Monday, 2 March 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Pretty Knitting

I used to do a lot of counted thread work, not just cross stitch, but hardanger and drawn thread work too. In all the years of those intricate embroideries and many many colours, I have never been so irritated by counting as I am by knitting counting. Knitting really ought to come with a warning label.

I counted and marked every 50 stitches as I cast on, before I placed the marker, I counted those 50 stitches again. I counted each section again before I began working the first row of knitting. Yet somehow I am 8 stitches short of what my count should be. Mr. Needles just lost a bit of ease to his vest, and the button bands just got wider.

Then I painstakingly worked out the tree designs, and knew exactly how the design stitches would work on the vest, but I had forgotten that the vest fronts only had 63 stitches and the full design had 70. These two things combined, meant a fair bit of re-knitting and number fiddling. I am finally content with the layout of the design, adding one place and taking away on another. And except for one irritating stitch, my count works and is perfect. Or so it seems right now.

If all of the knitting I did this weekend would still be on the needles, the vest would be almost done.

And that is not even counting the second colour change. I wasn't pleased with the way the cream stood out harsh against the charcoal heather. I took out all the first batch of knitting and re-did, placing much more emphasis on the walnut brown heather, and much less on the cream. I did end up finding a supplier for 2 more skeins of the walnut, though now that I am knitting, I'll probably only need one.

No matter, I'd rather waste my worrying on what to do with too much than end up running short a couple of rows. I'll make mittens.

I would be very irritated with this entire vest project if I weren't having so darn much fun. But I am having fun. A lot of fun. It's challenging, and frustrating and all together consuming,

but am under the spell of stranded knitting. I love the rhythm. Hands working together, weaving and waving, conducting the yarns into one fabric.

Look at the colours! And I am thrilled with the ways the colours are coming together. Their earthiness and muted woodsy tones are the perfect backdrop for that rich Irish sort of green and the warm rust. (I did have the lichen in the mix, but it was invisible on the background.)

I feel pretty good about my knitting right now. Darn good. A few more rows and Mr. Needles can try it on. Then I can get rid of this nagging worry about that missing inch of ease.

I'm not going to even think about that right now. I'm going to go to my happy place. La la la laaaaa...

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