So. I’ve been knitting.* And I think I figured out why the second swatch on the mere one-size-up needles was so spectacularly larger . . . big duuuuh moment coming here . . . different kind of needles. I will stand in a corner with a pointy hat on my head . . . which is fine so long as I can take my knitting with me, I don’t care . . . but the bigger needles are bamboo, and the original too-small swatch was on rosewood. I hadn’t thought beyond ‘wooden needles’—I don’t like metal, I have one pair which I have used once and then hastily bought bamboo in that size.** Most of my needles are bamboo (because they’re cheap) but I have two or three pairs of rosewood (which are not cheap) which are my favourite. And since I mostly knit on my rosewoods I don’t really think about it.*** I still wouldn’t have thought about it except that as I unconsciously adjusted to the bamboo the swatch began growing sort of wedge shaped. SO I TORE IT OUT AND STARTED OVER.†
The new one looks pretty good except for the little problem that it’s still three rows short in the photo and it’s supposed to be a square. †† However blondviolinist tells me that while stitch gauge is critical†††, row gauge probably isn’t so much unless I’m trying to do (say) colour work. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay. We’ll settle for stitch gauge.
Meanwhile . . . I had fallen madly in love with the Rowan Summer Tweed colours and when I saw RST on sale I bought some of the gorgeous dark-burnt-orange which fails to rejoice in the name Torrid‡. But it’s cotton/silk which means unstretchy, and I thought I’d better knit a swatch before I did anything else, in case I hated it or it hated me, especially after I’d looked up Rowan Summer Tweed on Ravelry and while almost everyone liked what they made almost everyone also hated the yarn. Oh dear.
I like it. I like knowing where you are with something that isn’t stretchy. And I got (stitch) gauge dead on first time.‡‡
So then I bought the golden-yellow.‡‡‡ And I’m stopping now.
* * *
* I was having an exchange with a nice friendly On Line Yarn Proprietor in which I mentioned that I’d finally FINISHED a first project—in this case, legwarmers^—and this had been such a major morale boost that at the moment I’m crazy to get on. And she wrote back, oh yes, isn’t it great when knitting takes over like that. —Hmmmmmmmm.
^ And the second pair is coming on.
Yes, there will be a third pair. I like leg warmers. I also like knitting something I can finish. And then use. I also like little projects+ that fit in my knapsack++ and that only take a skein or two of yarn so you can buy something on whim that isn’t taking chicken out of hellhounds’ mouths.+++ Although if the first pair of leg warmers fall apart the first time they go through the wash I will fall into a decline.
+ Since I have this inexplicable aversion to socks
++ The First Cardi swatches, on 14” needles, do not fit in my small going-bell-ringing knapsack. They stick out the top, causing unseemly hilarity among the male members of the assembled. Anthea, not missing a beat, said, What you need is a new bag. —Why . . . of course. Why hadn’t I thought of that?
Denise was also there last night. She says that multiple attempts have been made to teach her to knit and they have all failed. Why? I said nervously. And she started talking about variable tension. . . .
+++ Ha ha frelling ha. Chaos is having another of his inexplicable aversions to food. Maybe I should teach him to knit. Socks.
** I also have two pairs in Vintage Pink Plastic^ that I haven’t quite got round to using yet, I’m afraid of spoiling the vision by finding out they’re no fun to knit with.
^ Bought for about $1.19 on Etsy. As I recall the postage from the States cost more than they did.
*** In hindsight I am now wondering if shifting from bamboo to rosewood and back may have anything to do with the variability of all those squares I knitted last year, and am, in fact, still knitting, in a slower, slightly dazed way. Because I always had/have several going at a time so there is always one at hand and most of them are still around for emergencies. Like when you’re waiting for your watering can to fill.^ Or you didn’t bring your proper knitting to bed with you and you can’t sleep, but it’s cold out there and there are lions^^ and you don’t want to get out of bed to fetch it.
^ It’s a long story. Yes, I also have a half-barrel that I keep full and two water butts that the rain keeps full.
^^ There are always lions, after you’ve gone to bed and turned the light out.
† Arrrrrrrgh, continued. When your so-called friends are busy trying to drag you onto the knitting wagon there is an awful lot they don’t tell you. The one unexpected break I got here is that—perhaps because it hadn’t been a swatch for very long—crimping was minimal. I rolled it up loosely around the original soft ball and it was knittable by the next day.
†† Speaking of variable tension.
††† Except of course that gauge/tension lies, as EMoon on the forum pointed out that Yarn Harlot points out. Okay. Fine. Whatever. If First Cardi is too big, Wolfgang can have it. If it’s too small, Chaos can have it (he’s the one who feels the cold. Possibly because he’s the even worse eater.)^
^ Also there’s a madman on Twitter who thinks I’m going to knit him a sweater. If it’s too small for Wolfgang and too big for Chaos—and too lumpy for me—he can have it.
‡ What overcooked advertising meatloaf decreed that individual colourways within a brand or a category, like ‘Rowan Summer Tweed’, should have individual names? Not all do—some sensible wool manufacturers name the yarn, and merely have numbers for subsidiary colours. But many do.^ They should be made to stand in corners wearing pointy hats and not be allowed their knitting.
^ Rowan is unusually bad about this. Summer Tweed also unrejoices in ‘Tonic’, ‘Swirl’, and ‘Smoulder’. But their best yet may be Rowan Purelife Renew+ which is all named after stuff about vehicles. Camper. Lorry. Trailer. Tractor. Garage. Garage? You’re going to want to knit something with a name like Garage? —Although I quite fancy a couple of skeins of Mini for legwarmers.
+ Gag. Sic.
‡‡ I don’t know what the hell is up with my row gauge. But I’ll worry about that later.
‡‡‡ Called Butterball. Well, Rowan is English, and perhaps only an American thinks instantly of turkeys. . . .
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