Day 26

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The sweaters new theme song…..

driftwood-colour plan

Sweater colour plan version 1

I have started knitting again for the sweater. I am using it as an opportunity to rework the colour plan because I wasn’t happy with it but I wasn’t so unhappy that I was going to undo I just to fuss with the colours but now I’ve undone it anyway, I’m going to fuss. I’ve also decided to give steeking a try.

driftwood - colour plan v2

Sweater colour plan version 2 (current)

Normally knitting a garment is done in one of two ways – by knitting each piece individually then sewing it all together or by knitting in the round – like with a sweater, you can go round and round in continuous circles until you reach the armpits. At that point the work is separated for the front and back and worked into the described shape, then sewing the upper body and sleeves together. Steeking means you don’t have to do that. Instead you work the shaping as usual but where you will put the sleeve or the collar you continue to knit. These waste sections will be cut when the knitting is finished. Before cutting, one of several techniques will be used to keep the stitches in order when they are cut so the whole garment doesn’t just fall apart.

Taking a pair of scissors to my knitting is a terrifying prospect but working in continuous knit stitch circles is much faster than having to alternate between knit and purl rows, turning the work in between. I like the pattern and love the yarn but I’ve already knit most of this sweater once… So my friend E is going to help me when I’m ready.

Obviously we're not ready yet.

Obviously we’re not ready yet.

Tonight’s blanket piece is another trapezoid but this one is a mirror of the one we’ve made so here’s a new pattern for you.

Trapezoid with the incline side to the right

Pick up 15 stitches for the short side, 1 stitch in the corner, 31stitches for the long side – 47 stitches

Row 1 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k27, (sl2, k1, psso), k14 – 44sts

Row 2 – knit

Row 3 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k25, (sl2, k1, psso), k13 – 41sts

Row 4 – knit

Row 5 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k23, (sl2, k1, psso), k12 – 38sts

Row 6 – knit

Row 7 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k21, (sl2, k1, psso), k11 – 35sts

Row 8 – knit

Row 9 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k19, (sl2, k1, psso), k10 – 32sts

Row 10 – knit

Row 11 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k17, (sl2, k1, psso), k9 – 29sts

Row 12 – knit

Row 13 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k15, (sl2, k1, psso), k8 – 26sts

Row 14 – knit

Row 15- k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k13, (sl2, k1, psso), k7 – 23sts

Row 16 – knit

Row 17 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k11, (sl2, k1, psso), k6 – 20sts

Row 18 – knit

Row 19 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k9, (sl2, k1, psso), k5 – 17sts

Row 20 – knit

Row 21 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k7, (sl2, k1, psso), k4 – 14sts

Row 22 – knit

Row 23 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k5, (sl2, k1, psso), k3 – 11sts

Row 24 – knit

Row 25 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k3, (sl2, k1, psso), k2 – 8sts

Row 26 – knit

Row 27 – k1, (sl1, k1, psso), k2, (sl2, k1, psso), k1 – 6sts

Row 28 – k1, (sl1, k2tog, psso), k1 – 3sts

Row 29 – (sl2, k1, psso) – 1st

day 26

I’m falling asleep here so I won’t say anything else except ‘good night’ 🙂

Day 20

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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 🙂