Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Done and done ..

Today - two finished things, the blanket and the socks. The blanket is finished, seamed and blocked - which involved the use of a shade cloth and tent pegs and fishing line - yes really. Once the blanket was done, yesterday morning - well I thought I'd better work on the socks and lo - by the end of the evening they were both done, finished, ends woven in, I had no idea I was so close. Two days and two projects.

First the blanket - when I laid out all the pieces on the floor, next to Toby, I realised just how big it is. I thought I would have trouble keeping the cat (Yo-yo) off it, but in truth, it was difficult to keep Toby off it. He was quite taken by the Puzzle nature of fitting it together. See the little ball of yarn on the right? That is all I had left of the 11 wheels of yarn, so the planning worked out just fine.

I had wondered how I would seam it, as I wanted it to look the same on both sides, or at least neat on both sides. I tried whip stitching it together thru both sides of the edge slipped stitches, and it looked good so thats what I did. I found some yarn in my stash that matched perfectly, so used that. To prepare for blocking I threaded fishing wire thru the edges, leaving a 1m tail at each corner.

Then I filled the bath with warm water and wool wash and let it soak for 10 minutes. I drained it and let it soak in plain warm water for another 10 minutes to rinse it before spinning it in the washing machine. Then we swung into action on my big blocking plan .... which all hinged on the day being fine and sunny and warm.

I laid it out on the old sand pit cover, a large rectangle made from shade cloth. Bear helped me, we pulled the fishing wire taut, and used tent pegs to hold the blocking lines taut and straight. I did check it was square that the sides were parallel and that the diagonals measured the same ... cause you know, it matters, especially when you fold it up.

Then we went off to collect Poppy, she had a sleep over part at a girl-friends batch, in Karitane. So we packed up beach things and barbecue things and headed out for the day. One sunny beach day latter we returned to find the blanket warm and dry and soft and blocked. I love the magic of this blanket, how simple garter strips with mitered corners can seam into quite a complex looking blanket ... Its the mitered garter blanket from Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I think JF has the nicest example on line, looking at it I wish I had enough yarn to work an i-cord edging. Still this is the second time I've knit this design, and I will make sure I have enough yarn to add the i-cord to the next one, oh, yes, there will be another one, I'm sure of it.

So that night without the blanket - I worked on Honey socks, the 2nd in the Vintage Purls 2008 Sock club. I had worked sock one - from the toe up, and stopped when i had just over 50g of sock yarn left. Then I started sock 2 and knit to the same point, and followed the cast of instructions, which cleverly had us cast off following one of the increase rows in the pattern to make for a very stretch edge ... nice touch.

Which leaves me playing with swatches - and going to Wednesday morning spinning, wow - you sure get a lot of spinning done in a 10am - 2pm 4 hour spinning session. Then on the way home I got to thinking about how much fun we had at the beach the day before --- which led to noticing that the local sports shops had significant reductions on summer stock. So I collected the cubs and we went off to buy them wetsuits, like the other kids at the beach had, warmer and sun safe. And I now have a wetsuit, yup, that surprises even me, but 40% off and knowing if I bought the kids suits they would be warm and swim and body board for hours while I froze in on our local beaches ... So here I am, 40+ with a wetsuit for the first time in my life, maybe its a mid-life crisis?

who knows and who cares?
Do you think the cubs will share their body boards or should I just give in and buy one for me?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Been fishing and

nearly there. I didn't take the big blanket away - nor did I swatch for a new project, as I fossick'd around the stash drawers looking for inspiration I noticed my stocks of SR (Sock remnants) had grown of late and it must be time to knit more fish. I collected up a few ends balls of yarn, and my current sock and headed off with the family to Waimate to visit my dad. We had a great day at the Rodeo, it was warm but not to warm, and a cool breeze rather than a brisk wind. I did get into a fish knitting rhythm - and didn't even open the sock project bag, that one seems to be on the back burner for now.

