Dark and Stormy

Last summer I bought four skeins of Manos del Uruguay variegated silk blend as a treat for my holiday knitting. An odd choice possibly as we were going to Canada where it was over 30 degrees, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that it didn’t arrive in time. As it turned out there’s a huge yarn store in Toronto so it was a good excuse to get a whole heap of yarn, and when I got back the yarn I had ordered was ready and waiting for me. All good. So 9 months later I’m just getting round to knitting with it. And it’s a different pattern from the one I had bought it for, but sometimes it’s good for things to sit, right?

So here’s what I’m doing with it:

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The pattern is Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman, a top down cardigan with quite a bit of cabling. Last year I discovered cabling without a cable needle which has been pretty revolutionary. YouTube is the place to go to find out how. I get the feeling that some people love it, others hate it. I am a loving it kind. Maybe that’s to do with my tendency to lose things anywhere they can be lost. I’ve lost cable needles up the sleeve of my jumper before, and only found it again when I got ready for bed at the end of the day. That kind of thing happens a lot to me. Also, I’m the kind of knitter who just kind of does things. In the, I don’t read the pattern through before I start knitting, don’t really swatch apart from measuring my knitting as I go, try new techniques half way through a project kind of just doing things. It usually means a couple of false starts (two before I got the hang of Dark and Stormy) but it’s all an opportunity to learn, right. So when the instructions for cabling without a needle said to do a little pinch and leave the stitches hanging, I had no problem with that. They won’t go anywhere, and they didn’t. I love it. Which is good, because Dark and Stormy grows until you have four cables on every row, and an extra four on three of fourteen rows. For someone like me, who loves making cables and loves how they look it is totally excellent.

Also handy for demonstrating how to cable without a needle. I went to my first Knit and Knatter group this week which was pretty exciting. A yarn shop has just opened about ten minutes from my house which I am very excited by and they have three Knit and Knatter groups a week. Turns out that’s a bit ambitious. I was the only one there this week! I wasn’t that bothered actually. The girl who runs the shop is friendly and chatty and there were lots of customers popping in and out. And I can talk about knitting for several years without taking a breath.
What did surprise me though, was that my fellow knitter had understood that to cable without a needle you would have to knit the floating stitches as they float. I can see why people wouldn’t get on with that. Just rearranging your stitches on the needle before you knit them seems kind of tame in comparison. Maybe it’s time to develop a technique where you do knit floating stitches. Maybe the whole of a wrong side could be floating. Or if you have to rip some back instead of picking up the stitches again you just knit them as they float there. I have a suspicion this might end up in a similar tangle to the one I got into when I wanted to see whether you can knit straight from a skein without winding it into a ball. Turns out you can’t…

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