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?
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)
There’s a good deal of debate going on currently about youngsters sharing nude snaps of (mainly) girls without any form of consent from the victims. One thread in the debate is that parents have a part of the blame for two reasons:
The obvious one is upbringing. As parents we teach or at least try to teach our children about decent behaviour though the individual concepts of that phenomenon has variations.
The other reason is the fact that we parents sharesnaps of our children. Including cute nude snaps of happy toddlers in paddling pools et c.
So I decided to not photograph my daughter’s head to display the swater I finished for her and which so obviously fits her snugly. She is very good at only sharing pictures of herself where she may look a bit silly, but never drunk or nude. Doubt she ever sent anything like it in private to anyone; she’s not the type to do so.
In fact she’s a nerd. Which is why the sweater has the design it has: She studies geology and wanted it to display layers of dirt disrupted by e.g. earthquake. And the head? Just a container for her brain.
Thanks to a dear friend I know to words for the annoying craft of taking back knitting: If you painstakingly take it back one stitch at a time, the word is “to tink”. For the simple reason that “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards. The other word is “to frog” or “frogging”, bacause you just pull out the needes and rib it. And frogs say “ribbit” in English. Both ways leave the already used yarn curly.
(As an aside, the sounds of animals are not universal when translated into human. Danish frogs say “kvæk” or “kvak”. Pigs may say “oink” in English; they say “øf” in Danish, “grunz” in German and “hrum” in Polish. When there was a scandal ablout maltreatment of pigs bound for slaughter and transported for far too long including a long stop at the German-Danish border, a stand-up comedian mused that the stop just possibly was to make sure every pig switched from “øf” to “grunz”.)
So where am I getting with all this? To a cuff. A sweater in progress has a pattern of three stripes, each its own colour. The blue stripe is the thinnest of the three which means there’s a good deal of blue left. Did my darling daughter and recipint want a blue stripe on the sleeves? She’d think about it.
While she thought I began to knit sleeve one and stopped after the cuff. Which was when she chose – blue cuffs. Right then. Blue cuffs it is, I’ll just rib what I already finished. And get curly yarn.
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.
Knitting can get boring. The thinner the needles and the yarn the longer time it takes to get anything done.
Patterns can break the monotony, and stripes are an easy pattern. The snag of stripes is the fact that unless the stripes are only few rows each and therefore thin it’s best to break the yarn at each stripe. Which leaves you with this:
Yup, that’s the stripe-tease of the title. AKA woolly spaghetti.
I may be done working my knitting needles on this thing. Doesn’t mean there’s no needle work left on it. Until the end is nigh.
Knitting takes patience. I posted one sleeve of this earlier:
And now all that’s still left to knit is the collar. Yet when she and I bought the yarn it was supposed to become socks. The bundles were on sale together with other bundles in other colours, and once I began to knit socks of those bundles she realised just how far it went. Instead of drowning in socks she opted for a sweater. Because as a scout she needs to keep warm all over – feet and body.
And now back in choler over the rest – because knitting it together like this means turning, turning, turning a whole sweater TWENTY full circles while finishing the collar.