So yes I have knit more fish, 18 in fact - to add to the 17 loose fish in the left over sock yarn drawer meaning I now have 35 fish to add to the blanket some time. I'm leaving generous tails on these fish - I think I was a little frugal on the last batch which made seaming using the cast-on and cast-off tail yarns tricky.

As some times happens when a knitter returns to knit something that has lain dormant for some time, I improved the pattern. I don't pretend the pattern is mine, and this may not be an improvement. I became aware of tesselated knitted fish on the web nearly 2 years ago - thru Knitters Review Forum (a pre-ravelry knitting site), and tracked a free on line pattern down to Knitting Arrows, but there are other variations out there. There is anther tessellating fish pattern out there, first published in Knitters Magazine, sadly now out of print, that has a little smile and an eye. I substituted the final set of decreases with a centered decrease so the tail remained straight, it always bothered me that the tail drooped a little to one side, my fish looked a tad sad. This time I took a little time to chart it out - silly I know but sometimes its nice to see how it works on paper. If you open the image - it will display at a printable or savable size. Let me know if there are any errors, its my first go at charting something, I used the free knitting fonts from Aire River, and they worked well. I wanted a centered double decrease - but had to make do with a left leaning one in the chart. But I did provide instructions in the key for a centered double decrease, so it should work fine.

On the way back we stoped in Oamaru, where Bear went off to hunt for books in Slighlty Foxed, a vintage bookseller, and I toddled off to peruse the yarn, fiber and beads at another two of the shops in the Historic District. Its at one end of town and has a nice set of Victorian themed shops, including The Oamaru Textile Exchange and a bead shop. In the textile exchange I found this, a pre-loved spindle, one of 3 on sale. This spun the nicest, and has a nice tapered shaft. It seems very similar to one I borrowed from N, and yes I'm still planning to make spindles on the new lathe. I need a few more pieces of equipment, a drill press (not essential but nice) and a grinder, very essential to sharpen and shape the tool steel blades.

Back home, I began again on the huge blanket, I'm well on the way to finishing, having started the last wheel of yarn last night,and only having 2 squares to go. Today is forecast to be a scorcher, 30+ degrees Celsius, unusual for Dunedin, where we seem to top out in the mid-20's. If this weather continues, I plan to knit today, seam tomorrow and block the day after - using the warm weather to dry it fast.

Now I'm off to fold washing, we both have been ignoring it, but no longer, I want to locate the settle in the library room, its under a huge pile of washing and the old computer ... but perhaps a cup of tea first?
take care

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day after

Christmas here, a fine warm sunny day, unlike yesterday which did include rain. Christmas was good, quiet but good, we are off to visit my dad tomorrow, and will catch up with my brother at the same time .. so this year it was just us here for Christmas. Calm and peaceful - well as peaceful as a day with cubs and new toys can be. The cubs had a good day, new toys, and books and the only rules we made was there would be no tv on Christmas day and if it causes arguments - we will remove it for a while. I did a few responsible adult things to get ready for Christmas, we all had a clean out and sorted out some good quality toys and the like to donate to the local opp-shop. I'd like to think at least 2 kids who otherwise wouldn't have got bikes that used to be the cubs. Toby and Poppy also spontaneously selected other toys to gift - and I was doubly pleased, pleased that they each were left with less in their bedrooms to get messy and pleased they were pretty generous. I was booked in to donate at the blood bank Christmas eve morning - which also felt like a good deed.

I might need to point out in New Zealand blood is donated, not paid for, so instead of the down and out and dubious selling blood, the middle class and middle aged make up the bulk of the donor population. True, I'm the other side of 40 and I feel positively young when I go. It makes me sad that there is a higher need for blood at this time of the year, between increased driving accidents and domestics and such - but it is such an easy way to help out - and its a good check on my iron levels.
On the knitting front, I'm still knitting on the huge blanket, so far 18 of the 24 'squares' are done. I'm on the second half of the second of the largest pieces - so well over half way. I did check at the half way point how my yarn supply was - and it seems that I should have just enough to finish it. I weighed the half way point wheel of yarn, the 6th wheel, after completing half the blanket, the remains were 118g, and the wheels weigh 227g, so by my reckoning I had over half a wheel left. I have 11 wheels, and used just under 5.5 on half the blanket - I should have enough. after all by my calculations I should have 9g spare. I'm being super careful - not leaving long tails when I finish one wheel and start another.

