Approximately once a year — I kid you not — my knitting bug bites. Normally it strikes in the winter months, when handling wool isn’t challenged by sweaty summer himidity. However, since living stateside, the ever-present “climate controlled” environment has my stitch sensors scrambled. Although I don’t really like air conditioning, the upside is that knitting has become a year-round possibility.
At present, I’m enthused about two projects. One is a lace patterned scarf that I’ve already started. I’m using two left over balls of wool — the sage one used for the top of a pumpkin hat I knitted for Calvin when he was a wee babe and couldn’t object to his cranium being topped by a knitted vegetable; the cream from a teddy bear i also knitted him.
I was going to say that I’m underwhelmed by the way it’s turning out, especially considering the pattern requires me to keep counting and keep concentrating on all the changes in every second row. But now that I look at the photo of it, it looks much better in pixels than in real life. Notably, the photo looks much more like the photo on the pattern. Now why couldn’t the reverse be true?
The second project I’m hoping to tackle is a shrug. I’ve had a lot of fun browsing the free shrug patterns available online. The web is a treasure trove , and needless to say, I’ve happily taken detours into knitting blogs and been amazed and inspired by the artistry in yarn. Having narrowed it down to three possibilities, the challenge is thus:
- To make it using the wool I have available — so either a pattern requiring three or four balls of wool. But the wool I have available is not the same as in those used in the patterns.
- To make it using the needles I have on hand — which is, after a stock take, a rather eccentric collection comprising, two sets of bamboo size six double-point needles (two sets?); three wacky sizes of circular needles (not my favourites, although I love not having any seams); and sizes 6, 9 and 13. The patterns require either a size 7, or a size 8 or 10. (Is this a conspiracy?!)
What to do? Bite the bullet and buy some new needles? (Wary of this as, unlike my usually controlled self, stationers, book shops and knitting stores can be my undoing. i.e. I’m unlikely to emerge with just the required pair of needles.) Or do I substitute a different sized needle? Experiment and see what happens? Plunge into chaotic substitution land (which I do not infrequently when cooking/baking) and possibly emerge with a shrug… that would best fit Jay? Hmmm… I suppose I’ll have to knit one of those gauge samples and see what happens….