Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Without the aid of a safety net

Henry's Shawl (aka The Spanish Christening Shawl) is done. Correction: the knitting is done. The grafting (agghh!), the washing, the blocking and the delivery to recipient are still in front of me.

Here's the last corner ready for grafting:

I've unzipped the provisional cast-on that I had so thoughtfully used at the beginning of the border; I've snatched up the stitches on a dpn of a slightly smaller diameter than the needle used to knit the border; I've cobbled together the extra stitch that is always missing - no matter what I do, no matter how much I read, no matter how long I think about it, there is always a stitch missing; I've transferred the live stitches from the end of the border from the circular needle I was using to a dpn, again, slightly smaller in diameter. I am ready to go.

Without the aid of a safety net (or wine, beer or chocolate, since it's 8.30am) I have grafted (in garter stitch, no less) the beginning of the border to the end of the border. I don't care if you can see the join, I can't:

It's still unwashed, it's still unblocked but here it is hanging on the fence:

I tell you, the more I try to take photographs of knitting, the more admiration I have for those poor souls who do this sort of thing for a living. I know I have been at the front of the queue when it comes to complaining about photographs of knitted items in magazines and so on. That still stands - I do want to see the knitting. I do not want to see an artistic blur. I do not want to read "Hand-knitted socks (£275, stockists as before) not seen." (What do you mean, "not seen"? What is the point? Words fail me.) I do not want the garment to be pinned at the back because it doesn't fit the stick-thin model, or at the wrist because it's baggy, or on the shoulder because it's mis-shapen.

However, I can appreciate the difficulties of photographing knitted items: the light is never coming from the right direction. By the time you have waited for the sun to move round, it is raining. There is never enough light. By the time you have waited for the sun to come out, it is a week next Wednesday. The wind is usually blowing. By the time you have waited for the wind to drop, it is the middle of the night. The garden is full of weeds, nettles, a compost heap (this also serves as a rabbit metropolis - it is much, much more than a simple "warren") - things which detract from the knitted item in question.

Think I should move indoors? Hah! Living in a nineteenth century agricultural workers' cottage with tiny diamond pane windows? Pass the oil lamp.

Tomorrow: Kate does a swatch. (That's made you sit up, I bet.)


Heather said...

Gorgeous!! I love it. How in the world do you graph stitches together in garter stitch? I didn't even know that was possible.

Toni said...

You did such a wonderful job grafting!

Cherry Rolfe said...

I can't see the join - its beautiful!

colin said...

This is beautiful work. Thanks for showing it.