The two sections I have completed fold up to a tidy pile 7.5 inches high - and that is only half the blanket.

This is the most realistic progress shot I have, I delight in colouring in each square as I complete it, juvenile I know but fun, and motivating.

I have just begun to knit from the 3rd to last cheese or wheel of yarn, with these two left. At the moment I have managed to knit a wheel a day, which amazes me. I had expected the novelty to wear off, to have some sort of startitis fever to set in with a desparate need to start something new, but not so far.
On another note I'm also aware that this is probably not a very politically correct yarn. I suspect its a hold over from the 1980's and is the last of old stock. The notion of Cowichan yarn made in New Zealand for knitting Cowichan sweaters when the design of such and the manufacture of yarn to knit them are most certainly IP of the Cowichan peoples is quite at odds with current thinking. I can't imaging any one knitting or wearing sweaters from yarn this thick - honestly at 2.5 stitches per inch and near a centimeter thick - but I guess when living in old style housing in cold climates anyone would be pleased by the warmth of a garment that thick.

The other thing that is keeping me busy is washing raw fiber in preparation for spinning. This is something new, that I've not done before. Earlier this year I visited Southern Alpacas, where Bear and the Cubs were whisked off for an impromptu tour of the alpaca and their babies, whilst I was toured around the fleece and fleece products on display. I had heard rumors of this happening, and its a great marketing ploy, it worked as I left with amongst other things 300g of raw cria, which is so soft it feels like air. But being raw alpaca is full of vm and dust and debris.

I was waiting for the warm weather to wash it (one reason I'm knitting the blanket now is the warm weather will make drying a mammoth thing like that much easier, I'm thinking I will peg it outside to dry). I used the instructions in knitty.spin
by Beth Smith, and so wrapped the dusty fiber in long netting parcels secured with safety pins. I could not quite identify the 'locks', I'm not even sure Alpaca has locks like sheep do, but I piled it in in small bundles as if it was locks. Then I filled the sink with hot soapy water, and soaked it, lifted it out, squeezed it gently and dunked it in rinsing water. Pretty much I followed Beths very clear and simple instructions.

... and have it pegged to a drying frame outside. I like this method - fairly easy, fairly quick, and painless. The fiber is now white, not optical but soft white - which shows up all the vm in it. I was hoping to send it away for carding and blending with some perindale for bounce and angora for fluff. I am realising that like most things its a case of good preparation is every thing - so now I plan to spend some time over the next month removing the vm, and flick combing and drum carding this before sending it off to blend with the perindale and the angora. I think I have to send it away as the angora is to fine to successfully blend with my drum carder. My friend M reported her efforts with Angora - and I'm happy to send it away - but it needs to be clean first. Rubbish in is rubbish out.
And Christmas, well there was the usual perfume, and luxury eats (dark dark darker chocolate) and the offer of a shopping spree at a store online or actual of my choice. Amazon has been visited and Beth Brown Reinsel's Knitting Ganseys is on its way here, as is a back issue of Peicework, Jan Feb 2008, a knitting special issue one that was just before my subscription started. This one is out of print but Knit Diva has some copies in stock, and rushed around Christmas eve packaging and shipping it to me and emailing me progress reports. Bear got domestic things, a potatoe ricer, a salad spinner (yes really, and I did fear he would go and buy one himself before the day, as he kept talking about them), and a domain name - strangely his surname was still available!

so - I'm off out of town to the Waimate Rodeo for a few days, and I'm not sure if I can take the large knit with me or a smaller project like my current socks in progress(Honey) or needles and swatch for the next sweater, yes I do have a plan for the next sweater ... you will just have to wait and see what that is.
take care
na Stella

Saturday, December 20, 2008

this is going to be big, really big

in fact its probably going to be bigger than I expected, not a bad thing, but a surprise. Today I introduce my new project and explain why I'm knitting on 12mm needles when I generally like to knit on 3.5mm or smaller, and I did a stock take, and a stash sort, from which this and another a side project has arisen ...

