Why pattern sharing is wrong!

Fuss Free Festival Shawl

Fuss Free Festival Shawl

Pattern sharing is theft!

There we go. A simple statement but one which I absolutely stand behind. In some circles I am aware that this might be greeted with a sharp intake of breath and sideways looks but as a designer who makes a sizeable chunk of her monthly income from direct pattern sales I feel compelled to point it out in no uncertain terms.

I was somewhat taken aback the other day to receive a private Facebook message asking me to copy a pattern I was using and post it to the messenger. They assured me they were more than happy to pay for postage to cover my expenses. In fact, now that I think about it, the request wasn't even couched in terribly polite, or apologetic tones. There was no "would you mind terribly..." or "I'm so sorry to bother you but..." Just a simple request that I copy the pattern and post it to them please.

I don't recall exactly what I said in response but I think I was polite (just) and firm in my assertion that I support the copyright of the original designer - whose published works are freely available for purchase.

It got me thinking though about the way that designers work these days and that maybe there might be a gap in perception between what indie designers do and how they earn their keep as compared to the big commercial yarn companies.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there is a significant difference between a large commercial yarn company who produces patterns almost as a loss leader to support the yarn the pattern was created for. Indeed, not too many years ago there was a yarn shop near my parents house who would refuse to sell you a pattern unless you bought the accompanying yarn with which to make said pattern. The large companies almost certainly treat the patterns they produce this way, if not as disposable assets, but at least of secondary importance to their main aim - which is the sale of the yarn.

In the world of indie designers things are very different. The majority of us sell our patterns direct to the public, often via a 3rd party such as Ravelry or Love Knitting. Once Paypal, Ravelry fees and VAT are deducted that money is ours to do with as we will, whether that's to invest in new charting software, pay website fees or get the cat wormed!

For every £5 pattern sale we lose through someone 'sharing' a pattern with a friend that's money taken directly from our monthly income.

The issue which really got my goat from the original request was that the person concerned was more than willing, anxious even, to reimburse me for my time and expense is sending the pattern, but didn't give a second thought that the person who put all the hard work into designing and writing the pattern didn't deserve any recompense at all.

Like all things, it comes down to education. The more we educate people about how independent designers work and the more they come to appreciate the help and support they can get from the independent community then hopefully, they will be more prepared to support us in future.

 

Knitting and the gender wars

Pattern is Autumn Leaves by Nikky Van De Car

Pattern is Autumn Leaves by Nikky Van De Car

Unless you've been living under a rock in the UK this week you can't but help have heard the social media rumpus that followed an announcement by major retailer John Lewis. It was nothing earth shattering, nothing ground breaking. Just a simple statement that they were relabelling their children's clothing ranges and would from now on have a gender-neutral range.

To those parents who would dearly like to buy little dresses for their girls with dinosaur prints on, or trains this was welcome and long overdue news. I am parent to two boys but as someone who feels strongly about this issue I'm not averse to reorganizing the clothing racks in department stores and relocating the Space/Science themed T shorts into the "girls" section.

To others though, this move signals the end of the world and that time honoured catchphrase "Political correctness gone mad". Twitter feeds full of rabid, ranting objections and ill-informed opinion abounds. Those who are so quick to label others for taking offence seem to have gone off the deep end and are claiming to be morally outraged that the "left wing PC brigade" are trying to force little Tommy into a dress and won't be happy until the mandatory wearing of fairies and glitter is enforced across the genders.

As a child of the 70s this is all quite amusing. The vast majority of my clothing was bright primary colours (well the bit that wasn't brown corduroy, anyway) and much of it was unisex - often handed down from family and friends. Quite when we started to segregate Mothercare into pink and blue I'm not entirely sure, but surely it can't hurt to give people - and their children - choices.

As knitters ( and also as crafters, sewists etc) this debate can rage on but we are safe in the knowledge that we can create whatever we want. If we want to make a tunic dress for a little girl with a dinosaur motif or a rocket we can. If we want to make a rainbow coloured sweater for a little boy, we can. Our only constraints are our imagination and our budgets.

As an aside, I'll share an anecdote from a few weeks ago. I made a little purple cardigan ages ago and finally a baby girl arrived in the family who I could gift it to. I shared a photo on social media and some of the comments were pretty funny to me. Lots of comments along the lines of "oh, what an unusual colour for a girl". I truely hadn't given it a moments thought that it was in any way a controversial colour. I love purple and it goes with a ton of other colours. It's also dark enough to hide a multitude of baby-related stains and it was superwash yarn that I had in my stash - win, win.

