I promised a knitting post a few days ago, and as I’ve spent the last two days nursing a migraine and running errands to beat the band, none of which makes for particularly thrilling reading, I thought I’d give you an update on how my bid to knit the world a giant tea cosy by Christmas is going.
I branched into fingerless mittens in a small way, knitting two pairs using two different patterns. Firstly I made these:
There were, as ever, a few issues. Mainly that the wool I had was too chunky for the needles I was supposed to knit the mittens on. I also didn’t have entirely the right sized needles. As you can see, I did not let this stop me in any way. I tend to feel that these things are optional when I’m knitting. I don’t know whether this is a good thing, but it is the way I roll. Mostly, as you can see, I have knitted some massive gauntlets, which are so densely knitted that they may actually be fire retardant, and woe betide you should you wear them and get wet. You will sink to the ground immediately, breaking both wrists as you crumple.
Having said that, they are recognisably fingerless mittens, and I was able to follow the pattern easily with a minimum of fuss.
After this, I finished a scarf that I had started when I was practising doing my seed/moss stitch stuff. I did basically what I did with my last scarf, which was pick some contrasting wool, knit two ends, and put some tassels on to make it look slightly more finished:
The plan was then to try a harder pattern, and make a hat to match. The pattern I chose was a total no no when I took the book into the wool shop. It turned out to require circular needles and double ended needles, and possibly a degree in quantum mechanics, and Fiona and I agreed that my teeny, weeny, fluff filled brain is just not ready for this sort of knitting commitment. It could ruin the relationship completely. We searched through the book and found a hat that Fiona thought was more achievable.
I was not so convinced. It requires four different sizes of needle and the ability to learn how to do cable stitch.
I let myself be persuaded by Fiona, and then utterly wimped out, finding another fingerless mitten pattern in one of Tilly’s books, which was different from the first pattern I used. This pattern teaches you to make holes in your garment, but actually on purpose, as opposed to by accident, which is something I can do pretty much spontaneously. I decided I was a mitten genius and that they would only take me a day or two at most, after which I would be feeling brave enough to try the new hat pattern.
My best mistake of the whole mitten thing, was when it came to stitching the mittens up. I diligently learned back stitch from the book, and set about sewing the mittens. It was only when I had sewn one whole seam, and thought, ‘Hmmm. That can’t be right. Where is the other mitten?’ that I realised I had actually sewn both mittens together to make a giant super mitten.
Eventually I created two separate mittens, which look like so:
Except there are two of them. You can’t really see the hole pattern when the mitten is on, but it is there. See:
After that, there was no avoiding the scary hat pattern. Especially as Kim and I, during the pub quiz on Tuesday (in which we spent most of our time chatting about knitting, and no time at all thinking about what the nearest capital city to the equator is (Quito in Ecuador apparently), which is why we came 12th), decided that we missed knitting lessons terribly, so set up our own group, called Knighton Knitters.
Eventually we will be meeting in the pub. For now, given that it is basically me and Kim, we are using our houses. The inaugural meeting was at my house, this evening. Both girls joined in, and my mum came with my friend Nicki. They’re splitters from the Earl Shilton Stitchers, but were happy to swell the ranks when they heard Tallulah had made her first ever solo Victoria sponge and it was a bit of alright. Oscar and Jason hid in the man cave being manly. It was all too much for them.
I tackled the scary hat this evening. It did not go well.
I managed to cast on successfully, but after that it all went a bit pear shaped. Possibly quite literally, had I carried on knitting. As it was, I unpicked it six times before I felt reasonably happy with what I had done. Everyone had gone home by the time I unpicked it for the fourth time. It would help if I were wise enough to know a) where I was going wrong before it was too late, and b) how to fix it without undoing all the knitting. I am reasonably good at unpicking things that are straightforward knitting, but anything more complex and I tend to either drop gallons of stitches, or have no idea which way to put the bloody things back on the needle, so that everything I knit from that point onwards comes out back to front.
I have done a great deal of swearing this evening, but it has been creative swearing, and by midnight I had wrestled ten centimetres of recognisable knitting out of my recalcitrant fingers/needles. Eventually, by next July, it may be an actual hat.