So whats this new big project I'm knitting on 12mm needles? Its a stash buster, we went on a pre-Christmas Mill visit last Thursday, M wanted to deliver a hand made Christmas cake and who am I to leave her on her lonesome for the 40 minute trip. Most of knit night went, 4 in my car, and 3 in another. We always visit the Mill, have lunch in the local 'country club' (sounds more luxurious than it is), and visit the 3 antique/2nd hand shops. M- found me a little vintage cardboard folder of sock needles, which I have forgot to photograph, next time.
When I returned with a cone of lace weight merino, and enough possum merino in Bark to knit Owls, I couldn't put it away. More embarrassing I had not put away the previous trips haul, more possum merino for Ski Jacket by Veronik Avery. The reason was a whole drawer of matching yarn, a 6 ply almost unspun vintage yarn called Cowichan, by Shepard. I've got 11 wheels of this in a soft natural grey, 225g per wheel, 117m. I bought it for $2 a wheel earlier in the year thinking that it would make EZ garter stitch baby blanket ... sounds good so far, a whole blanket for $22. If the weight and meterage don't mean much, perhaps the gauge will, Its knitting up at 2.5 stitches per inch.

Now the yarn is in a basket in the family room, and I've put the newer yarn away in the drawer. I have to knit it if I want it out of the room. So far I've knit nearly 4 of the 11 wheels of yarn, I'm knitting another of Elizabeth Zimmerman's garter blanket. Thats basically 24 squares of garter stitch, arranged into 2 long shapes and 2 short shapes. I've knit nearly 9 squares, 15 to go. I've done enough to work out a guess-timate final size, at least 6 ft by 4ft, and if it relaxes in the blocking, and garter usually does, then larger. We are talking single bed here, at least.

And its big already, the section I have knit sits beside me on the couch - like a patient cat, growing slowly. This is two 3rds of the first section, taking up a chair all on its own. I've decided to knit the largest sections first, as its quite depressing to leave the largest section to last. I'm managing to knit a wheel a day - but I'm not sure I can keep that up for 11 days, this stuff is hard to knit. I've not been able to knit it continental - reverting to english style. Its just so heavy to knit that english makes more sense, the needles don't need to move as much, just in and out, and my right hand can manover the yarn into place.

I spent Saturday morning dealing with my stash overflow, working out what I had (cause sometimes we forget), and putting it away. Now I know I have enough sock yarn to knit 15 pairs of socks. I have 22,000+ meters of lace weight or fine fingering, which if you do need 900m for a shawl - means I can knit a fair few shawls and even more lace scarves. I have yarn specifically for 5 sweaters, including a Bohus kit from sweden, yarn for the aforementioned Owls and Ski sweater, as well as something for Toby and enough Pink Angora, wool nylon on a cone to knit Poppy a larger version of her last jacket. I've also got 6kg of fiber sitting waiting to be spun.
Fabulously I didn't find any real lumps of yarn I didn't want, i did find two cakes of yarn left from Chris's last sweater, and some odds and ends of balls from previous projects. Some I've put aside in the basket the cubs select from when they want to knit. The rest I've set aside for the local charity shop. I did find 6 ends of cotton yarns, left over from past wash clothes. I knit a variation on a log cabin modular pattern and worked up a residual-washcloth. I've not decided if this is good enough to be a gift, or if it is to much 'left overs' so is for family, but I like it. I like it enough to want to remake it with whole balls of yarn.

Of course I've not yet woven in the ends, and my charm with the design may quickly fade whenI weave them in. Being cotton, I know to get an invisible finish I need to split the yarn and weave the singles in individually, which will take longer but be worth it. I know it is one of those tasks that seems daunting and boring, but once set to goes quickly.

