State of The Knit

On Sunday I had all sorts of good intentions about weeding the herb garden.  But I had had a sleepless night due to the state of FL’s lungs and bowels (TMI?  Such is life with Myeloma), so decided to call it a Knitting Day.
And anyway, I didn’t want to disturb Mama Duck, who is still sitting in high estate between two clumps of lavender, waiting for the kids to arrive.  Great excuse!

Mama Duck says: “Sssssssssssss! Keep your distance!”

So what am I working on? I have teased you with pictures before, but didn’t give full details.
First up – the tricky sock.  This is John Huston, Tarnished Hero by Rachel Coopey.  The yarn is Entwine from Skein Queen, purchased at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and it is, frankly, one of the most beautiful yarns in my collection.  These socks are for FL’s birthday in June.

I was doing quite well once I got into the swing of the twisted stitch pattern.  But I hit a brick wall on the heel flap.  I have a mental block about reading charts from left to right, especially when instructed to read the symbols “the other way ” on the wrong side row. Knit symbols become purl symbols and my brain goes pfffff like a deflated Spacehopper (an orange one, in case you were wondering).  I am almost there now, but I don’t expect Sock Two to be any easier than Sock One.

Due to the recent lung / bowel / general exhaustion worries, I felt a great need of some contrasting happy knitting and it doesn’t come much happier than Sock Hop handspun in Mellow Yellow!  This came from my subscription to the Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop club in 2011.  It is the first time I have cracked open a skein of the Good Stuff.  I reckoned it was time.  Handspun socks – what a luxury!

The colour is even brighter in real life.  I don’t know anyone who would wear socks this colour..except me
; )  I will definitely wear them!  The pattern is Waffle Creams by Anne Hanson.  The waffle stitch texture makes them super-cosy and squishy.  They are “cuddling up in front of the fire drinking hot chocolate” socks.  But I have called them Chelsea Morning on my Ravelry project page.  If you don’t know the song, prepare to have your life changed and click here.  Instant spring morning happiness!

And I am making inroads on a cardi from Learn to Knit, Love to Knit.  The pattern isn’t listed on Ravelry, but it is the “cropped cardigan with cabled sleeves”.  I am knitting the longer version (to the waist rather than just below the bust) in the smallest size.

The yarn is Coldharbour Mill DK (spun in Devon using waterwheel power) in the colour “Cornflower”.  I won 470g in an ebay swoop – woo hoo!  I have used this yarn before for hats (4 times) and have been SO impressed by its natural woolly nature, which improves after the first wash to become quite a firm but drapey, reasonably soft fabric with a slight halo.  The colour is stunning in real life.

The pattern is challenging me.  It is MUCH harder than I would have expected from a book with “Learn to Knit” in its title!  There are a few “and at the same time…” instructions, which took me a few attempts to understand, and the key for the Briar Rose stitch pattern is split between pages 7 and 58, with the pattern itself on 61… and no chart, just written abbreviations.  It feels like a very old-fashioned / traditional pattern:  made in pieces, starting with the back, bottom up, and no charts!  Gasp!

But the upside is…I am learning lots!  I have never before “knit below the next stitch” and the bobbles are made in a really interesting new-to-me way.  So I am persevering and I think it will be a lovely garment.

You will note I don’t mention my Kex Blanket.  I haven’t forgotten about it, but it felt like too much of an effort to heave it off the windowsill onto my lap this weekend.  Pathetic!

And Shalder?  Still in the wardrobe drawer…

P.S.  It’s May!  Better get on with that cardigan!