After consulting with a few knitting friends it seemed that they had also experienced similar reactions. Some family members seemed to be of the firm opinion that it was one step away from pink and thus wholly unsuitable for boys. Equally others felt that it strayed dangerously close to blue territory and could not therefore be countenanced by baby girls.

How strange. That a colour can provoke such interesting reactions. So if a purple cardigan can cause ructions I guess it's no surprise that a dinosaur dress has people talking. The John Lewis PR department must be jubilant.

For me though, this whole debate is clearly missing the wider issue. Never mind about pink for boys or purple for girls. There is an urgent and pressing need to readdress the Great Pockets Divide. Now I know there is no rational reason why a baby boy need pockets - what after all is a 3 month old going to stuff in there? But why should baby girls trousers not have them? And for busy pre-schoolers who lets face it, have a wealth of interesting uses for pockets, why should little girls be denied them.

And don't even get me started on women's clothing. For me one of the chief selling points of a dress or skirt (beyond the fact that it's machine washable and non crease) is that it has pockets.

So bugger the colour or the print, let's start a campaign for Pockets For All. Or failing that we can just make them outselves.

Indie Love

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While I was away my brain was fizzing with ideas for the next few months and first up is my plans to devote the month of September to promoting the work of our fabulous indie dyers, yarnies and designers. Over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group we have been watching with dismay as various local yarn shops have closed down and the big high street stores seem ever more visible with their huge advertising budgets and near domination of our Facebook feeds. Just one search for baby acrylic and it seems that adverts for the likes of Deramores will crop up on your feed from now to eternity.

With that in mind I'd like to do something within the group to promote the many and varied alternatives to the high street behemoths. I'll be running a weekly thread within the group and inviting you to post anything that you've done to help an independent business. Whether you have visited your LYS, bought from an online indie store, bought some hand-dyed yarn or knitted a pattern from an indie designer., even just recommended an indie person to a friend. It all counts.

The intention is to give us all a bit of inspiration and to perhaps find some wonderful new indie suppliers. 

Word of mouth and personal support are so important to our indie suppliers and can make all the difference. It really is a case of "use them or lose them".

 

Scrap yarn challenge

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Now don't tell me you don't have any scrap yarn about your person.

We all have those little bits squirreled away somewhere don't we. Over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group we have set ourselves a challenge this month to learn the Russian Join technique and make a "magic ball" from all our scraps. I'm using sock weight yarn but some others are using DK. 

If you've never used the Russian Join method before I'd highly recommend that you give it a go. All you need is a nice sharp tapestry needle and it's a way of giving you a smooth join between 2 ends of yarn without any additional bulk. 

Once you've made your magic ball you can then knit (or crochet) until the cows come home, making a wonderful multi-coloured project without any worry about sewing in the dreaded ends.

I used this tutorial here which explains it all very clearly. If you find yourself with a spare 5 minutes this weekend why not give it a go. Be warned though, it's highly addictive.


Have a great weekend
 

And breathe

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Sitting down at the laptop after a break of almost 2 weeks feels very strange indeed. I made a deliberate decision to leave the laptop at home during our recent travels and I'm so glad that I did. A total break from routine and clear space in which to think was really refreshing. It does mean of course that I have come back with a head fizzing with ideas, with inspiration and with Big Plans. All of which is jumbling around in my head with the usual 'back to school' chaos.

The trick at this time of year I have found is not to get too stuck on trying to do everything. Too many fresh starts and too many new projects on the go can rapidly lead to overwhelm. So I am taking it steadily and yes - making many lists.

During September the thoughts of most knitters turn towards colder months and the all important sweater knitting. I'd like to cast on another sweater (after my recent stash dash successes) and so I was thinking of making the September challenge a sweater related one.

After reading about so many local yarn shops closing I'd like to do a bit more to promote our fabulous indie suppliers this coming month too. I have lots of ideas buzzing around on this one so keep an eye out for more news soon. If I see one more Deramores advert on my Facebook timeline I might just scream and I think the time has definitely come to redress the balance and starting singing the praises of our LYSs, our online independent stockists and our yarnies.

For now though, I'm just going to deal with the school uniform mountain and then reward myself with some stripy sock knitting. Hopefully by the end of the day I can tick off some items from the never ending 'list of doom' and get cracking on some fun knitterly projects instead.

