Knitting and knattering ….

Knitting group at Cherryhills again today. It may just have been me, but we didn’t seem to have the usual “buzz”. BUT, I did arrive late and had to sit in the camp chair – it’s lower than the others, and well below table level – and I always feel as though I’m not part of the group when I’m near the floor! However despite feeling a bit “blah” I was determined that I wasn’t going home until I had recast on the 421 stitches for Lilith – my current knitting torture project.

I am not a good knitter – no natural talent for it – and I’m always making silly mistakes. This pattern, from The Knitter Issue 9 looked so like something that my soon-to-be 14 year old grandflea would love, that I just knew I had to knit it as a surprise for her birthday in April.

So …. Attempt 1: , the yoke (size 32″ – showing my age) looked rather small, so under pain of death not to open her eyes, I held it up to her for size. The back of the yoke only just fitted when stretched, and the front was only half the size it needed to be. (She seems to grow and expand very quickly these days!) The pattern says that the Swiss darning will take up some of the leeway in the yoke, AND I was using 4mm needles to get gauge, not the 3.75 recommended, so clearly that wasn’t going to work.

So … Attempt 2: – this time doing the 34″ again on 4mm – it came out the same size as the smaller version – clearly my tension is troublesome.

So … Attempt 3: – tried it again, doing the 36″ size – it was ENORMOUS! Then I realised that the bamboo straight needles I was using (instead of the 4mm knitpicks circular I’d used for the other attempts) were actually 4.5mm! Clearly I’m stupid.

Any sane person would give up at this point, but hey! when did I ever say I was sane?

SO … Attempt No. 4: – using knitpicks 4mm needles I did the yoke again – it looks rather large-ish, but I’m allowing for growing room, OKAY?

Then …. I started the white frill for the bottom of the body – 421 stitches by 3 attempts later (okay, the circular was not long enough, I can’t count, using stitch markers did funny things to the cast on, frogging back invariably means you end up with a straight piece of wool in the middle of the 421 stitch cast on – DOESN’T IT!) , clearly this #@%* thing didn’t want to be knitted! When I pulled all the stitches off the needle (need I say again), the frill was ENORMOUS! Probably quite appropriate for the size I was knitting, but NOT for a child who is like a well endowed stick!

What to do! What to do! – then the knitterhood came to the rescue – lovely Helen, a superb knitter, of the Cherryhills group, suggested that as there are only 20 stitches difference between the 36″ and the 34″ sizes, I should make the skirt in the smaller size and block it to death to fit the bodice – seemed like a good idea at the time, so that’s what I’m doing (but it’s a bit hard to knit with my fingers crossed).

If you can bear to watch a grown woman cry, check back for updates!

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