I know you’ve all been there: the three more pairs of gift socks still to be knitted and it’s 10pm on Christmas Eve. Or the exquisite, fit-through-a-wedding-ring bridal shawl that the bride really needs like, erm, tomorrow, for her wedding, and you’re only half way through the working the lace. OK, I made up these exact scenarios, but to a knitter/crocheter, they’re normal and completely understandable, right?
But I think I might have over-stretched myself this time. The knitting in question isn’t for someone else so it’s not that important, but I’ve got a deadline in my head that won’t go away, however much cold reason I fling at it. Cold reason such as, “Y’know, you probably ought to consider feeding your children at some point over the next week, and that’s definitely going to eat into your knitting time.” You see, on the 21st April – that’s a mere nine days away – I’ll be heading up, a long way up, to a mill in west Yorkshire to co-judge the Stylecraft yarn shade competition with Lucy of Attic24 and the editor of Let’s Knit. And given that the occasion will be all about the yarn, I’ve got it into my
stoopid head that what I really (really) need is to design a new fairisle knitted skirt and a crocheted bag for the occasion. Well the bag is done and the skirt was underway, but…
Note the use of the word ‘was’.
The thing is, I wasn’t so much designing this skirt as distractedly doodling in semi-random shades as I went along, and the result was increasingly looking like a cacophony of ill-matched stripes of pattern and shades. I kept wondering whether to rip back and begin again, but the proximity of the deadline reminded me that I’d be mad to start again at this late stage. But the more I progressed, the more I thought, “No: this really isn’t getting any better, is it?”
I’m pleased with the fancy pattern in the middle of the photo above, though, because that’s the bit I actually put some time and careful thought into designing. This skirt really has been a lesson in taking the time to work and re-work design elements properly. So I decided to rip back to the start, and knit a skirt with a plain background, and several bands of that fancy fairisle stripe with the hearts and curls. Easy, no? Well no, actually, because I hadn’t got enough of the right colours if that was to be the plan, and delivery of more yarn would take a few days, especially as it’s the weekend. Aaargh! And all the while that these thought processes are going on, life and the Toddler Twinnage are pulling at my sleeve going “Mummy-Mummy-Mummy-Mummy-Mummy”, and my head’s all over the place, and I’m trying to figure out the timing to start my IVF drugs.
Anyway, a decision was made. Yesterday. Whilst there were still 10 days until Y-Day (Yarn Day). I was going to start again. Deep breath.
I began to unravel the skirt. Except I didn’t, because the Rowan Felted Tweed DK I’m using does like to get down and cuddle itself tightly once it’s been knitted, and it’s
far far far far far too prone to breaking, so frogging this stuff just yields an unholy shredded tangle. So I sighed. And I clenched my teeth. And I picked up some of the remaining yarn that I did have, and began, again, to knit.
Cast on 200 stitches using Old Norwegian cast on with 3mm needles. Work 10 rows garter stitch. Work another 6 rows stockinette, increasing (with kfb’s) on the last row to 203 stitches. Begin pattern. Here we go….
Do you think I’ve got any chance at all of making it? There’s plenty more I could tell you, in this very twisted yarn, but I’ll save it for the next post, because right now I really need to do some knitting. Suffice to say that my chances of getting this thing done have already been seriously hampered by a large river and some dinosaurs.