 

Starting today - a special offer and a prize draw

August is a big month for me as it marks my birthday and this year is especially exciting as it is my 10 year knitting anniversary.

To celebrate I am going to be offering a 21% discount on all of my self published patterns - I'm not 21 anymore but a girl can dream, right?

In addition, to mark my knitting milestone I have put together an exciting prize package from my (ahem...) extensive stash. Each use of the exclusive discount code - 21TODAY - will earn 1 entry into a prize draw for said lovely package.

I'll be sharing details of the prize over the next few days but it includes yarn and notions from some of my favourite indie people - ideal for sock knitting on the go.

So, keep an eye on your email inboxes over the next days to make sure you don't miss out.

Until the end of time

The rational part of my brain tells me that I'm almost done. That just 15" of stocking stitch in the round (and a bit of ribbing) is all that stands between myself and a finished Breathing Space sweater.

My knitters brain points out that between the narrow stripes, the frequent colour changes and the endless untwisting of both sweater and yarn - I'm going to be knitting this sweater until the end of time. Or until hell freezes over. At least I'll be glad of a warm are when it does.

Sleeves truly are my nemesis and next time I firmly resolve to knit them first once I've separated for the body. In truth I would have done this in this project except for the fact that I was worried about striping in the 2nd skein of grey as it was quite different to the other. Well that, and the fact that I forgot to.

The thought of boosting my stash dash total really is the only thing keeping me going at the minute. Well, that and cake. Please send tips for how you see deal with sleeve island. 

Snacks would be nice too 😀

 

Being brave

Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and go for it, whether it's applying for a new job, making that dreaded phone call or tackling your next big project.

If you've followed me for a while you'll know that I'm no stranger to the fine art of procrastination. In fact it's probably fair to say that I could procrastinate for my country if it were ever to become an Olympic event.

For ages now I've been wanting to do a Facebook Live in my group (Everyday Knitter). I've planned it, rehearsed it, imagined it but never actually taken a deep breath and done it. Various excuses have included "I'll just wait until I've had my hair cut" and "I need to find the right shawl to wear".

Yesterday I listened to the very inspiring Making Good podcast with Jen Gale. There was a whole episode about making more out of Facebook and using it to best advantage. Jen is so down to earth and practical that I just thought - "why the heck not".

I was going to wait for the right time (I even scheduled it in my diary) but then I found myself with 10 child free minutes and just took a deep breath and went for it. I was very nervous but people were very kind with their comments and I'll definitely be doing it again. I'd like to do a weekly slot where people can ask questions and each week I'll pick one at random to answer.

Sometimes you need to take leaps of a smaller scale too. This skein of gorgeous yarn from Goldings Yarns has been sitting patiently in my stash. It came in the Mystery Gems package from The Little Grey Girl a while ago now and I've been saving it for that "perfect project".

But in the interests of "just going for it" and as an antidote to the horrible grey weather we are having at the moment, it's going on my needles today.

Bright, cheery, fearless socks are on the way.

 

 

3 tips to power up your knitting

Now I like a nice meditative knit as much as the next person but there are times when you do just need to power through something. Whether you are knitting to a deadline or whether you have 10" of plain, grey, stocking stitch sweater to plough through there are times when you just want to put your "foot to the floor" and knit as fast as humanly possible.

The next time you find yourself in that situation why not try these few simple tips to speedier knitting?

Use super slick and shiny needles: As slick as you can get away with without your stitches flying off the needles. I like Addi Turbos in particular for lots of stocking stitch. The points aren't the sharpest but they really are super speedy.

Front load your stitches: Scoot as many stitches as you can to the tip of your left hand needle. That way you don't have to pull the next stitch to the top of the needle - it will already be there.

Knit at the tips: Knit each stitch right at the tip of the left hand needle - but be sure to wrap the yarn fully around the wider part of the right hand needle as this is what determines the tightness of each stitch.

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Eyes down and why not see how much you can knit when you really put your mind to it.

 

 

Yay for new socks

Toe-up socks in yarn from West Green Loft Yarns 

Toe-up socks in yarn from West Green Loft Yarns 

There's truly nothing better than new socks, finished just in time for #FOFriday and the weekend. Being able to gift them to a friend is an added bonus. This is one of those projects that I'm almost sorry to see finished.

The yarn was from the summer yarn club by West Green Loft Yarns and is a joyous mixture of bright pastels. I really love knitting with this type of yarn where you have more colour than just "pops" but not enough to have longer colour runs and cause all types of issues with pooling. I have no idea how Vykky does it, but I'm just pleased that she does.

