I think I’ve already mentioned a brilliant kal over on the Caithness Craft Collective Podcast Ravelry page…it’s split up into 3 divisions and you can take part in as many of those as you like….I’m already knitting a blue shawl using a very soft yarn from Artesano (it’s a more colourful version of my Natural shades Moonraker) for division two, and I’ve nominated my “grannies paperweight” blanket for division one where basically you just leave your ufo until the 1st of June…then if you want you can pick up your needles and try get it finished by 1st September….now I love my grannies paperweight blanket (and obviously so does someone else!) but sewing all the woolly tails in has been a proper drag…..the blanket isn’t even hid away, it’s on our bed so every night I’m aware of all those ends and sigh……having it be okay to just leave them until June the 1st is actually quite nice and it’s now quite hard to leave them and not starting sewing them in….
But the blanket isn’t the only ufo/wip that has been a bit forgotten about….there’s also my teacosy….
I probably first ever learn to knit at primary school, I was always bottom of the class and my dishclothes would end up full of holes and be rather wonky shaped… in the years since I’ve had a few rather half hearted attempts at re-learning adn have been very goldfish brained, struggling to remember how to make simple stitches and just getting all frustrated…. I had another dabble about 5 years ago which is when I met my awesome friend Anne, she’s a wonderful knitter and has no end of patience….when I first went to her house I saw her tea cosy which was just the nicest little tea cosy cottage I think I’ve ever seen and she let me borrow the pattern and have a try at knitting my own…..
I think I did everything wrong that I possibly could…first up the yarn….the pattern said 4 ply…I didn’t have any and all I could find in the charity shops was a larger weight so I bought that (a big old bag full of mixed creamy pure wool, mostly Aran but also some dk)…obviously I needed to use a larger needle than in the pattern and ended up knitting it on these 14 inchers (not the most sociable knitting to do on the bus…I was all elbows and knitting needles)….I felt quite pleased as I sort of mastered purl stitch but I had to count my stitches all the time as I found it really hard to tell if it was a purl or a knit on my needle…..I didn’t know about circular needles so my knitting was nearly always squished up while I was counting….
And then no matter how hard I tried, I kept making mistakes which I couldn’t correct, so lots of ripping out….finally between us we twigged that there was a mistake somewhere in the pattern so Ann kindly fixed one of the sections for me…..
At some point the Aran run out and I doubled up my dk…..so this is totally not the most consistently gauged item that’s been on a pair of knitting needles.
Knitting the side sections was a bit easier as I could do those on a pair of 12 inch needles, around this time I began calling it a cushion cover as when I’d told people it was a tea cosy they all burst out laughing and made comments about “like to see the size of that tea pot”…..looking back I sort of wonder what i was thinking…I really didn’t realize using Aran instead of 4ply and knitting it on 6mm needles was going to make a huge difference.
I was sort of losing heart with it at this point but attempting the roof was the straw that broke this camels back….the original one in the pattern says it’s knitted in a dk so I cobbled together as much brown yarn as I could to make mine fat enough, then it’s ribbed and there are decreases or increases (in pattern) and it just all got too much………finally it was all bundled up and pushed into a dark corner of my wardrobe…honestly it put me right off knitting for ages…apart from the odd dishcloth and coat-hanger. I decided I was not a knitter……..
I’m so happy my knitting journey didn’t end there, falling in love with the “Open Sky” shawl helped so much, reading great knitty blogs and listening to podcasts has slowly helped me gain my knitting confidence and have been wonderful sources of inspiration and creativity…anyway, I found the tea cosy parts and think they deserve a second chance….not sure what I’m going to do regarding the roof but I’ve got a couple of months where I can practice my ribbing or try out something different.
Louise talks about this kal/unkal in the latest episode of her podcast which is number 147, when she says “leave it” it’s so funny….it made me laugh so much that it scared poor Bernard who jumped off my lap, trailing my knitting and yarn across the room with him, which put paid to my laughing pretty quickly…..
Even if you don’t want to join in the kal/unkal, then I’d still recommend listening to the Caithness Craft Collective podcasts, they’re very funny and Louise talks about all sorts of crafting, not just knitting and there is even whiskey tasting in some episodes.
(if you want an idea of size for my tea cosy, those sides just need buttons and I’d have the start of a cardigan or at least a risque Summer top for the beach.)