Something’s in the naughty drawer!
Even as I wrote in the middle of last week about my knitting ennui, I was already pretty convinced that my Fairisle Tank Top would win out, if only because nothing else was coming close to catching my interest. And so I ploughed on and knitted the next row of the pattern. It was a lovely, simple row – 5 stitches of orange then one of cream all the way round – so deceptively simple, in fact, that I didn’t realise until I started the next row that it hadn’t been a row in this pattern at all! I was pretty annoyed with myself, I can tell you, so I set to and unpicked it, but as I was doing the tinking back I knew for certain this top was not the right project for me now. Maybe one day it will be right; probably it won’t.
This has, I think, everything to do with me being a product knitter and Fairisle colourwork being a laborious, process-type endeavour. I just don’t enjoy the challenge of it and, whilst I love seeing the pattern develop and the ability to choose my own wild colour scheme, things just go too slowly for me. Plus, of course, there was that aching shoulder about which I was becoming increasingly fixated on the opinion that it must be caused by either using a circular needle, or constantly switching yarns. I yearned to get back to a project knit in pieces on straight needles, something I could get knitted and wear, something using yarn already in my stash, something like this:
Looking for a new project, I hefted out a few of my knitting books and the moment I set eyes on Martin Storey’s Rimini pattern, I needed look no further. (That link will take you to my previous version of this cardigan from a good few years ago.)
When I first bought this wool I knew that I would knit a colour-blocked garment and that I would like to incorporate some kind of vertical accent to counterbalance the horizontal colour blocks. Rimini, with its columns of very simple eyelets, is perfect. So far I’ve been working on the back and I’m just about to finish the third colour.
Yes, I’m aware this is really similar in colouring to my previous version, perhaps I just naturally feel the pattern is perfect in a pretty berry palette.
Here’s a close-up of the eyelet pattern.
The wool is just delightful to work with, very soft and beautifully dyed. I think one of the things I enjoy most when starting a project is winding wool by hand from skein to ball. That is the point where I really appreciate the tones that make up each shade, the richness of the colour, and get a feel for how the yarn will handle as I knit. It’s a gentle getting to know you phase. With hand-dyed yarns (which this is not), there is the added bonus that the yarn looks very different wound into a ball to how it looked in the skein so it’s almost like having a whole new yarn to fall in love with.
The only fly in the ointment so far is that the yarn shades have been much too close to the colour of my needles and, although I like the KnitPro Symfonie very well indeed, I think it would be less strenuous on the eye if I returned to either a paler wood (bamboo is a contender) or even grey metal. That will be for another project, though, because I am superstitious about changing needles partway through a project.
So, that’s where my knitting is at right now. I hope your knitting, or other creative projects, are bringing you some measure of peace or sanity as required. Take care.
I’ve used a quote from the song “This town ain’t big enough for both of us” by Sparks (which entered the UK top 50 this week in 1974) in my planner and so the song is very much on my mind. It is what I am singing under my breath a lot of the day.