Thursday, January 17, 2008

Knitting and advice received

Good news and bad on the knitting front.

The good news is that Claudia found a match for the Veilchen yarn which ran out on my Clessidra knee-highs – hooray! She is only charging me for the postage – double hooray! That is what I call customer service with a cherry on top!

The medium-bad knitting news is that I started a pair of socks from the stash, using yarn randomly selected by my daughter. She chose the fabulous PigeonroofStudios sportweight in Nightshade. I decided to use the “Whitby” pattern from “Knitting on the Road”. All was looking good for the first few inches. Then I realised there was a major pooling issue. This yarn looked speckledy, maybe splotchy, but definitely did not look like a candidate for pooling. The back section looked fine – plain ribbing in shades of taupe / mauve with the occasional flash of blue. But the front was a disaster. The stitch pattern was almost invisible in a great big muddy puddle of mess. Then I tried it on and it was too tight (51 stitches on 2.75mm needles). So I ripped it out. Monday gone.

The bad news.... in the Waiting Room, I had the pattern for Manon and a ball of plant-dyed aran-weight wool. The third set of needles I tried got me gauge. I knitted and I knitted and was very proud of the first 31 rows of the triangular centre back peplum section. Until I realised that there were more stitches to the left of the central cable than to the right. So I started undoing my work row by painful row. I saw the old lady opposite watching me. After about half an hour of unpicking and counting I took the needles out and riiiipppppppppped! “That’s why I crochet!” she remarked. “Only one stitch at a time, and it doesn’t matter if you drop it.” Mutter.

That evening, I started again and got to row 31, counting my stitches on every row. And guess what? Yes. I had the right number of stitches, but they weren’t evenly balanced on either side of the cable. “Didn’t you use stitchmarkers?” asked FL. Splutter! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! Tuesday gone.

So yesterday evening I tried again. And I re-read the instructions. "Keeping one stitch in stocking stitch on either side, work the chart". So I counted the number of stitches on the chart and the number of stitches on my needles. Oh. What it meant was: there are two stitches on your needles that are not on the chart, one at either end. WHY?! As a knitting designer (stop laughing at me) I would expect to chart the whole piece - not leave off one stitch at either end of the row, that's just crazy!

I now have a perfect knitted triangle. Pictures will follow.

FL had a very bad day yesterday. After the anaesthetic wore off, the site of his bone marrow sample was extremely painful. I got home to find him lying flat out in bed with a grey face. "How many painkillers have you taken?" I asked. "Painkillers? I haven't taken anything! I didn't think of that!" WHAT?! "Well it didn't hurt last time, so I though there was something terribly wrong with me and I wanted to monitor it..." EH?! "The reason it didn't hurt last time was that you were on enough morphine to knock out an elephant!" "Really?"

Oxycodone administered. Pain relief obtained. Sigh.

This morning, he is bright and perky again.

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