And christmas is upon us, so cubs under foot, and time to do things - the tree is up, and the fridge and pantry full. Bear has two more days of work to go and pretty much all is sorted. As usual I sent my christmas mail away far to late to get where its going on time, and I've still cards to write. And as usual we have had all manner of christmas tv specials, with snow and ice and actors in fake snow wearing winter clothes - so yes it is Christmas here. But I'm on holiday as are the cubs - so things are relaxed and easy. We've eaten salads and chinese greens out of the garden two nights in a row, but the birds have gotten all the red strawberries. In short its summer and holiday season and Christmas here in New Zealand.

Take care
hope that there is peace and ease and lots of time with fiber and knitting over the next week, and christmas is good if you are a christmas person in a christmas place.
na stella

Sunday, December 14, 2008

& Ta da!

No words, just photos...

Buttons - a how to

I always just sew on the buttons, you know, as I was taught to, using a few ticks that I've picked up along the way. I've never given much thought to sewing on buttons, but Crafty Gryphon asked if I could do a button sewing on tutorial, and yes M'am, I can. So today lots and lots of photos, Bear wasn't around to hold the camera so its a photo essay not a video. This also means that TYC is done, finished and worn, I'm wearing her as I type! Soft and warm - modeling photos to come, soon I promise. First up is EZ one row no turn button hole, I love it! neat, simple, not fussy to work,in short the epitome of EZ's approach to knitting. And yes - you spotted my fav cast off edge along the long edge of the button band, an i-cord bind off - again, its thin, flat, and a nice stable edge.

First sewing on buttons, before you start you need to gather a little equipment, the yarn you plan to use, either fine strong yarn or matching cotton (or contrast colour if you prefer), a suitable needle, some pins (not shown) and a 2 mm dpn.

About buttons, there are lots of different ones, but here I'll discuss those with a shank and those without. Shank buttons have a little stalk or neck with a hole thru which the button is sewn onto the garment, the shank allows for the thickness of the garment under the button, so these are usually used on thick fabrics, or tailored garments. Buttons without a shank are made for thinner garments, but you can 'sew in a shank' if you need to. I need to do this here, so I'll show you how. Shank buttons can be heavier, and can sag when not buttoned up, a bit of a problem for knitwear, one of the reasons I decided not to use them on this cardigan.

Thread, I'm using the yarn I knit with, its fine and strong, and constant so won't snag on the needle as I sew, but you can use any thread that works. Cut a nice long length, 60-70 cm, and thread it thru the needle. If you cut it longer you run the risk of knots and tangles. I was told 'no longer than from elbow to finger tip', and that is a pretty good guide. Don't knot the end, and pull it so one end is longer than the other, we will be sewing the button on with a single thread - you can use two, but it causes problems, more knots and thickness and loops of different sizes as you tighten the stitches. Remember no knots in the yarn this stage, the knit fabric is to loose and they will just pull thru - the yarn has to be secured via other means.

One of the first things to do is mark where the buttons need to be sewn, I do this with long T-pins. I match up the two edges, and put a pin thru the top end of each button hole, remember buttons slide to the end of the button holes they don't magically float in the middle. This is one thing my students seem to regularly misunderstand. So where the button holes are vertical, the button hole will hang off the button, so the button will slide to the top of the button hole. Where the buttons are horizontal, the button will slide to the end nearest to the edge.

Then I carefully pull the two layers apart and reposition all the T-pins to mark the exact spot I need to stitch on the buttons. Some people use smaller pins, or clover hooks, or safety pins, or even waste yarn, use whatever you like, I like T-pins, they are large and easy to spot and I don't tend to hurt myself on them.

Then I start sewing on the buttons, these ones have 4 holes, so I'm stitching in a cross pattern, but I could have stitched two short bars like and equal sign, or in a square. Its all personal preference. Leave the tail of the yarn loose, it will be knotted and woven in latter - yes knotted, I don't want these buttons to fall off.

