Day 20


Firstly, busy day out of the house means I didn’t get to do the sewing-in tutorial. I have an empty day tomorrow so I shall do it then 🙂

Now, I was going to share 2 guys with cello’s playing AC/DC today but decided I would instead share some Nina Simone music. Yep, it’s my favourite – ‘Pirate Jenny’. It’s the audio from a concert in 1964 but because I found it on YouTube there is a series of stills of Nina Simone as the video.

One of the things I love about this song is her vocal control – the way she opens a note into a word, and the way you can feel ‘Jenny’s’ sneer of disgust and wry amusement at the situation through Nina’s performance. And of course her smug satisfaction at the end. There’s an almost laziness to the performance that lends an inevitability to the song, that they story she’s telling couldn’t have ended any other way. And all of this as she plays her own accompaniment.

I am incredibly grateful for music. It has given me words in my frustrations, company in my loneliness, solace when I have thought I was alone in my feelings. It has given my voice flight and I have revelled in getting a performance ‘just right’, or finding a perfect song. It has given me personal expression and a way to share my thoughts and feelings when there is more that just words needed to adequately explain, and to share in the thoughts and feelings of others. And it has given me the opportunity to bring these things to others.

Knitting is not dissimilar. Much knitting is done to be gifted to others, it is an opportunity for personal expression, and a chance to think. It is also, and ever has been, a reason to gather together and a chance to share knowledge. The opportunity for ‘just right’ is found in marrying a pattern with the perfect yarn. The greatest  satisfactions are found in the pleasure of an item well knitted, and the pleasure of a delighted recipient.

Day 20Today’s blanket piece has been knit twice. Not because I made a mistake or didn’t like the yarn. In fact it was
perfect, and the yarn is gorgeous. I knitted it twice because the first time I knitted it I was ranting at my friend E during our knitting session at a local cafe. She then mocked me or not actually paying attention to a single stitch I’d knit. So I frogged it and started again. (So there E :p)  I used Schoeller + Stahl’s Fortissima Mexiko colour #230 ‘hibiskus’ today.

So Charlotte, you finished a shawl earlier this week. What are you working on in its place?

Well, I’m still working on the sweater. It’s going very quickly now that I’m knitting in the round (aka endless circles).

New stuff though… J sent me yarn that finally arrived this week (I’m looking at you UK Customs and Parcelforce) and I actually cast on a new shawl last night because this yarn is so pretty, I couldn’t resist. It’s Malabrigo Lace in ‘Intenso’ and it’s incredibly soft and quite thin.

malabrigo lace - intenso

The pattern I’m knitting it into is called ‘Grouchy Geisha‘ which is one of the reasons I love it. To be honest, I’m not sure how much of my affection for the pattern is because of the name and how much is because the pattern is so lovely.grouchy geisha - designer photo

But I was feeling a very strong pull toward one of the projects unearthed in the bag from the loft. I started this shawl called ‘Light in Shadow’ about a year ago so it was no surprise that I couldn’t work out exactly what I had been doing with a certain set of instructions within the pattern. I had to pull back to the beginning of the ‘wing’ that I had been knitting onto the central triangle. This gave me the chance to make it a little bigger. I added a few more rows to the striped edges of the triangle then went back to knitting the wing.

Light In Shadows - 1

And the most awesome thing is that I am finally happy with my ability to work a technique called ‘wrap & turn’ that creates short knitted rows – that is where you only knit part of a row of knitting before you turn your work around and knit back to the beginning. The ‘wrap & turn’ is a way to disguise where this happens. It’s tricky to explain so I’m not going to do it now. To be honest, I may never as there are plenty of tutorials about it because a lot of knitters find it difficult to master.

Light In Shadows - short rows

I’m still not a huge fan of ‘wrap & turn’ just because it’s a nuisance but I can do it, and it looks seamless so yay me 🙂