These socks have been riding around in the car with me for weeks now as my in-car travel project and we've become good friends. But I know that my friend will love them and I get to rummage in my stash for my next plain vanilla pair of socks in waiting.

Happy weekend one and all

X

A new monthly challenge: Cables

This month over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group we are all about the cables. Whether you are a complete cable newbie or you are planning to embark on the world's most epic cable sweater I hope you will pop over and join us.

I'm going to be doing a few blog posts and mini tutorials on the subject of cables with the first one being how to do simple cables without a cable needle. This is a super handy, nifty little technique that will leave you feeling like a total knitting ninja. And it's also useful when you have lost your one and only cable needle down the back of the sofa.

If there is anything about cables that you've always wanted to know or learn please let me know and if I can do a tutorial or anything to help I'll certainly try.

I'm also in the process of creating a Pinterest group for the Everyday Knitter. A place where we can put popular patterns that we talk about regularly and a place to browse for inspiration and ideas. I'll create a cable board too so that you can see some of the great cabled projects that folks are trying out.

Whether you are working on a cabled sock on a beach or getting ready for winter with a cabled afghan I hope you join us. Cables are one of my favourite things in knitting and I'm excited to be chatting with you about them this month - it's going to be a good one.

 

We are not at home to the knitting police

Just the other day on a Facebook group I saw a comment which started innocuously enough but by the time I had read the thread to the end I had steam starting to come out of my ears. And so, another slightly ranty blog post ensues.

I hasten to add that it wasn't the Everyday Knitter facebook group where this thread happened and I'm not going to name it for fear of adding fuel to the flames. I think I've said enough over there for the time being. Anyway, it started out as a comment about people learning to read charts and whether there was any advantage in being able to do so.

There then followed lots of helpful advice with people merrily debating the pros and cons of each. There then followed a series of far less helpful and constructive comments which is when my right eye started to twitch ever so slightly.

"Knitters who read from charts are lazy" 

"There is no reason to use charts when all the decent designers provide written instructions"

And my personal favourite "Charts are antiquated"

By this time my blood had started to boil and I had to step away from the laptop. 

Seriously, why on earth do people think they have a right to criticise others for how they chose to assimilate pattern directions. If they think the use of a chart is lazy what does that say about the use of stitch markers, or heaven forfend, lifelines. Why not go the whole hog and insist that we all knit complicated fair isle in mercerised cotton whilst adhering to directions written over 2 pages of densely packed 8 point Arial font? Surely anything else is just bone idle?

As soon as people start asserting the viewpoint that there is only 1 way to do things I know it's time to back away slowly. Strangely enough, this 1 way, this solitary way always seems to coincide with the speakers way of doing something and they are never backwards at coming forwards with this view.

Faced with the Knitting Police - whether they appear in front of you in public and whip your sock from your hands, or whether they are behind a keybaord on a Facebook group I now employ the tried and tested technique which got me through many a visit from the Health Visitor when my boys were babies.

Simply *smile, nod, ignore. Repeat from * to end.

Disclaimer: In case anyone were to think I am maligning health visitors let me be clear. They do a wonderful job in difficult, trying circumstances. We had 3 HVs during our baby days (prem babies, lots of TLC needed - won't bore you with the details). 2 HVs were wonderful, sainted creatures who made me tea, dried my tears and told me that despite all my protestions to the contrary I wasn't the worlds crappest mum. The third was awful. Opinionated, bossy and never failed to make me cry. I learned to deal with her by employing the above advice and it worked a treat.

For want of a scale.

Yes of course. I always make copies notes on a pattern I'm knitting. That way when I leave it under the bed for 6 months I know exactly where to start from when I pick it up again. I wish!
Someday, maybe I'll learn to do this. But for now I've just lost an hour of my life sorting it out, thinking I knew where I was, then ripping back to start again where I actually was. Sigh!

It really is a lovely pattern though. Very wearable and I've no idea why I abandoned it for so long. Then of course as I knit further and get my mind back into the project I remember. The second skein of grey yarn (Baby Elephant colourway from The Uncommon Thread) is quite a bit lighter than the first skein I've already used most of. Striping it in won't be a problem I don't think but I needed to make sure I left enough to also stripe it in for the sleeves too. 

And for want of a digital scale ( my old ones broke last year) this poor project has sat unloved for many months. It only took a few minutes to whip out my old scales and wind off 10g for the sleeves.

Now I'm back on track and motoring down the waist shaping.

