Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's only been a week

It's been a week since "The Great Flood" and you really wouldn't know that anything bad had happened where we are. Here's the back field, looking quite normal:

Those horses would have been swimming last week. (The whole thing put me in mind of "Three Ha'Pence a Foot" - you must imagine this recited in a broad Lancashire accent - where the vowels are all very round.)

We were very lucky and the house was unaffected. There are thousands of people in the area who are still clearing up; who still have no clean, running water in their homes; who are still tearing up sodden carpets and throwing out furniture.

I am still knitting on the cardigan from hell. (I will take pictures of this thing once the trauma has abated. I'm pleased with the way I joined the shoulder seams - that's about all I'm pleased with, though.) I have finished the hellish part, however, and am now whirling down the sleeves with gay abandon. I don't know who designed this pattern (well I do, because it was written right there on the sheet of paper that is all the "pattern"consists of, but I don't want to embarrass the woman, so will refrain from mentioning her name.) The point is, we are making a sleeve, from the top down, in the round and we are instructed to "decrease one stitch every fourth round until 57 stitches remain". I don't know about you, but I don't do sleeves that way. I do a double decrease (either a slip 2 together, knit 1, pass the two slipped stitches over; or two paired single decreases on each side of a central "seam" stitch on the underside of the sleeve) and let that be an end of it - and a much neater end, in my opinion.

I've got so fed up with this pattern that I am just doing my own thing. While I understand that I have a certain responsibility to the woman who is paying me to knit this, I also know that she will be very happy with whatever I do, so long as the finished item a) fits and b) bears a passing resemblance to what she originally saw in the shop all those years ago.

So, because I am so fed up and because, if you know anything about me at all, you will know that getting to the end of a long-ish (technical term) project provokes a certain amount of panic, I have slipped in a quick finish project:

This is a pattern that was posted on the shawl knitters list (and just as quickly un-posted). It was a very quick knit and the perfect present for my mother-in-law, who is getting on in years and feels the cold, but doesn't like to have her arms constrained. I used some Sirdar Denim Sport Aran that was in the stash and needles that were a bit too big for my comfort (but I really don't like anything much above 3mm, so I don't suppose we can take that as a guide.) It's garter stitch based, with a little bit of "lace" (i.e. a few holes) at the bottom and a very ingenious method of fastening the wrap:

Here's the back view:

Garter stitch is just about the easiest thing you can do in knitting but it certainly shows up any irregularity in your tension. I'm hoping that the passage of time will work its magic (as it so often does, both in knitting and in life) and smooth out the stitches. I didn't do any blocking - it was finished so soon, it didn't really seem like a "project" at all.

Just minding my own business and watching "Le Tour", there was a fearful row. I rushed outside and saw this:

Something was "up", obviously. A little later, I managed to spot them:

The Red Arrows had come to visit the Global Gathering, taking place a few miles from here. Which just goes to show there must be plenty of money in all that "Boom-chukka-boom-chukka-boom", because I don't imagine the Red Arrows come cheap.

Many thanks to those of you who have left comments and signed the guest map. If I haven't responded to you personally then consider yourself thanked, right now.


Vicki said...

Lovely to find someone who remembers Marriot Edgar's stories in rhyme. He wrote some gloriously funny stuff.

allisonmariecat said...

When you say "whirling down the sleeves with gay abandon," I must say that I picture you sort of cackling madly as you do. Not because I think you're crazy, but because the pattern is so diabolical.

The garter stitch shawl is so beautiful! I usually end up doing lace ones based on stockinette, but the garter stitch has a lovely simplicity that is utterly charming. I'm sure gravity will take care of any irregularities.