Now if I was just to stitch the button on there would be no room for the layer of knitting to fit under it when I did up all my buttons. That layer of knitting needs to be allowed for, so I plan to make a thread space long enough for it to sit easily under the button when done up. You can see the thickness of a layer of knitting, if you don't allow for that you kinda get a look like a stuffed sofa - not really flattering or good on anything other than a duvet or a sofa.

So I am using a dpn, a 2mm dpn, if I was stitching thru thicker knitting, I would use a thicker needle. In dressmaking and tailoring I was taught to use a toothpick or a matchstick, I have a smoothed bamboo skewer that I keep in my sewing kit, but a nice polished dpn is perfect here.

On these buttons, I over stitched the holes twice, if I was using finer thread I might have stitched more. I pulled the thread firm each time, knowing the 2mm dpn was providing the space I needed under each button. Because this was the first button, and I had the tail of thread I was able to secure it with an overhand knot - you know from girl guides - right over left and under, then left over right and under. I wove in the tail and trimmed it, but left the needle thread untrimmed because

I planned to snake the thread from one button position to another. This is a trick I was shown for making shirts. Rather than stitch each button on individually and cut and knot behind each button, you can run the thread from button position to button position. I think this makes for a stronger attachment, and stabilises the front edge a little.

I finish behind each subsequent button with a half hitch, just to stop the thread from pulling tighter and distorting the button position. To make a half hitch, make a little tiny stitch thru the fabric just behind where you have sewn the button, and thread the needle and thread thru the loop - pull firm.

Once the buttons are all on, you can see on the reverse of the button band that there isn't much trace of the yarn woven from button to button. If needed I could have woven in the yarn along the picked up stitches or the cast off edge. And if you need to start new thread, just cut a new length and begin again, weave in all the ends after and knot just to secure, I hate it when buttons fall off, they tend to fall off when I am in a hurry or away from my sewing kit.

and finished, with buttons, all waiting to be worn
pictures next time
I promise

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

These ones or those ones?

Button time, today its all about buttons, because thats where I am up to with my tangled yoke cardigan, choosing the buttons. I've picked up the stitches along the left front edge and knit most of the button band, I'm leaving the right side until I know what size and shape buttons I will use, then I can make the button holes the perfect size. I always remember what side the button holes go on because my first uni teacher of construction told us Women are always right, meaning in womens wear the right laps over left, and so the button holes go in the top or right side layer. And if you are slightly left-right confused like me, its the right when you are wearing it.

But back to the buttons, I'm going to have to compromise ... the ones I like most might not be the best choice. Not as much knitting was done as I had planned this week, I've been away for work, looking at students work at another institution, leaving home at 5am, don't ask what time the alarm went off I don't like to think about that. There was the associated socialising that went with 'away' trips, the evening meal out and the talking about things academic as you do when with others teaching in the same area. I did take a book to read, old and maybe redundant in places, and some knitting - yet another wash cloth, which grew only a little. I found references to knitting in at least two chapters - so that brightened my trip, now I am wondering how I can work that into my next paper should it be accepted.

First up is my favorite button choice, well .. these are my favorite buttons, cast in pewter, small, and rustic, and I think a good size, colour and texture for this knit. There are the last I was able to buy from a New Zealand Jeweller/Actor who at one stage made buttons, Sarah Smutts-Kennedy(SSK), but she no longer makes, so I can no longer buy. But ...
yes there is a but, they are small, and light, but still probably to heavy for this knit ... so although I am so very tempted to use these I probably won't.

Which means I will revert to an old classic choice, the designers quality stand by, the shell button. This time in dark shell, a small 4 hole button that is a much lighter weight. Like most things made from natural materials the colour varies, some are lighter, some darker, and with these the polished shine makes them look much lighter in colour.

