Whhhheeee, feeling ridiculously happy with my knitting…….

Open Sky Shawl in Rowan wool

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.)

Open Sky Shawl end of row 6

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…..)

row 7 of Open Sky Shawl with Jamieson's of Shetland wool

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.

close up of Open Sky Shawl row 7

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.

row 9 of shawl

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.

Open Sky shawl row 13

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.

Open Sky Shawl row 17

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.)

Open sky shawl row 27

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……

Open Sky Shawl row 31

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.

asleep in Autumn sunshine

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.

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18 thoughts on “Whhhheeee, feeling ridiculously happy with my knitting…….

  1. Bernard certainly appreciates a beautiful blanket!! I am soooo pleased that your knitting is going well. Having just started to ‘get it’ with knitting myself, I know how exciting it is when you start to understand it! I shall be following your progress with interest 🙂 x

    1. There’s always the danger of him having wind if he’s disturbed x
      It’s just such a wonderful feeling isn’t it…my poor boyfried has to sit there and make interested sounds while I keep showing him every new row xx

      1. Thank you for understanding…posts generally take me a good couple of hours, and that Liebster one took me nearly the whole weekend (my computer went all doolally and didn’t save what I had first wrote so after some swears I had to do it all over again.) x

  2. First of all it was dressmaking and now it’s knitting, you are inspiring me to try something new again. I keep seeing gorgeous knitting patterns I want to make and the shawl is anther one for the list! I am actually going on a sock knitting course in a few weeks and I need to know the basics before starting, so I had best get my skates on.

    1. To be honest you can take a fair bit of credit for my knitting…it was in part one of your questions you asked Zeens and ROgers, “what would you most like to learn” which prompted me to ask “what do you wish you could do/or do better”…and I figured well,it’s all very well me saying “I wish I could knit”…if I really want to I’d better start learning and practicing. Next up is re-learning the recorder.
      Ooooh socks would be lovely to knit…..the shawl is going okay, I’ve had to order more of the mustard wool as though that was a “tester” I fell in love so much with the colour I think I’d like a whole shawl….while I’m waiting for that to arrive I’ve started a second shawl with some vintage Shetland wool….having a few issues this time round as I keep missing stitches or knitting when I should be purling……not consentrating enough (also the wool is a particular blue that I think makes me sleepy……world’s worse excuse for my knititng mistakes…..)

      1. Have taken the plunge! Going to start with the Hitchiker scarf on Ravelry. Bought the needles today. I really had to stop myself buying most of the wool shop! I have opted to use a cascade fingering yarn in a dark teal but I have my eye on a lovely vintage yellow, not quite mustard, if I don’t completely mess up my first attempt.

      2. Thought you might like an update… Fingering yarn did not work, not enough give in it and very splitty, so I will save it for the crochet shawl I bought it for. Tried DK pure merino, good practice for the stitches but the block colour just highlights how ugly garter stitch is! So now I need to find a variegated yarn I can actually see myself wearing or find a new pattern! Good to have a go at knitting again .. I won’t tell you how many times I had to restart, crochet seems a lot more forgiving!

      3. Does the hitchhiker have to be garter…could you garter sttich the edge and then substitute stocking stitch for the centre? Then if you want to get all fancy you could work moss stitch motifs through out the stocking stitch……but hoorah for knitting though (my new found love is a good excuse for not hoovering the stairs) x

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