Smaller needles

I’ve already mentioned that the Neckdown Wrap Cardigan is my first adult-sized cardigan. I expected that there would be a fairly steep learning curve, but didn’t realise quite how that would manifest itself.

Some people read instructions, others prefer to wing it. Some people treat instructions as a prescriptive method to follow, for others they are mere guidelines to be interpreted or ignored according to whimsy. When it comes to knitting, I read instructions, and almost invariably follow them slavishly. When I started knitting this cardigan I read the instructions, bought the two extra sets of dpns that I would need and went through the pattern circling all the numbers applicable to my size. I also highlighted a couple of other instructions that I thought I might miss. I know. Sorry about that.

Yesterday I picked up, as planned, the 214 stitches for the neckband and merrily knit the two garter ridges. As I put the knitting away at the end of the evening I was happy in the knowledge that this morning I only needed to cast off the stitches and the neckband would be done. When I got it out this morning, the neckband looked a bit rubbish. I checked the pattern numbers. Yes, I had picked up the right number of stitches, I had knit the correct number of rows. Just one small problem – I had ignored the instruction (clearly circled in the pattern by me) ‘using the smaller needles’.

On a not un-related subject, today I have been inserting a lifeline, ripping 4 rows back and re-knitting. It looks much better now, particularly since I made the neckband a bit wider as in the photo on the pattern.

In the next exciting instalment: sleeves.

The Urge to Knit

From the Guardian February 1961 (Via Knitty)

The urge to knit is surely the most moral force in the world. Knitting is industrious, economical, virtuous, therapeutic, mildly creative and above all tranquillising. Research would show that knitting wives never become nervous wrecks and that it is never knitting girls who break up happy homes. Conversely it would be found that the Other Woman never knits.

How times change. For me knitting is leisurely, expensive and slightly indulgent rather than industrious, economical and virtuous. I would agree with it being therapeutic and creative. Tranquillising is an interesting word to use and perhaps there is a grain of truth in it, but I don’t really like it. Perhaps soothing and relaxing is a better way to put it, although not when figuring out where a lace pattern has gone wrong or doing rows of twisted rib or trying to p2togtbl.

Anyway, I’ve reached the bottom edging on the cardigan. I’m intending to try picking up round the neckband this evening while watching the first Twilight film. I loved the books, so I’m hoping for a good adaptation.


You’ll never guess what I’ve been knitting.

Yes. More long, long rows of cardigan. Only a few more rows to go, then the sleeves and the edging. The next decision will be how to mask the change in dye-lot for the last two skeins.

There’s a new book on my wishlist: The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. I’ve heard that the first edition is a bit of a classic that has been hard to source for ages. The second edition was published yesterday and has been thoroughly updated. I can’t decide whether to get it for the Kindle or as a hardback. It is about 900 pages so would be a bit of a doorstop.

Back to the second of the Pot Pourri Socks now. I’m moving slowly down the leg, thanks to a weekend away where it really wasn’t practical to fit the cardigan in the car, not without leaving one of the children behind anyway.

Four more rows

Knitting activity yesterday and today:

  • I’ve done my daily 4 rows on the Neck Down Wrap Cardigan. Nothing very interesting about that, either in the knitting or the talking about it. 4 inches of the 6 inches at the bottom of the cardigan now done.
  • Yesterday I also cast on the second sock on my Pot Pourri Socks. First sock pictured left. These are lovely to knit, apart from the double figure of eight wraps which take a really long time. Every 7th row you can see the lovely flash of colour that the wraps give: worth it in the end.
  • Listening to old episodes of the Fibre Beat podcast. I’ve been downloading this for a year or so, but never got round to listening to it before. So far, the episodes I’ve been listening to have concentrated on one issue in depth each episode – a nice contrast to the more magazine-like structure of my favourite podcast.

Looking at what I’m knitting at the moment, you might be forgiven for thinking that knitting bores me and is a chore. Far from it, in the last few years I’ve found knitting to be more interesting than I ever thought possible. One of the reasons for writing here is to keep a note of all the new and interesting things I come across. Still, there is no getting away from the fact that I am currently on a drive to finish up old works in progress (WIPs) and there isn’t a whole lot that is thrilling about that.



Welcome to the beginning of this blog.

I’ve been thinking recently that I wanted somewhere to write about knitting in more detail than most of my Facebook friends might appreciate, and at greater length than Twitter allows. The result of this train of thought is this blog, so I hope you enjoy reading.

Here is a brief overview of current knitting activities:

  • A top-down raglan wrap cardigan. This is my first adult-sized sweater. I’m at quite a boring bit, so have a daily ration of at least four rows (they are quite long) before doing any other knitting.
  • The second of a pair of socks is going to be cast on any day now. I knitted the first one in July and August before getting caught up in Sock Sniper and Tour de Sock, so I really ought to get back to it before too long.
  • During night feeds (2 month old daughter) I’m catching up on old episodes of the podcast Cast On. I only started listening regularly at episode 92, so went back to the beginning and I’m now up to episode 64.