In my true nature of never being happy with my achievements, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t share this with you sooner, but in my new trying to be kinder to myself frame of mind, I’m really pleased that I can share this with you now, because lets face it, about 6 months ago I couldn’t have done this at all!
I had been looking for knitting projects that serve two purposes recently: 1) potential Christmas presents for friends and family and 2) potential items for Yarnsville to offer as Knit Kits. It was in a search on Ravelry with these aims in mind that I came across the Herringbone Neckwarmer pattern by Breean Elyse Miller. Apart from having a lovely name, Breean has produced here a really lovely design for a neckwarmer, which would be great for confident beginners, and was great for me because a real scarf goes on FOREVER and this neckwarmer was quick and easy and stylish to boot!
A little while ago, Happymousefairy and I swapped yarns. She gave me her fat stuff and I passed on all the 4ply and thin yarns that I had optimistically purchased in the hope that I would one day be patient enough or dexterous enough to knit. Being the ultimate crafty lady that she is, HMF brought her yarns along in a wonderful knitted, lined bag – Baltaro. It was in an incredible shade of purple and in a very soft yarn. She reliably informed me that it was made of Debbie Bliss Como, and the leftovers from the project were included in her swap!
In my serious attempt to fulfil my challenge of knitting only from my stash or from yarn that Yarnsville stocks, I was now faced with a pattern that I really wanted to make, but needed the yarn to make it. Artesano Superchunky was an option but its all currently nicely packed into the Yarnsville Knit Kits, and I remembered the purple Como with a smirk as I dug through my stash to find it.
I cast on at the Yarnsville Knit Night, having asked HMF what size needles US 19 would be. “Well, US 15 is a 12mm” she told me, “but surely you can’t need 15mm needles. Let me see the pattern!” After proving that indeed I did need mahoosive needles, I slumped into my seat as the set of chunky Knit Pro Symfonie Interchangeables that I love so much only went up to 12mm. As I’ve already demonstrated, I’m rather good at maths with knitting, so I just resigned myself to the fact that my Herringbone Neckwarmer would just be smaller. Once again, as she is prone to do, HMF came to my rescue with a set of 15mm tips! Now, knowing what we know about HMF and her prediliction for knitting on the ridiculous small side of thin, one could ask why on earth she possessed some 15mm tips! The answer could be found in the Bramble Hat, a lovely pattern designed in Artesano Superchunky, that we were both enlisted as test knitters for. I willingly grabbed the tips (and have since purchased them … well no money has yet changed hands, but it will, HMF, I promise) and cast on. By the time the Knit Night had drawn to a close at a rather early 9pm I had generated a good few inches and was merrily in the swing of the rather lovely pattern. Its one of those patterns that makes me feel really rather clever and in awe every time I do a repeat. I’m a little like a goldfish in that sense, I slip and knit and yarn over all row and gasp at the simplicity of the design that is emerging, then I do my purl row, then I slip and knit and yarn over all over again and once more I gasp at the simplicity … My wonder and smugness at having mastered the pattern repeats (all of 2 rows!) meant that I was determined to finish the project in that session. I thought it would be a rather good thing to blog about, for one. So I sat up until 1.30am on Wednesday morning before eventually giving in and going to bed. This late night adventure thwarted my plan, though, as I spent most of Wednesday afternoon napping in the bath (I know, its dangerous) and didn’t complete the neckwarmer. I did manage to purloin some retro buttons from mother in law though so did achieve something. The finishing touches were placed today whilst at Sensory Play with NOS. I was somewhat concerned about the proximity of the jelly encased spiders to the 90% wool, 10% cashmere creation that was growing at my hands, but the children were all terribly well behaved, and possibly terrified of the jelly encased spiders to go near them!
So, here we are. Neckwarmer finished. According to my faithful Ravelry project statistics, this item took 2 days to complete, which is double what I envisioned, but hey ho! Life is not for rushing! Here it is on some cute models and also on me:
So I am now bereft of a knitting project and I welcome all ideas. Remember, it must be yarn from my stash or that I stock and as I really ought to be selling the yarn that I stock, let’s focus on the stash shall we! I’m really enjoying knitting at the moment and I’m looking for short, quick projects that will bring quick gratification, but as pointed out by my knitterly friends of late, I’m getting more confident with my knitting so I’m also looking for a little something to challenge me too. Comment on this post with your suggestions!
In other news, Loumo has posted a very eloquent blog today and I strongly recommend you read it. Its subject is earthy and autumnal but Loumo’s managed to turn a fairly everyday subject into something really compelling and entertaining. The blog can be found here. Enjoy, and don’t blame me if she makes you feel hungry!