I want to go “whhheeeeee” so much, something seems to have clicked, a light somewhere inside my head has been switched on and finally after many years I’m able to make some sort of sense of what before might as well have been hieroglyphs or a mysterious cryptic code….looking at my knitting in front of me and I feel such a thrill of excitement.
It’s like when I first learnt to ride my bike without my dad holding the seat to steady me…turning round to see him way behind me and then wobbling and really riding all by myself down a little country road…wheeeeee…. (though I then fell off at the bottom where there was a crossing for the cows so ended up covered in farm mud and cow muck so looked and smelt a proper fright……perhaps not the best comparrison but it’s that same sense of achievement.)
After the giddiness of the last week with the “light switch moment” of “ohhh I think I know what that means to do” (and what was on my needles actually looking like the picture in the book) I then had a play around using a cable needle….no samples or swatches to show as I had some assistance from Bernard and they got somewhat tangled…..however while having a look at some of the Instagram pages of knitters I admire, I saw such a fun picture via Westknits which bought me to Andrea’s instagram page where I saw this shawl which I mentioned last week and ….you know when you meet someone and you smile, they smile and everything else is just there in the background but you’re not aware of it…..that’s how I felt with this shawl….so so beautiful and even though I’ve seen gorgeous shawls before, I decided lack of knitting skills wasn’t going to stop me from trying to knit one myself….(happily I’d read that she says this isn’t hard to knit so that did help a lot…)
Anyway, as I said last week I bought some yarn without checking it was the right weight etc (no surprises…it totally wasn’t) and with a bit of advice from the lovely lady at my local knitting shop, and carefully following Stephen West’s instructions for a garter tab cast on, stitches have started to appear on my knitting needles.
Just to see if I could actually follow the pattern I used some beautiful biscuity coloured Rowan wool I’d bought years ago in a John Lewis sale, and to begin with I used my wooden needles, but then it got quite hard to see what I was doing and took a deep breath and switched over to a circular pair I’d bought a few years ago when I went to Loop in London (the circular ones I’ve got are by Addi and for some reason I’ve got lace ones so they are quite pointy but I can pick up my stitches a treat and they feel much nicer to use than what I was expecting…..)
After some rows (over 30) I thought it wasn’t quite looking right,I think I messed up right at the start as my back row looked a bit lumpy, and then my markers got all tangled up so as this was just a tester anyway, off it came and I started again.
The next wool I used was an odd ball of Shetland Soft by Jamieson’s of Shetland (sadly this wool has been discontinued)…it’s a nice intense mustard with the tiniest flecks of gold and beige in there which reminds me so much of my marshey walks in the Summer…..
I knitted the first 6 rows on the wooden needles and then switched over to the circulars…..
Looking at the new sample and I think my back row is looking a bit neater, less lumpy. Still not totally sure it’s right though.
Sorry for so many pictures…I’m just so excited that I’m doing all these things at once….knitting from a pattern, using markers, knitting brand new (for me) stitches) and knitting on circulars…….I can’t quite believe what I’m seeing appear on my work table, and I keep thinking…I’ve actually knitted this. Me. But I can’t knit…..so just feeling pleased.
Although the Shetland Soft said to knit on a 4mm I think it would have been quite happy on a larger needle.
I had to concentrate rather with what I was doing so I’m sure my face looked a picture, and at the end of every row I made note of how many stitches I had on my needles, and once I’d worked out where all the extra stitches were made I was able to keep track of my progress quite nicely.
So far I’m finding the pattern nice and simple to follow, and there is a ravelry group (kal) with some lovely pictures of other people’s shawls in progress which I found incredibly helpful as I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was at all right. My favourite pictures have been these ones by Cheryllfaust……she’s used such a beautiful colour wool.
I changed stitch markers from the cheapy plastic ones I normally use to the posh fancy ones my boyfriend’s mum bought me a few years ago….I hadn’t used them before and they took a little while to get used to as they are a bit weighty…but I like the tinkly noise they make along with the gently clickety of the knitting needles….occasionally I manage to wrap the wool around them wrong but it’s not happening now half so much as when I was using the Rowan wool…(not the wools fault though, blame the knitter.)
I really wish now I’d bought more of this wool as I love the colour of the stocking stictches, it’s much brighter than in my photos…at the moment it’s about the size of a shawl for a guinea pig……
And I’ve pretty much run out of space on my circular needles, so I’m off into town this afternoon to see if I can get a longer pair………I was so worried about using them, and even though it’s been a bit chilly the last couple of evenings (Autumn is well and truly here now…) my hands have been fine using them.
I’m so pleased I’ve kept on persevering with my knitting as seeing each new row appear on my needles is making me ridiculously happy.
If you’d like to knit your own Open Sky shawl the pattern can be found here.
While the evenings have suddenly turned chilly, the afternoons still seem wonderfully sunshiney even if you have to wrap up a bit to be outside.
Bernard has found the best place to be, all spread out on the bed in a beam of sunlight…..as it moves across the room, he wiggles around to move along with it. Soft and snoring, with a tummy smelling faintly of Weetabix and Readybrek (don’t know why…but that’s what it reminds me of)….velvety paws gently knead the blanket, there’s the occasional pluck but no real harm done…..and who would have the heart to disturb him.