tsps and tbsps

I am still knitting.

At the weekend I bought my first knitting pattern.

My mini project that I alluded to in the last post, was to make a scarf and hat as a present for my sister in law. I had no idea if she wanted a hat and scarf (in this weather the answer would be a resounding NO, but I am knitting for the future. Silver jump suits next), but I had found some gorgeous wool and when it knitted up it turned out to be the colours she loves, so I decided it would be a gift.

I checked with her, once I had finished the project, that she actually did want them. I remember as a child the evil things people used to knit uncle Robber and me, and how mortified we were that my mum made us wear them so that the people who knitted them would know we appreciated the gift. We did not appreciate the gift in the slightest. We hated the horrible, scratchy, usually brown, lumps of knitwear, hated them. And the problem with wearing the things people gave you, and being suitably grovelly about them was that this only encouraged the evil knitters even more. It was a vicious, itchy cycle, which had Dante been gifted a ribbed, polo neck sweater in 100% acrylic two ply, would have definitely made it into the Inferno one way or another.

I specifically told her to say no if she hated them, and she didn’t hate them. Which is nice for both of us, and because she had given me the green light, and had seen them, it meant I could show them to the world.

Ta dah!

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and

Ta dee!

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It may not look like much, but given that in a theoretical year book from a fictional high school I didn’t go to in America I was voted woman least likely to do anything practical due to being utterly cack handed, it is nothing short of a wool based miracle.

The hat was the thing I used my knitting pattern for. I bought it because it said that it was an easy pattern to follow.

Ah ha, ha ha ha, hahahahaha.

This is the laugh of Inigo Montoya as he says in his loveable Spanish accent: ‘You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.’

It is easy only if you are a) a super knitter and b) skilled at mathematical equations and algebra stylings.

There are a great many letters and numbers in knitting patterns it turns out, and brackets. Sometimes they are your regular curled brackets. Other times they are squared brackets. Sometimes they use both types of brackets together.

There was a lot, and I mean a lot, of unpicking, swearing, and pacing. At one point there was a huge amount of paper and a brown felt tipped pen (all I could lay hands on in a moment of crisis. Hardly Virginia Woolf).

I finished the hat on Sunday night. When I say Sunday night I mean the early hours of Monday morning. I had hit a rich seam and was not prepared to quit until I had finished the damn thing. I was going great guns until I came upon another bracketty line with forty seven numbers and a lot of K, P, inc, dec, pfft action.

I wrestled with this for some time dear reader.

At one point I went out into the garden, where if I were a woman who smoked, I would have paced the decking, dragging on a fag and rolling my eyes to the heavens. As it was I merely did all that while thinking of that episode of Miranda where she is attempting to show the world she can actually cook a meal from scratch. She starts off all lovely and serene with ingredients lined up on the surface in order. It cuts to her, flour in hair, batter up the wall, four million pots in the sink shouting: ‘I just can’t tell my tusspers from my tusspurburs.’

That was me.

I just can’t tell my knuskers from my purlpurburs. With the added complication of brackets.

Which is always worserer.

Anyway. As you can see, I beat the hat. Which made me very proud. I know it is a little stiff. If you do not slouch it back on your head, you look like a deranged Pope in favour of gay rights (which he bloody well should be), because I used a much chunkier wool than required and knitted said wool on too small needles.

But apart from that it’s fine.

17 responses to “tsps and tbsps

  1. Awesome job, missus! And the stiffness? That’ll be your gauge, that will. Another thing to get your head round. ‘Proper’ knitters will tell you you need to knit a swatch first, then count how many stitches you’ve done to the inch. If it doesn’t match with what the pattern says, you’re meant to try another swatch and knit tighter, or looser, or on bigger/smaller needles until you reach the gauge stated. Other, more slackadaisical/more sensible knitters will (if they can be arsed) knit a swatch to see what gauge they actually knit at, then adjust the pattern to that.

    • It did say to knit a swatch but as I didn’t really know what I was looking for and I knew the wool was wrong anyway, I didn’t think it would help!

  2. watchingthewheels

    Well done girlie girl! There is no way in hell I would have attempted that – crochet yes, knitting no, no, no. You are awesome 😉

  3. Maybe washing the hat will relax it a bit and make it less stiff. I’m very impressed, anyway! You will learn your general gauge fairly quickly – I’m a tight knitter, so I knit all my projects on needles a size or two bigger than recommended by ball bands and patterns.

  4. Oooh – well done – that’s a proper toque you’ve made! I love the colours and very much admire your persistence – such neat stiches.

  5. huzzah! I like to knit sometimes and I like to curse at the knitting as needed. This confuses my husband who thinks maybe I should quit when I start cursing. But that’s part of the fun.

  6. I am very impressed! My first knitted thing was when I was 7- I had to knit an 8 inch scarf for a doll (must have had a fat neck). I knitted 2 inches and pulled and stretched the rest.

  7. I look into the future….I see the whole Boo family festooned in wool……by Christmas there will be hats and scarves and socks and water bottle covers…..and a smart coat for Derek.

  8. Hurrah, congratulations on following a pattern, it looks fab. I am a firm believer those things are the work of the devil. I was bought a knit your own monkey kit, aimed at 8 year olds (I am in my 30s), I very near had a breakdown midway through as it was so damn complicated.

  9. It is entirely a foreign language the world of knitting. I sympathise.

  10. You have one really well, a quick dunk in some fabric conditioner should ease the stiffness. Your tension looks good.

  11. Done, not one! Grr.

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