This is a sheep, or maybe I should clarify, this will be a sheep puppet. There is a sort of a deadline, the puppet was started four weeks ago, and the deal is it should be finished next weekend and be shown along with the rest of its flock at the year end lunch of the local Knitters Study Group.
The pattern is Estonian hand puppet, and I'm finding it challenging. The challenge surprises me, I'm used to knowing ahead of time what a pattern involves and being able to judge where I will need to focus and where I can relax and just knit. With this pattern I feel in should be able to knit it, after all I've used most of the techniques many many time before. I've done corrugated rib, Estonian braided cast ins, colour work working with dons, and the like before, many times before. I thought it would be easy, The pattern is written for experienced knitters, so the instructions are broad, providing for at four different charts for the body pattern. That's not unusual, there are other patterns that offer that kind of choice. Where this pattern differs is that each chart is for a different stitch count, and so the maths to work the number of repeats and the stitches to cast on, increase and work differs - and the calculations are trusted to the knitter.
The complications caused by charts that repeat over different stitch counts extends to affect the arms. Because each possible variation involves a different number of stitches - the palcement of the arms is estimated - loosely. And that's where I got lost, I read and re-read the instructions again and again and could not make sense of them. So I did what any sensible knitter would do - I headed over to ravelry.com and looked at projects knit using the pattern. I listed the projects by 'most helpful', Ravelry users who look at projects can tag as helpful those they find useful. By the second and third listing I found instructions on how some one else had worked the arms. I love that Ravelry offers a space for knitters to share what they do and to offer solutions for problems they have encountered.
My weekly weaving class finally finished, it was on a Monday so clashed with the spinning (and knitting) group I hang with. This past Monday I finally caught up with the group and with all that had happened since my last meet up. Because one of the spinner/knitters is M from VintagePurls and I am frugal and never pay for shipping on her fiber and yarn clubs - I opt for delivery via spin/knit night. That works fine usually - but not when I sign up for fibre club and then head off for a ten week weaving class. So last night there were two fiber clubs waiting for me - first 100 grams of gradient dyed polworth.
And then in a second bag - 100 grams of merino/bamboo, 80% and 20% respectively. I love these - maybe the gradient a little more, but the merino bamboo blend is so so soft and icy in colour I suspect I will spin it first. I finish work for the year on the 19th December, and have a out five weeks of leave - so I see some spinning time!
Take care, Stella