Friday, January 26, 2007

actual knitting content

And you thought I'd forgotten how to knit - while I just thought I had done something truly awful to the knitting gods, given the parlous state of my finishing ability. But, after giving up in disgust on just about everything already on the needles, I actually managed to find a relatively small project, and finish it. So, a pair of fair isle fingerless mittens. Adapted from Ann Feitelson's 'The Art of Fair Ilse Knitting' (wonderful book, even though some parts make my brain ache). Adapted because duh, when you make a pair of mittens for your own, small hands, don't just blindly, blitheringly use a pattern designed for a nice, large, male hand. (They are still just a tad too large in places, but hey, something finished. And I say pah to blocking).

And what have I learnt? Well, I can indeed knit in a piece of waste yarn, and then pick up from it (thumbs, baby, thumbs). But it is so much easier to pick up, if the pick up row is one colour only. 'Cos when it is a sweet little two colour, alternating stitches in closely matching heathers row, you end up trying not to get tangled in what in an otherwise normal round would be the itsy bitsy floats. Funnily enough, good light helps too.

But what I also learnt? They were quick. (Okay, so comparison knitting is lace shawls, long socks, ganseys....) And they were fun. And they used stash. Sort of. And they are warm. Which is all good.

But I have been knitting other things, too. New things. (I'm not knitting old things, because everything is in time out. Everything. And not solely because of user error.) Below, behold, the boiled ass lace (there are many reasons to thank Rabbitch, not least her way with words) that is my version of Sharon Miller's Cora Shawl. Which is now into the interminable feather and fan. But, as it turns out, I appear to be knitting an ice cream coffee break. Because somehow I appear to be knitting neapolitan ice cream, with a large side order of iced coffee with whipped cream. (And can you explain why I eat more ice cream in winter than in summer?)

Ah-ha, but you are more interested in that stitch marker? It is a chinese luck ball (okay, so you tell me what they are called - but that whole one ball inside another ball thing, carved out of one piece). Part of a beautiful set from Mary-Lou, who shares my loves of all things Peter Wimsey (a reference involving chess-sets, presents, searingly romantic love, and a life that will never be mine). And I have to say that they do seem to be bringing me luck on this particular knit. For so far, nothing has gone wrong. I have not pulled the stitches off the needles. I have not screwed up the pattern. I have not switched needle size mid-knit. And I have not run out of yarn. Perhaps all that was missing in my life was the right stitch marker.....

Finally, I'm glad you enjoyed my tale of farting shoes (go on, say it, it's fun), and be assured that there are always days when farting shoes are not only desirable but necessary. Farting shoe days are the kinds of days the see me ending up with one third of a sawn up bath panel sitting in my hall way. The days that see me begging a friend to stick back a bit of the roof with duck tape are farting shoe days. And when the cats sleep on just the left side of my back, causing great, uneven pain - yes, a farting shoe day.

ps - For those who asked, Kim being the latest, the Wedding Ring Shawl is still alive. Just in long term hiatus. It sits besides its cone, on my desk, reminding me daily that it is still there (perhaps this is why I have been avoiding my desk). And it will get done. But I'm happy for the shawl to wait, because that kind of knit should be done with a joy and a lightness in the heart. And any decisions to be made about the fellowship of the ring shawl blog can wait indefinitely, too. Because the wonderful Snow, my fellow fellowship of the ring shawl knitter, has been having such a grim time of it over the past few months. And it is far more important for Snow to find her joy and lightness again.