Do you listen to podcasts? I used to listen to quite a few, but these days I only manage to keep up with a couple. I religiously listen to The Archers omnibus podcast after it's released on a Sunday (yes, I am old before my time...), and I more or less manage to keep up with The Knitmore Girls podcast, which is a knitting podcast presented by the mother-daughter team of Gigi and Jasmin. The Knitmore Girls is a polished production. They have a selection of different segments in each episode, and I really enjoy listening to what they've been up to - usually a selection of knitting, spinning and sewing. So, why am I wittering on about podcasts? Well, one of the segments they regularly feature is called "When Knitting Attacks!" And that is pretty much how my knitting has been for the last week!
I think that it was the Yarn Harlot who once said that experienced knitters don't stop making mistakes, they just make bigger mistakes more quickly! That's certainly how it feels this week.
First up are my Conina Socks. A beautiful pattern from my great friend Rachel Coopey. It's been pretty near the top of my queue ever since she released it in August 2012, and I've finally wound up some Fyberspates Sheila's Sock and cast it on.
It's a fantastic design, and very clearly written. There's no issue with either the pattern or the yarn; the error was entirely mine. I have been knitting happily from charts, almost since I first picked up my needles, with no problem at all. And for some reason, last week, I managed to start working from the top line of the chart, and worked down 12 rounds before I realised that I was working the wrong way through the chart. To make matters worse, I was also questioning in every round why the pattern in the panel wasn't matching up the way I was anticipating. The knitting wasn't making any sense to me, and yet I still managed to knit 12 rounds of the chart, before I realised my error and frogged it. I feel like it's some kind of testament to my faith in Rachel that I continued to knit, assuming that she knew what she was doing, all the while knowing that it was squiffy, before I stopped and thought about what was happening. Well and truly attacked by my knitting.
The photo above is of my reknitted sock, now happily starting from row 1 at the bottom of the chart, and lo and behold, everything lines up properly! Strange that!
My next tale of woe relates to my Scatness Tam (by Kate Davies, from Colours of Shetland). This seems to grow really quickly whenever I pick it up! But because of the number of balls of yarn, it just doesn't get picked up as often as I would like. Most of my knitting time is on the hoof - in the car, a few minutes in the playground, an hour at my knitting group on Tuesdays - and so small portable projects get worked on more often.
Anyway, I'm now on to the crown part of the pattern, and I was looking through my bag of yarn, and I noticed a ball of shade 1A (a just slightly off-white). "That's funny", I thought. "I wonder when I'll be using that?" And I peered at my draft-quality printed-out chart. It turns out that the centre of the main pattern panel should have shade 1A as the background shade, rather than the more oatmealy shade 202. Whoops! It doesn't bother me enough to reknit it, but slightly irritating, since Kate's original shade combinations are stunning. That brighter background in the centre of the main motif definitely would have added a zing to the hat. Hey ho! Life's too short. :D I shall amend the settings on my printer before I next print out a colourwork chart. It is, after all, perfectly clear on the chart in the book.
What a numpty!
Happily, my Blue Tit socks made their way off my needles without any hiccups, and my sock project bag is now empty, awaiting the arrival of some World Cup themed sock yarn from Rachel. Yes, I've got arm-twisted in to joining in with #WorldCupSocks by a pincer action from Rachel Coopey and Rachel Atkinson (follow that link to read more about #WorldCupSocks).
Now, I can't go too far wrong on plain socks... can I?!