And yes, in case you are wondering, this does mean that my Windswept sweater is if they needles. It is currently blocking in a secure cat free location - photos to follow shortly. For a triumphal FO Friday post no less.

Second verse same as the first

Knitting away on my Starting Point shawl I find that this refrain "Second verse same as the first" keeps flitting through my mind.

The rational part of my brain knows that any shawl which calls for 5 x 100g skeins of 4ply yarn is going to involve A Lot Of Knitting. But then there is the cold hard reality that dawns when you complete the loveliness that is the end of Clue 1. You smooth it out, you admire and pat it, you weave in the ends... oh OK, You got me there. You know me too well.

Then you realise that you have to make another piece exactly the same before you can dive into Clue 2. Sigh!

Still, this time around I know what it should look like and it's fresh in my mind so I can just steam ahead. 

In case you are wondering, I'm keeping the textured stitches to a minimum so I just have the ribbed section for yarn 2 and i'm replacing the eyelet rows with plain stocking stitch - it's just my personal preference.

BOB Socks are released

After all the fun of the #instasockkal over the past weeks I'm really pleased to say that the BOB Socks pattern in it's entirety is now available on Ravelry. It is a paid for pattern but it has already gone out as a free pattern, with my compliments to my newsletter subscribers.

If you aren't a subscriber and you sign up by August 1st then a copy will also wing it's way to your inbox. Please click here for all the details you need to know.

If you missed the details, this is a super easy and very customisable cuff down sock, entirely suitable for a beginner with a go-getter attitude. It cunningly avoids a heel flap and gusset by using nifty short rows and if you are averse to Kitchener stitch then this holds no fear for you. A rounded toe does away with the need for toe grafting - making for happy knitting all round.

All you need is some fun sock yarn - speckles and self stripe won't make the knitting go any faster but they certainly don't hurt.

After August 1st the pattern will revert to just having the paid for option but there will be a few additional sizes - don't worry though - newsletter subscribers will get these as well. And if you use the free download code that comes along with it, you can also add it into your Ravelry library and stay abreast of any pattern updates that way too.

Chronic Indecision

Eden Cottage Yarns Starting Point MKAL Pack 12

Eden Cottage Yarns Starting Point MKAL Pack 12

My knitting time today should be devoted to sleeve knitting and swatching for a new design submission. This little yarn delivery is calling my name however and I'm trying to resist.

This is Pack 12 from Eden Cottage Yarns and is destined for a Starting Point shawl.

This was originally released as a Mystery KAL and obviously now I know what it looks like it isn't exactly a mystery, but how it is put together intrigues me so I'm still planning on knitting it clue by clue, without reading ahead.

I absolutely couldn't decide on colours and yarns for this. In fact if you added up all the time I've spent rootling in my stash and surfing web sites I could have probably knitted the darned thing already.

So in the end I let the lovely Laura at Eden Cottage Yarns take care of it and send me one of their brilliant KAL packs. It's absolutely perfect and I'm so pleased with the colours. I love some of the really vibrant ones I've seen on Instagram and Ravelry but I asked for more subtle colours for my own pack - just because I know they will go with more of the colours I already have in my wardrobe.

After all, if I'm going to spend an eternity knitting this thing (and my, it is quite an undertaking) I want to be able to wear it at every opportunity.

And now for some sleeve zen

I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to contact me yesterday after my "knitting at sporting events" mini rant yesterday. It really seems to have struck a chord with many of you and I loved some of the stories you mentioned in return.

Several people mentioned the wonderful lady who knits at US hockey games and who often appears in photos and news feeds. She was roundly criticised on social media for knitting during the games but, here's the thing - the team players think she is wonderful and leapt to her defence. Have a look for her on Twitter where she is @PensKnittingLady - surely a modern knitting hero?

In calmer news today I am cultivating a state of zen-like sleeve knitting. My Windswept sweater now has the sleeve stitches picked up and I'm attempting to whizz along with my mini circulars despite the best attempts of end-of-school-term chaos to throw me off course.

Nope, I absolutely don't want to spend two hours painting a cardboard box yellow for you school disco fancy dress outfit but thank you for asking. Instead you can go as Charlie Bucket (check shirt and scruffy jeans) as you have been doing every other year.

My cunning plan is to get both sleeves to the point where the decreases start and then magic loop them two at a time - we will see how that goes.

I doubt that this will be an FO this week, but for next Friday - you never know.

