Never work with children or animals, so they say. Wise words, but I really think that space should be made in that list for gold metallic laceweight yarn, too. The nation’s sanity deserves it.
In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about the book-blanket that I’m designing and making for my marvellous friend Mary. And my goodness, you lot are kind: thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments on my last post, especially for your good wishes to Mary. She’s doing well by the way, which is great, but which does mean that she’ll be up and about and skipping around the place and turning somersaults before I can finish her convalescence gift. Let’s have an update on the project. As I wrote last time, I’ve finished knitting the text and cut the steek:-
Surprisingly, that turned out to be the quick part, because knitting the cover has taken forever. Mary loves purple, so the choice of colour was easy, and I planned to decorate it with gold embroidery, but I’ll come on to that
nightmare in a minute. (The purple yarn is Stylecraft Special Aran With Wool in the shade ‘Blackberry’.)
If you follow my blog’s Instagram page, then you’ll have seen some of the progress I’ve made since, although I edited out the grumbling and swearing and urge to hurl the thing across the room before I posted.
Unlike the pages of text, the cover is worked in garter stitch; back and forth, and back and forth, and… Garter stitch makes for a thicker fabric than stockinette, but that cosy fact comes at the price of your row gauge being waaaaay smaller than for stockinette. The book cover has 306 rows, and if you multiply that by 179 stitches in each, that comes out at nearly 55 000 stitches, just for the cover. I won’t pretend that it didn’t get a tiny bit tedious towards the end. To be fair, there aren’t many activities in life that would still be fun when you’ve done them 55 000 times in succession.
Oh, and I made the spine by working the central three stitches as stockinette. And because stockinette is taller than garter, I slipped every third row of the spine rather than knitting or purling it.
I’m going to attach the cover to the pages but first, I needed to write on the cover. That’s where the gold laceweight sparkly metallic
spawn of a demon yarn came in. Can you tell that I didn’t enjoy this bit? First, I crocheted all the way around the edge. Twice. That’s when my relationship with this gold stuff deteriorated from mutual curiosity to mild loathing. Honestly, I swear that this yarn is possessed by malevolent demons. Great hanks of it slide off the side off the ball in order to have a wild and tangled party beside me on the sofa. Possessed, I tell you. Have you any idea how long it takes to crochet a simple row when you have to pause to exorcise your yarn every ten stitches or so? Spoiler alert: a long time.
And… breathe. Aah, that’s better.
Thank you for letting me get all that off my chest. I’d better not tell you the brand, for fear of lawsuits, but I will say that it’s not Stylecraft.
So I’m getting there. I need to embroider the back cover and then attach the whole cover to its pages, by which time I fear that Mary’s recovery will have progressed so far that she’ll have forgotten that she was ever ill.
It’s the thought that counts, right?
Ann M. says
This is amazing! I thought that your cottage scene knitting was epic but, now this is coming. You are a lovely and brave friend. (Very clever too)
Sarah Kononowicz says
I am in total awe at your skill, talent and where needed, tenacity in the making of this epic gift. I’ve almost given up on a very basic blanket due to the boredom factor. You have will and truly made me ‘get a grip’ and crack on.
Did I mention that this piece of craft art work is epic? Amazing !
Tineke Joldersma says
Love glitter and glamour but not to knit and crochet with. Raw fingers in the end. I admire your will to finish it. Bit of a sourcherer eh?
Mary is one lucky lady, and I’m guessing she will LOVE this even while getting fit for a one mile run 🙂
What an original idea!
Joanne Grace Hortensius says
You are such a good friend!!
Fabulous! What a lucky friend!
Lee Mitchell says
Where do you find the time, but especially the patience!
A work of love, skill and patience. And yes I know that yarn in it’s many hues.
Helen Harle says
This is wonderful, a true labour of love but well worth it. Hope Mary gets well soon.
Jeannie Gray Wiant (@JGKnits) says
Wow! That is just amazing! Except, “amazing” doesn’t begin to describe it. I can’t imagine trying to knit/crochet with gold metallic thread. I’ve used it for cross stitch and you’re right – it’s the devil’s spawn!
This is so lovely! I cannot wait to see it finished and in all its glory! I haven’t worked with gold metallic before but I have with eyelash yarn. I intensely dislike eyelash yarn. The knotted messes that can occur are are definitely demonic!
I admire your tenacity to finish! You go girl! You’re almost done!
Your work is inspiring. Mary is fortunate to have such an awesome friend!
Maggie Bullock says
Another good read Phil, you never disappoint. You certainly have persistence and determination, great qualities to have, especially when creating such a beautiful piece of Art. Thanks for sharing this little slice of your life.
Kath Stepjenson says
Wonderful! Can’t wait to see the end result.
YOU are very creative.
Yolanda Chavez Sherman says
As an avid book reader, I absolutely love this.
Try putting your recalcitrant yarn into a zip top bag with a corner of the top (including the zipper bit) snipped off. The bag contains the yarn, and if things still get tangled, you can still take the ball out and untangle it.
Feed the yarn through the hole made by the snipped off bit.