Know the feeling? You select the appropriate size circular twin pin, remove the paper band from a fresh, new ball of yarn, cast on stitches for what seems like forever and finally join to start knitting. Oh, the joyous moment of beginning a new project in sweet dreams of just how great it will fit you, how nice it will be to wear et c.
And then sometimes this happens: Several hundred stitches further on – here that’s just some five rows – you discover that you twisted it despite all efforts to avoid it. Instead of a waist band you’re knitting a Möebius band.
That is the point at which you sigh, perhaps swear a bit, and then begin to tink.
And no I don’t mean think. Because the thing to do is go back stitch by stitch to at least not have to cast on anew. And what is knit in reverse?
This post will have you seeing stars. Really.
I was seeing stars when I got the material for the shorts I practically finished. It was in a shop in Amsterdam, our summer hols destination, and it was just packed with fabrics I wanted. And I had to limit myself and therefore pinched close my eyes so hard it made stars shimmer inside the lids.
My daughter saw stars too, but only these.
Then I was seeing stars again when I laid out the pattern. This time they were stars of rage. What was she thinking in that shop?! I specifically asked for enough for a pair of semi-long shorts. And this is how they had to look in the end:
All I could get were the leg parts. Not the waist band, not the pockets, not the belt straps. And I really was very careful, trying several times over to somehow fit more pieces onto the star fabric.
So I was reminded again to be careful about trusting shop clerks. At least my daughter thinks her new shorts are cool.
My red sweater is finally done! This includes the silken neckband that I had to go to a specialised shop to get. It was worth it just like it was worth the work. It turned out exactly the way I hoped it would.
So why did I caption this post with the words “goodnight, hot night”? Because this is a night sweater. Yes, I’m serious: Women used to sleep in sweaters like this. It was what you wore to bed some 150 years ago and before. In fact you would go to bed dressed in a linen slip and a sweater like this (more or less), sleep in something akin to a cupboard, cover yourself with a woolen sack stuffed with feathers and down and lined with a linen sheet. And you would half sit instead of lying down.
This was how every peasant woman slept for easily 200 years. Whenever I go to the open-air museum or think about it I wonder how they ever made all the children they had.
Hay must have something to do with it. Somehow. Because nice and warm as a sweater like this one is in those drafty, unheated-at-night houses, sex is the furthest away on my mind when I imagine the sleeping arrangement.
Of course, I’ll just wear this to keep warm. (And look … nice)
Got anyone’s curiousity up? Got anything else up?
Well, sorry. No explicit content despite the hints. Just some explanatory content:
As may be discernible this is the top par of a pair of (short) pants and five strips of material before they went on those shorts as belt straps.
The shorts belong to my eldest daughter. The one wearing a fault patterned sweater in an earlier post. She likes colours, which is lucky for me because I made a blunder cutting these shorts, laying the pattern pieces the wrong way on the material. Which meant there was too little and I had to add on. The turqouise was left over from sewing another pair of pants and was okayed by her.
The irony is that I could have done without those gussets. Because skinny as she is the shorts proved a bit too big for her. Since her belt was apt at slipping she asked for straps.
I dug out pink-and-white scraps as well as turqouise. Colour-loving that she is she went for the latter. And I got the joint pleasures of using up a long strip and improving her shorts.
Now if we could just get the heat of summer back, everything would be good.
Yes I know I did not post for a long time. The main reason is that my work life has been in chaos for just as long. It’s finally settling into some sort of order and I can muster the oomph to do things other than work.
The one thing I was able to do was take up a sweater that’s been on hold for several months. Most likely to give myself something mindless to do and an idea that something was moving towards a definable target. And look now how close to finished it is:
The first two snaps are details of pattern and of the – if I may say so myself – rather brilliant way I went about not having to sew on the sleeves by picking up cast-off-stitches and knitting them together with the edge stitches at the sides.
The pattern is my take on a theme of regional variations of the so-called night sweater worn by women in Denmark in the 16-17-18-hundreds. The sweaters were more or less hidden away for festive occasions but visible when they worked. The crossed double bars and the eight-point stars were more or less standard, but some had only patterned sleeves, some had a patterne likes angles or V’s in rows on the trunk et c. I could find a partial pattern for the sleeves alone, and the stars had to grow with the sleeve to keep the same number pattern row by pattern row. I ended up with 6 pieces of A4-sized checkered paper taped together to make sure I got it right.
Those women did without pattern. Just skill. This sweater has given me enormous respect for them. Nowadays you really only see sweaters like these with folk-dancers performing in costumes. I call taht a pity: Let’s give this pattern a revival. Show our skills.
Nor, for that matter, is it a loft ladder:
I’m not particularly proud of these gloves. My defense is they’re made of thinsulate, which is completely unwieldy and – just to top it – has a strong tendency to come apart in tis three layers while you work with it.
The reason I almost call them a doorhandle is my nephew who is a carpenter. And he has cold hands in the morning because work gloves are either too thin to really keep his hands warm or too thick to actually work with. My idea was thar thinsulate just might work as undergloves because it’s thin AND warm at the same time.
The handle on my daughter’s door is playing up. And he promised to fix it and possibly extre-fasten her loft ladder in return for these gloves.
Nepotistic trading economy. You gotta love it.
Or: Yard upon yard of cotton threat.
As epople following this blog may remember I started knitting yet anoy eldest daughter, the scout and aspiring geologist (both are outdoor things. She needs sweaters). She has a third feature to her: She is a mess-maker. And I´m an evil mother. She has been left to her mess while studying for three exams, one of which was a re-examination first time failed. After that it was clear out room time.
So did she begin to do so straight away? Of course not. Procrastination, excuses, endless talk and no action. Only because of a threat to begin throwing all her things out the window to the garden did she finally do something.
To most of the room. And so I decided to reward each still remaining item of mess cleared up with a row or two on her sweater in progress. Which leads me back to the word “knotting”. It’s “not knitting”, pointedly so.