I’m attempting to follow a pattern, something I haven’t done since I first began knitting in my early teens. I’m not good with reading in general, the words on the page don’t keep still and so although reading each actual word is not a problem, reading them in the right order is.
I’ve knitted quite happily without a pattern for many years, I use my eyes and imagination, I think of something I would like to knit, (I do particularly like textured patterns), I put the stitches where I want them to start and just move them around as the knitting grows. Knitting for little people is a bit different though because the pieces are miniture and miniture shapes aren’t quite so forgiving if you don’t get them right. I do however, have a really good reason to try to follow a pattern again, almost as good as the reason I gave up smoking over thirty years ago.
I began with the back, the rib was easy enough, a slight confidence builder as the Aran wool took on the knitted appearance far quicker than the thinner wool I’ve used recently. I find the hardest part of following a pattern is the first “repeat”, setting the stitches in the right order. This went off OK, eventually, and once the pattern was set the back grew easily, and quite quickly as I followed the picture instead of the words.
The pattern said to do the sleeves next, most probably to help set the pattern in my mind, but I tend to be to eager to wait until everything is finished, quite apart from not enjoying the sewing together, so whenever I can, I knit the front and back first, and put them together so that I can then complete the neck. This leaves just the sleeves and side seams to sew up to finish.
The pattern I have chosen has four different shapes of jacket on it, in five different sizes… I could have been kinder to myself in my choice, but figured I could use the same pattern over and over again. It works a bit like one of those official forms… If you answer this… Go to question something … If you answer that… Go to question something else …
Once I found the right version of the left front, set my pattern and knitted the 26 rows required, I noticed one little word I had missed out… Just one little four lettered word (no, not work)… MORE… Work 26rows MORE. I had knitted four rows to set the pattern, so 26 rows more meant a total of 30 rows, not really that much of a mistake on a large jumper, but in miniture knitting, with thicker wool, a big mistake. A mistake I rectified easily enough, the perfectionist in me is quite adept at undoing things and doing them again until I’m happy with them. My next hurdle was having to decrease on every third row… Decreasing is easy, and counting to three rows to decrease is also easy, remembering which number row I’m on is not… I have a bit of a magpie mind… It’s easily attracted by shiny things or thoughts, for instance, I’ll start a row and I’ll think to myself firmly… “this is row two”, then I’ll knit a couple of stitches and reach for my coffee, take a sip, and return to my knitting thinking “what row was I on?”
The one advantage I have is that I know my mind flits around to little shiny thoughts so I compensate, as I start a row I write down little marks on a piece of paper in groups of three to remind myself where I am.
It won’t be long before I’m one of “those” little old ladies… One of the three sisters…
The three elderly sisters lived together, the first sister went for a bath but as she dipped her toe in the water she glanced at the soap and then couldn’t remember if she was getting in or getting out, so she called for help. “I’ll go” said the second sister to the third, but as she was going up the stairs she stopped to catch her breath… And couldn’t remember if she had been going up or down so she called to the third sister. The third sister rolled her eyes and thought to herself, “how would they cope without me, thankfully I still have all of my marbles intact”, she tapped the kitchen table, thinking to herself, “touch wood”, then shouted to her two sisters… “I’ll be there in a minute… I think there’s someone at the door. .
After finally finishing the left front, I placed it on my knitted back piece and found it was longer… Of course I knew where to look for my mistake… MORE… Easily corrected ….
The collar… This is something I haven’t tried before so I was interested to see if the pattern directed me in the same way my imagination did. It was pretty similar to how I had imagined, ribbing back and for in the middle of the back to make the collar longer than the buttonhole rib, which incidentally I wasn’t overjoyed with as Ive always knitted the buttonholes from top to bottom, not side to side… And now I remember why. But I was very happy with the roll collar and will be using that again.
Unfortunately, my button supplier is locked down against the virus… “the invisible mugger”… “Stay home… Protect the NHS… Save lives” .
The sleeves came next, increasing every fourth row and keeping the pattern in place of course meant knitting some sections more than once, but that’s OK, that’s how most things in life my work in general. I very seldom have a plan, I just have a general idea of how I want things to work out and I go with the flow, if something isn’t working out right, then I go back to the last time things were right and set off on a slightly different path.
Still no buttons… And at least half of my giant ball of wool left… Back to the pattern. I mentioned there were four choices of jacket to knit, but did I mention the bobble hat?
Knitting the hat was fun, but making the bobble was amazing… I really don’t remember the last time I made a pom-pom.
I finally managed to buy some buttons. My wool lady was visiting her shop to pick up some supplies for herself. She arranged for me to pick up my buttons during the hour she was going to be there, and so, with my shopping list in hand to queue at the supermarket on my way home, I tapped on the glass door of the locked shop to be let in and came away with so many happy thoughts clutching my treasure in a little paper bag… Strange times indeed.
Of course, still having half a ball of wool just sitting on the coffee table next to the knitting needles while I waited for buttons… You can’t seriously thing I would play some more…
More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.