Saturday, February 19, 2011

Two Hundred and Fifty Six stitches on each of four sides

results in a mighty long round of lace. I have avoided calculating exactly how many stitches a round has, a sort of knitterly avoidance, but I do realise that is why on an average nights knitting I will only 'work-around' the blanket four or five times. So today, there is more of the blankets slow progress, a simple low tech solution to a mistake that I just kept making, a finished project(yay!), and even more pens. Those things are absolutely as addictive as stashing fibre and yarn and patterns and books.

There are some projects that are easy and difficult at the same time, for different reasons. This blanket should be fairly easy, and straightforward, the center is garter, the next band is garter, and this band is in a simple 12 stitch lace repeat. All of that is perfectly reasonable to expect to be able to knit without to much in the way of stress or problems. So far I have reknit several sections of this blanket, in the past few days I have reknit the first few rounds of the darker grey band, again and again. For some reason I could not work 12 repeats of the 12 stitch lace repeat into 148 stitches. Simply I would get distracted and put the yarn over in the wrong place, or the decreases in the wrong place ... and I never found out until I was a stitch or seven out at the end. I tried stitch markers, but to place them on meant I had to work a round and slip each into place (I didn't have 48 stitch markers handy that could be clipped on). Eventually I sat and thought, there had to be a quicker and more adjustable way to mark the 12 stitch repeats without having to work a round. I threaded up a needle with a few meters of white yarn, and passed the needle back and forwards between every 12th stitch - it worked. I could easily pull out the yarn if I got to the end and was out by a stitch or two ... and work out which stitches on the previous round were sticking together, and looking like a single stitch.

That little 12 stitch guide was enough to get me started, I was away. Last time I knit this lace band it was in dark blue, and I am liking the more subtle transition from the mid grey to the dark grey. This time I am also remembering to knit the lace as garter stitch - last time I knit every round knit .. and the lace looked good, but different to what was intended. Things are looking good so far ..... fingers (and needles crossed).

The finished project was a wee doily, a lace linen doily that I turned into a ballet bun cover. I try to be a conscientious ballet mum, and send smallest cub along with her hair up ballet style. But those shear hair nets sold to keep buns tidy are frail, and easily torn and never to be found when one needs one. Her hair is so wispy it needs something to contain it. I wanted to make a Lacey bun-cover, and a doily seemed a good pattern. This tuned out larger than I intended, but I was able to thread elastic around one of the middle rounds of eyelet holes, and so create a ruffle (or fluffle as smallest bear calls it) beyond the bun cover.

And a photo being worn, pretty, she describes it as a little hat .. and I'd have to say her teddy bear has been spotted wearing it. An odd look really, a sort of Victorian maids lace cap in pink on a worn much loved teddy bear. I've been having thoughts about it as well. I might have to make one as a rosette to wear, what about double layered in several shades of yarn?

And pens, because a blog post without pens would be really odd now, somehwere along the line I acquired the orange one to the right in this image. I loved the orange one, and remembered Andy's Pens, where he sold me the (in order from right to left), Bright Yellow, Lime Green, Tweed, and Marshmallow versions. These arrived yesterday, and I'm kicking myself for not ordering the Jelly Pink, its all about the name really isn't it? And yes you are right, I don't need so many pens at once, but I think do I need to see them in a display on my desk, in a clear glass vase, to cheer me up. There really is something nice about using nice tools and equipment, and when the nice tools are simple inexpensive pens like this - I feel like I can indulge. I even ordered a turquoise refill from the same place (you didn't need to know that some refills come in Magenta, Turquoise and Purple, as well as boring old blue, blue-black and black did you?).

so I'm off to work my way around several hundred stitches, and stir the celery-bacon & barley soup, and generally settle down for a quiet Sunday evening.

take care


Alette Siri Ane said...

Such a cute little thing to have in your hair.

KathyR said...

I'm totally beyond counting all the stitches on your blanket! I thought the 300-odd sts for my Geodesic were enough. As for your pretty pens - surely you can't go without magenta and purple refills, too. :)

Knitting Linguist said...

I'm impressed you're getting around the blanket four or five times a night, given the row counts!! It's looking lovely, and I'm glad that you're on your way with the lace section. The ballet bun cover is wonderful; I may have to try something like that for my niece (Kiv, doing Irish Dance and all, doesn't wear her hair up - she wears it under a wig! so no excuse for me to knit something like that for her). I agree with you wholeheartedly about the small wonderful indulgence in nice tools like pens!