So I will borrow a trick I learned a long time ago and turn them over and sew them on upside down. They are still shiny but much darker, and more rustic. I will make one last round of all the button shops in town, just to see if there is anything better that is not obviously plastic, but I think these will be the ones.

so take care,
more next week I promise, this Friday is officially my last day of work before the summer holidays - but I have some things undone that mean I will need pop in to work next week to sort them, but essentially, after graduation on Friday I will have 5 weeks off, to knit and spin, and cook, and family, and garden, and walk, and not work. And of course go thru all my knitting books looking for the perfect button hole technique.
na Stella

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Not perfect,and with some repeated sections

thats right, not perfect. When I was witting my thesis, when any one is writing a thesis, all the people who have been there before you give you advice, generally good and appropriate advice that you may or may not follow at the time. Much of that advice you take with you and use latter as part of life, even if you were not able to follow it at the time. Once such piece of advice was -
There is finished and there is perfect, rarely are they the same.
That was the case this week in my knitting, after the drastic and perhaps ill-considered frogging I was happy just to finish, and I know its not perfect, so today I have something finished, not quite but off the needles for now, with very little to do. I apologise for missing my midweek post, I had one of those weeks where I was out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday night, and late home Wednesday - there just wasn't time, some weeks are like that.

So last week I left with you a disturbing image of a complex cable dropped down and in the early stages of repair. As I indicated, it took some time, and a lot of focus to repair. Would I recommend it - probably not, but then again I think it looks better afterwards, not perfect mind you, but better. I know exactly where my repair is, you see I had yarn left over afterwards. This worried me, how could I knit the same rows with the loops of frogged yarn and have one loop of several inches of yarn left over? Then I realised that the left over had migrated from a yarn join, a few stitches past my frogging pond. So because of the yarn ends and the left over loop I know exactly where I was working, if not I might not be able to spot the repair.

This is the cable, finished, not perfect, but better I think. I still managed to twist one of the cables the wrong way, despite my care and attention .... knowing now what is involved in a repair I can live with that - or I might duplicate stitch the correct twist in (I think that will work - don't you?). One thing that made the repair so difficult was at several stages the cables grow from 5-out-of-1 stitch increases. In my innocence I dropped down between markers - not realising that some of these increases were positioned across the borders of the repeats - and so only partly frogged as I dropped the stitches down. I'm not sure I can explain any better than that - but my wee brain took a good half an hour to comprehend why I could not pick up and knit just inside the repeats, and of course I had frogged right down to the first row of the chart - adding to the difficulty score. Of course I worked this all out after I dropped the stitches right to the bottom of the chart ... no before.

So after that I continued to knit up the yoke, completely missing the decrease row after the tangled cables until I was a good 3.5 inches past them. Once you have frogged this cable and lived to blog the tale ... well frogging 3 inches of stocking stitch knit flat, with hundreds of teeny tiny stitches on 2.5 mm needles - well that is no worries at all. So I frogged, correctly decreased, knit back up, decreased again (I was looking for them that time), and worked the neck band. Then just to make things fun - instead of picking up loops along the lower edge of the ribbing and working a three-needle bind off, I kitchenered the bind off. I'm fussy like that. I suspect the bind off would be a more stable finish and stop the neck from stretching ... but I like to invisibly finish details like this where I can.

And so now I have this, a cardigan that fits me (Yeah!), that just needs two front bands. I'm happy - and I think that blocking will open up the cable and just settle every thing down. All I need to do is sort some buttons ... and I'll start that band.

And sock yarn, I rescued this yarn from the hands of another knitter, honestly she nearly begged me to buy it first and so prevent her from adding it to her stash (my story and I'm sticking to it)... she had another 3 in her hand that she did buy ... but needed me to buy this one. She had two set aside as sure buys and asked if any one new of any reason she shouldn't buy this one, I couldn't ignore her plea for help could I? I had to say that I wanted it. She did accept my reason, happily, she let go of the skein and handed it over! And its so purdy .... so purdy .... socks for a little girl I think. Another nice colour way from Vintage Purls.

While on the subject of quotes, I came across this one during the week, in search of things about knitting - put that on your needles and knit it, a feminine complement to - put that in your pipe and smoke it!: latish 19C-20.