I love travelling by train, even when it’s just a daily commute, and especially when you live in a city that’s ruled by the underground network. You get to look out the window, and the natural light usually means that knitting is most definitely possible 🙂
The original plan was to write a little bit about my first week in the new job, but there’s still so much settling in to do (not to mention building work going on) that I didn’t have any real photo opportunities. But suffice to say that I feel very happy to be there, and although only half the new recruits started last Monday (the other half will trickle in over the coming weeks), I’m already in very good and talented company. One of my new colleagues is Simon Hanna, an incredible and versatile photographer. So many inspiring images!
Back to the knitting. If you’ve just clicked the link to Simon’s website, the snaps on my tablet will bring you back down to earth! I’ll do Noelle first but not without attempting a depth of field shot. Humour me, please! Thank you 🙂
In my last post I promised to tell you what the kinky ball of wool was in a previous life. In short, it was the Edie sweater from Kim Hargreaves’ Precious. More on Ravelry, but here’s the best photo I have of the finished garment:
So…it’s a nice enough jumper, but the problem was that I wasn’t really wearing it – nor could I explain why. I like light green, especially cheerful greens like apple or pistachio, and when Rowan released this now-discontinued shade I was very lucky to get it second-hand on Ravelry. It doesn’t often happen that I make something and then neglect it. There’s nothing to dislike, but on the other hand, I wasn’t inspired. I have other stocking stitch handknits like Frankie, and that cardigan gets lots of wear. When I realised I wasn’t going to work out the answer, I decided to be brave and rip out the whole thing. There was no point in keeping it in my drawer any longer, buried underneath better-loved jumpers and cardigans. Thus it became the massive football you see below. I mean that literally – it is the size of a football! The needles in the photo are about 30cm long, so hopefully you get the idea…
Anyway, so far I’ve done one repeat of the cable pattern (I’ll explain what I mean by repeat in a tick. It’s a bit different to that cited in the pattern as written by Rowan):
Progress with this has been relatively slow, because this isn’t a commute-friendly project – massive ball of yarn notwithstanding. I could put it on circular needles, but it’s easier to work cables and get stuck into the pattern when you don’t have to keep an eye out for your stop on the train 😉 Much easier!
That said, the interest of the texture makes me a lot happier about the reincarnation of this green wool. I’m far from being new to cables, but whilst going through my stuff I noticed that I’d never knitted a staghorn cable before – at least not as part of a garment. This breed of cable has been a welcome change from the usual twists, braids and diamonds I’ve been used to. My only real and small gripe about the pattern – nothing to do with the knitting of it – is that it isn’t charted. The pattern repeat is easy to pick up, but because the side texture repeats over two rows, the narrow cables repeat over six rows, and the larger central cable over eight, the writing is broken up to reflect this. I would’ve found it easier to follow a chart of 24 rows than have periodic interruptions of “…last 6 rows form pattern for panel A” “…last 8 rows form pattern for panel B”. Then again, that’s just me.
Brannagh, on the other hand, has got off to a flyer! In the past week I’ve completed the body up to the armholes and cast on for the first sleeve. It’s been stocking stitch in the round all the way, so hardly any effort. That said, I do have a callused finger for my sins! The lace and cable detail don’t come into play until body and sleeves are joined, so I still have some way to go. Two weeks maybe? That would make me happy 🙂
One of the best details you can add to stocking stitch is fully-fashioned shaping (for the uninitiated, this is when the shaping detail is not hidden in the seams and made a feature of the garment instead), and this jumper has that on the sides. Here’s a close-up of what you can only just make out on the picture above:
The decreases are ssk and k2tog, but I decided to do symmetrical M1 (make 1) increases here. FYI, the pattern doesn’t tell you to do this, it just says “M1”. Normally, for make 1, you pick up the loop from the front (so that it resembles the path of a normal stitch) and knit into the back of it. This makes the made stitch angle towards the top left. BUT, if you want to make the made stitch angle to to right, you pick up the loop from the back (so that it resembles a twisted stitch) and knit into the front of it. (The same goes for purlwise made increases, but watch your step on the wrong side of the knitting, as left and right will be reversed due to your being on the opposite side.) That’s what I’ve done for this jumper, so that the stitches look as though they’re bending in towards the straight column of eight in the middle. I really like the effect!
So there we have it: My two new knits in progress. Very different, but equally beautiful.