my cabled sock. (That is to say, I tinked it stitch by stitch in mortal fear of dropping one of those stitches down a cable and never being able to find it again.)

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, grrr... I hate it when projects start off like that -- very frustrating. And you're absolutely right about frogging colorwork; I had to get Rick to help me frog Kauni for the same reason. It looks like you're on the right track now! I'll send knitting-success thoughts your way :)

Oh, and the wedding jacket looks like it turned out beautifully! I think that counts as success.

adriene said...

I think I'm having a froggy week, too. I had to frog back the entire lace section of a cardigan I'm working on in laceweight twice. I'm on the third attempt and noticed a small error, but I'm trying to talk myself out of ripping again. Sigh - at least your project at the end will make it all worth it in the end!

adriene said...

Also, that wedding jacket is so beautiful! Well done!

KathyR said...

I agree - the wedding jacket looks splendid! So did the sock before you had to frog - what a shame. :( But I'm sure that the new one will be even better and Toby will be so thrilled to have a pair of his own!