Monday, September 25, 2006


The yarn problem has been solved. The correct dye lot is now in my possession. I sent about ten emails to various on-line stockists, including Rowan. Some replied and some didn't. Some told me they hadn't got the right dye lot and some told me they had. Rowan said they had the right dye lot but couldn't sell it to me directly. I got on to my LYS and they promised to order it for me. When it came right down to it Rowan claimed they didn't have the right dye lot after all. Obviously a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I eventually ordered it from McA Direct - who were swift, efficient and have free postage to the UK on orders over £5.

So what is it that I'm actually knitting? I'm knitting six wraps for bridesmaids at a December wedding. The bride's mother requested they be just like the one I was wearing. The bride herself had different ideas - we changed the shape, the size, the border, the stitch pattern. We are, however, using the same yarn (Rowan's Kid Silk Haze) though in a different colour and because I need to make six in a fairly short time I'm using a larger needle (4.5mm instead of the 3mm needle I used for the original.)

The stitch pattern we eventually settled on is called "Punto Piastrelle" (or Tile Stitch) and appears in a very old stitch dictionary published by Pingouin in Italian years ago. Most of the patterns are written out (the only charts in the book are for the Fair Isle patterns) and so before I went very far I decided I'd better chart the pattern:

Sorry about the grotty picture - it seems to be remarkably dark just at present. I didn't do the whole Excel spreadsheet/use the knitting fonts performance. I just printed some knitter's graph paper from the ABCs of Knitting site and used a pencil, which was quicker and easier. I am, however, determined to get to the bottom of using Excel to make knitting charts - the first thing I had to learn was how to print a grid. Helen at work taught me that the other day and I'm more than grateful. Now I just need to spend a little bit of time actually working on the thing.

Having charted the pattern, I made a swatch:

Again, not a terribly good picture - the stitch pattern is on a stocking stitch ground but I decided to use garter stitch as I didn't fancy all that purling. I don't think it makes all that much difference - the essential element was that it should be "holey" - I am hoping that it is sufficiently "holey" for the bride's taste.

I am now about halfway through the third wrap and I think things are going well and there will be plenty of time.

I am pretty sick of blue mohair and having blue fluff all over my clothes and I'm even starting to fancy that knitting a pair of socks might be entertaining. I always want to like knitting socks but I don't really enjoy it. However, 'im indoors has sworn that he will never wear a shop-bought pair of socks again, having once worn a pair of handknitted ones I made for him. Therefore, I need to knit more socks - I think he has about three or four pairs at the moment. To that end, I bought more sock yarn:

and eventually, at some stage, possibly not before Whitsun, I will get around to using it.

"Not before Whitsun" is a saying in our family. It stems from Great Uncle Alfred, who, as a boy, was always obliged to wear hand-me-down clothes, being the youngest of many children. He really, really wanted a new suit to wear on the "Whit Walks" - a great tradition in Lancashire. He begged and begged to have new clothes, just for him. Eventually, his mother gave in and bought him a new suit. She bought it "plenty big enough" (translation - "far too big"). He appeared in the suit with his hands hidden by the sleeves, the legs all baggy round his ankles and burst into tears. "What on earth is wrong with you, Alfred? You'll grow into it!" said his mother, to which Alfred replied, through his tears, "Yes, but not before Whitsun!" So when something is very unlikely to happen we always say "not before Whitsun".

I suppose I'd better get on and do some knitting.


littlelixie said...

Hello mon brave! Very impressed with your kid silk hazing. I think it is horrible stuff and can't understand the fuss but then each to their own.

I have started a Zine (magazine - but you have to keep in with the yoof lingo thing). Email me your postal address to or leave it as a comment on my blog (cue spam snail mail by the bucket!) and I will send one to you. xx

Susanne said...

So glad you got the yarn thing straightened out! Love the story about Uncle Alfred! precious...poor wee guy!

RooKnits said...

Wow! All of that Kid Silk Haze. Hope the shawls go well. I love the Regia sock wool. Where did it come from?

allisonmariecat said...

Lovely swatch. It sounds like you're going very quickly on a very long project. I wonder how long it will be before you knit with mohair again once the wraps are finished :)