Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The pink baby Tam Jacket is very nearly finished:

All that remains is...

let me give you a clue:

I think you know what that means. It means grafting and plenty of it. I need to graft up the arms and along the top of the shoulders, leaving a gap for the neck; I need to graft the two halves together down the centre of the back; I need to go and lie down in a darkened room. Is one bottle of cherry beer enough? One bar of chocolate? Time will tell.

I am not able to face the grafting at present - yes, I know, I am a coward and this is not in the Olympic spirit but there are still a few days to go and I need to get myself "in the zone". This is my Olympic challenge - I am going to learn to graft so well that I do not need to look at the instructions every single time. I cannot promise that I won't be chanting all the while but I will strive with every fibre of my being to do this and do it as well as a can.

Thwock. (Sound of gauntlet being thrown down.)

Anyway, not being up to the grafting right now and mindful of the birth of Clare the Chef''s niece/nephew, expected at the end of March, I embarked on the Spanish Lace Christening Shawl. (Even though I really, really want to cast on for the Kimono Jacket, but babies wait for no man, or knitter, for that matter.) The yarn, which came in such a speedy fashion, all the way from New Hampshire, is like butter in the hand. I wound one skein (of three) and at 8oz it makes a huge ball of yarn. Pattern says 5mm needles, 14sts/20rows=10cm "knitted very loosely". As you may know, I am the original loose woman and I just wondered if I might get the gauge with the stated needles. Sort of. I didn't like the look of the fabric, though - too floppy (technical term). So I started with 4mm needles:

I decided to use a provisional cast on. Cheryl Oberle doesn't specify this but at the end you have to pick up exactly the number of stitches you cast on, so why not? Part of the problem, though, is that the very first row is patterned and involves yos and decreases. I didn't think that would be so easy to deal with in the picking up stakes, so I took an executive decision - I knitted the first row (which will leave a row of purl bumps on the right side) and then began the lace pattern on row 2 (which is the public side). I hope this is not going to lead to a whole load of angst at the end...Time will tell.

Here's a close-up of the pattern, as it emerges:

That's one pattern repeat - only another 27 to go. Is there a Marathon event in the Winter Olympics?


happyspider said...

happy seaming... :p

Daisy said...

Good luck! And you can never have too much chocolate!

Brigid said...

I love it when patterns emerge from the loops and spidery strands! [Further installment on my parcel from US: Parcelforce tried to deliver it to a post office that closed down years ago! Am promised it tomorrow.]