It’s been 10 days since I completed Rose and for five of those, she has been drying over the side of the bath. Not exactly what I had planned for our first days together. Son had added a couple of “original features” to Rose – he was upset, needed lots of hugs and left matching “patches” on each shoulder. Not even the lovely big collar was going to cover those. At the time, I thought that there was only one logical way to proceed: Wash Rose. Not normally worth commenting on but I was surprised to note, that even a cold-water wash (care label suggests 40deg), the colour bled. Nothing too serious, but enough to leave ink-like patterns on the bottom of the bath. Day 11 might allow wearing and I shall take a practical approach to any possible future, err, “transgressions”: Ignorance is bliss.
This morning, Knitting Friend and I attended a knitting coffee morning: 90 mins of coffee, cake and knitting chat with like-minded people. Wonderful. New yarns to play with, new patterns to oogle and stories to swap. Lovely, just lovely. And as if this wasn’t enough, there’s a goody bag to take home and, in the goody bag, a discount voucher for yarn and yarn-related products. Dangerous, very dangerous.
The morning ends and, with our cake-appetites sated, we all dash down stairs to appease our yarn cravings, vouchers burning holes in our bags. There is, however, one catch: The voucher isn’t for 100% off. Yes, I know, they rarely are but in the heat of the moment, it’s a fact sometimes easy to forget. Well, easy for me to forget. Or maybe not today.
I hang back while Knitting Friend and others search pattern books. Friend spots a pattern that she thinks I’ll like. She’s right: A gorgeous tank top, knit in 100% cotton in an intricate, yet stunning mixture of cables and diamonds. I desperately try to find fault with the design and eventually, with a mixture of relief and regret, replace the book back on the shelf. But not out of my mind. We move on.
Knitting Friend and I have been admiring the same shrug. I’m wearing a shrug but its not the same so it doesn’t count. We pounce on the pattern and, while I study the details, Friend studies the yarn. Initially she selects a light blue yarn. It’s a lovely shade and compliments her well. Unusually, it’s not the shade I’d pick as I’ve spotted a stunning darker blue, almost purple. Which leaves open the possibility of Friend and I both knitting the same pattern without producing exactly the same garment. But this doesn’t negate the issue of me already having a shrug. If not two. And then Friend does the best thing ever: She rethinks her choice of colour and opts for the darker shade. An excellent solution, not only for her own colouring but the versatility of the finished garment, “trans-seasonal” I believe is the term. And so, in a matter of seconds, she saves me: Saves me from a beautiful, but unnecessary yarn purchase. But this doesn’t completely solve the problem as my voucher is still unspent and expires in only two days. Oh the pressure. The anguish. My stomach turns and I’m not sure whether it’s the unfulfilled desire to spend my yarn pennies or that the decaf coffee I ordered isn’t quite as caffeine-free as I hoped.
We part, Friend with the glow of a knitter delighted with New Project, me with the desire to lie down in a dark room. Not good. Home to the boys and I take the opportunity to review Stash in the hope that it’ll help quench my thirst for a suitable new project. I rediscover my small cashmere mountain and study the proposed, accompanying pattern. It’s still lovely but not what I want right now: Its beauty is in its simplicity and I fancy something a bit more challenging.
We end the afternoon in our favourite department store, sharing a very early supper before Knitting Club. Knitting Club Friend arrives, marvelling at the spectacle of two reasonably intelligent adults trying to coax a toddler with food. It’s been one of those days. Consultation with the crepe chef allows us to head down to the yarn department for the 25 mins before she stops cooking. Attempt Two at relinquishing yarn voucher. The boys depart, and we browse the patterns. I show Knitting Club Friend the pattern for tank top and she can see its merits. We view the yarn and there are only eight of the required nine balls. Is it a sign? Helpful sales assistant finds the missing ball. So maybe not a sign? I don’t get given a voucher every day so I use the excuse to stock-up on baby-related necessities (i.e. fresh patterns and yarn). Purchases made, and voucher finally surrendered, we head back up for pancakes and knitting. But all is not right. I am fretting about my purchases. Fretting big time. I already have a tank top. It took ages to knit and I still love it. Do I really need a new one? When I have yarn for another garment arriving in the next week or so. When, next season, I’ll have to, just have to, knit something new for winter. When I have a stash of other garments-to-be still in their ball / skein form. Something kicks in, logic? Sense? I’m not quite sure, it’s an unfamiliar feeling. But I act upon it, curtail knitting and return the yarn and pattern. (Not all of it, after all baby needs clothes.) And I leave, happy and voucher-less. But only having knit three rows of Rose’s collar. Three rows sixteen cm does not make. I am behind. Way behind. Deadline again looks shaky. Oh dear, silly Katherine.
I know, you’re finding it hard to believe, but then, so am I: The sleeves are in! My first set of Raglan sleeves. I’m not sure that I made it particularly easy on myself given that the fabric is reverse stocking stitch (and yes, I did think of working on the wrong side but suspected that it was even more likely to go horribly wrong!). To be honest though, I’m not 100% sure about the end result. I think that it looks okay. I used mattress stitch and applied the same principles as you would for sewing together fabric in stocking stitch, but it’s waves and not “v”s and on an angle (so not as satisfying as sewing up side seams)….. So, to help allay my worries, I’m pleased that there’s a big collar to knit, which – wait for it – I have already picked up all the stitches for! Yes, I’m all prepared for Knitting Club tomorrow evening.
Of course, you’re right when you say that I could be knitting it now but then I’d face the awkward predicament of what to take to Knitting Club (as clearly you can’t sew-up, eat cake, drink tea and talk all at the same time!). And before you shout me down with cries of “Husband’s Jumper”, this isn’t necessarily the correct answer. You see, I’m heading south on Sunday, with hours of lovely knitting time ahead of me and no, no, before you again suggest said jumper of my beloved spouse, I’m afraid that I can’t. For in the enchanted forest of delights where I’m going, not all yarns are permitted to enter and taking Husband’s Jumper is a sure-fire way of getting me fed to the trolls. Well, okay, maybe not trolls: It’s only England, for goodness sake. So you can clearly see how logic suggests that I start something new tomorrow, in the comfort of a large, stationary, well-lit environment that I can continue on the train. Ah, the logic of a knitter eager to start a new project.
But fear not! This new project does not require a new yarn purchase. You may remember a mention of a recent acquisition of new yarn only a couple of weeks ago? New and untouched yarn. A completely new project. You’re impressed at my self-restraint, aren’t you? Actually, let’s be honest: You’re worried that I’ve been body-snatched and that the real Katherine has been eaten by out-of-space monsters (trolls?) or the like (can you guess what Son’s book de jour is at the moment?!). But take heart, this is me. And yes, when I set my mind to so something, I do try to do all I can to make sure that it happens. So take heart dear Husband, your Jumper may yet be free of the needles.
Finished the front! Cast on sleeve 1......
Could yet meet my 22nd May deadline - although I'm aware that a few other projects need to be wrapped up before then. Good time management required? I suspect perhaps good time creation is what's actually needed......... Or, maybe, just some better use of my resources: Is an 18 months old too young to learn how to knit?
All sewn up:
"Munro Socks" by Jo Storie.
Currently on the needles and making progress: