I can’t believe this jumper from a Knitty pattern took me so long. It’s in thick yarn on 7mm needles and it’s basically just a rib with a bit of cable work, yet it’s been on the go since early December. I did have some Christmas presents I needed to get made, but that’s quite a while ago now so no excuse.
I had a false start with far too many stitches, and last week I ended up ripping out both sleeves back to a few inches below the armhole because they were too long and too wide at the top. I’d already sewn one of them in so that I could canvas views from the members of my knitting group. As I expected, they agreed that there was too much bagginess around the armhole, which meant a few hours of unpicking and re-knitting. Definitely worth doing though, rather than being unhappy with the end result every time I wear it.
Although it looks unbelievably skinny when you lay it flat on a table, this sweater fits me well and is warm without being bulky. I can wear another cardigan or jumper over the top of it on really cold days, and it will fit under a jacket too.
A flock of chicks
I’m still knitting egg cosies. The ball of yellow eyelash yarn made 7 little chicks and I also have a duck, a chicken, three beehives and an alien. That lot should suffice as my contribution to the charity egg cosy sale before Easter.
This knitted poultry looks a lot happier than many of the real flocks in these parts at the moment. Lots of people locally keep a few chickens or ducks, and they’ve all had to be kept indoors or in covered runs since early December because of several recent outbreaks of the H5N8 strain of bird flu in the UK – in birds, not people – including one close to here. Provided that there are no more flu outbreaks in the meantime, these poultry prisoners can be released again at the end of the month, although if they are given access to the outdoors it will have to be under supervision and in enclosed areas only.
It won’t be a moment too soon. I heard the other day that one neighbour has had to let her 7 chickens move into the house because they were pecking each other to bits in their henhouse, as a result of the stress of being confined to a small space for weeks on end. Now each has picked her own spot in the kitchen, utility room or conservatory, and order is restored. Except that their owner’s husband is none too pleased about the situation.
Experimenting with swing knitting
I’m going to learn more about swing knitting until I decide which of the many patterns in my knitting queue to start on. Swing, a short row colourwork (usually) technique, is also known as tapestry knitting by some because the undulating forms it produces are somewhat like those that can be achieved with tapestry weaving. My first attempt resulted in a pair of hand warmers, but they are fairly basic with the different regions all the same size – not counting the edges – and worked sequentially across the piece.
Now I want to take it further and find out how to keep track of things using markers instead of having to do a lot of charting and counting. It is important to have the same number of rows under each stitch, when averaged out over a few inches of the fabric, or the piece will end up distorted. That’s what I will concentrate on first, in order to produce nice, square, straight swatches, then I’ll worry about how to incorporate shaping. I’d like to be able to vary the size, shape and placement of the various regions on the fly to suit the colour changes in a variegated yarn, while still creating a flat piece of fabric that is shaped the way I want it. That may be an unrealistic proposition, but there’s only one way to find out and it will be fun trying.