Please knit appropriately

Places I have knit include (but are not limited to): school halls, church halls, churches, cathedrals, cinemas, sporting events, Olympic events, rugby fields, carparks, traffic jams, airports, trains, cafes, restaurants, museums. Hell, I've even knitted over tea at the Ritz.

In none of these places has anyone ever suggested that knitting is not an appropriate thing to do, nor has it generated the remotest amount of interest - except maybe when a lady took my sock off me in a cafe and told me that it wasn't possible to knit a sock on small circular needles (clearly overlooking the evidence she was holding).

The fact that a woman knitting at Wimbledon is enough to cause comment is something guaranteed to get my goat.

It would be bad enough if the comments were on the mainstream media but this discussion took place in a Facebook group for knitters. I am firmly of the 'live and let live' camp and I was pretty miffed to see so many comments along the lines of 'There's a time and place for knitting, and this isn't it'. Seriously, who is anyone to judge what someone else does with their time? I can't link to the thread as it ended up being deleted but to be honest it made for pretty unedifying reading.

And yes, if this sounds familiar you are quite right. The same thing happened back in 2012 and the BBC even ran a news story on it, And here we are in 2017 with similar comments and even comments that she is somehow wasting a seat because for the micosecond in which this photo was taken her eyes weren't on the match. If you did a quick headcount of all the people on Centre Court who were yawning, dozing, scrolling their mobile phone or daydreaming I'm sure you would find a good number who weren't fully focussed on events on the court. 

Imagine the headlines if a man were to be seen looking at his mobile phone during the 3:30 at Newmarket? Or someone gently dozing in the sun at Lord's. Would anyone even raise an eyebrow? But a woman, in public, knitting - hold the presses.

Wouldn't it be just fantastic though if it were a man knitting. How many social stereotypes could be broken in one sitting. The BBC would be mobilising the Newsnight team surely?

Nearly there

Fuelled entirely by caffeine and a desire to meet my revised stash dash goals. 

This morning I am determined that the body of the Windswept sweater will be off the needles and then I can dig out my trusty short circulars for the sleeves. I have learnt long ago that sleeve knitting and I can never really be firm friends and the only way that I can battle though them is to treat them like a plain vanilla sock and knit them on small circulars.

It's very strange when you think about it. Give me a lovely sock yarn and small circs and I'll merrily knit on them until the cows come home. Give me a sleeve on small circs and I hate and loathe knitting on it. I think it's the twisting and the untangling that comes along with having a sweater body attached to it. No matter what I try to I always seem to end up wrestling the rest of the garment as I try to knit.

A while ago I heard the Knitmore Girls talking about sweater knitting and I'm pretty sure that Jasmine mentioned that she knits the sleeves of sweaters right after the yoke and sleeve separation has happened. At that point there is hardly any sweater body to get in the way so you can knit the sleeves unencumbered and then go back and do the body,

That sounds like a fine plan and one that I wished I had remembered at the time. 

Next time... next time.

Stash dash: Or the quiet revaluation of goals

Windswept sweater in progress. Yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed, colourway Scree

Windswept sweater in progress. Yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed, colourway Scree

As you may remember from the blog last week I have been quietly contemplating my rather rash 10K goal for stash dash, after the somewhat depressing discovery that my crocheted, stripe blanket was rather smaller than I remembered it being.

As a result I took to rootling under the bed for some (very) long-neglected WIPs and came up trumps with this one. It is a Windswept sweater - pattern by Tin Can Knits which I started well over a year ago. All was going swimmingly with it as I recall. I had done the yoke, which is worked flat, separated for the sleeves and even sorted out the tricky overlap section to start working the body in the round.

Then, for reasons best known to my past self I had set the project aside without noting where I was on the lace panel chart (because of course I'm normally so good at doing that - not). When the time came for me to pick it up again, of course I couldn't remember what line was I up to so I did what I normally do and hope for the best. That didn't work, obviously and after another round I realised that I had totally messed it up.

I did what every normal, sane knitter would do with such a project. I stuffed it under the bed and went to cast on a shawl instead.

I'm pleased to report that this has a happy ending anyway. To my shame it really only took about 10 minutes to tink back, fix the lace panel and work out where I was - once I had a strong cup of coffee under my belt.

So, now I'm firmly back on track, steaming my way down the body and contemplating devious means of knitting the sleeves two at a time (to avoid my usual bout of sleeve paralysis). It may not get me to my 10K goal but it might help me to a respectable 7K with a bit of luck and a following wind.