Winter woollies

Another week, another hat and there will be more as I have found this pattern to be 'just what the doctor ordered' it's relaxing to knit and has been my companion when knitting dad's sweater became a bit complicated. I have been knitting with two shades of blue. My hat is delft blue and dad's sweater is Fleet , navy blue.

Blog Updated: 15th January to add photo of the swatch after I cut the steek.

Ready to wear

Ready to wear

I know I should have known better than to keep knitting a cabled sweater when I wasn't in the best of health but I also have a determination bug which doesn't like to go away, some days I wish it would and let me rest without constant worry! On the other hand I may not complete projects if the bug left me and that would start a pile of WIPs the pile of ironing is enough to keep me worrying until I can get it done. I made a few silly mistakes although I doubt dad would shout as a twenty five page pattern isn't exactly easy to remember. I finally got there although I still have to seam and pick up the neck before dad can try it on for size. 

I am still not well enough to be out and about but rest assured when I can dress in my winter woollies we will be out on are wanders with our cameras taking photos of nature and a scenery around us. I know the flu has taken a lot out of me but I still need projects to focus on and the question has been discussed over the past days. I have a cable cardigan I would like to knit and this was a big contender to be next on my needles and I had to order specific wool. We both knew I needed a small project too, like a hat or socks for later in the evening when I needed something small yet useful. I am a member of Inspired by Islay club which will have a book published in March by Kate Davies with thirteen patterns to knit and photos of Islay. As club members each week we are privileged to download a new pattern from the book, anyone can join at any time or wait until the book is published. I have a few patterns on my list and decided to swatch (yes, the 'do I need to' bit before you even start to knit the patten) the need for warmth in this weather drew my attention to The Oa hoodie. I still wasn't sure as I have to adjust a few things which will mean this wouldn't be a straightforward knit for me but when I knit the swatch to see how the colours I had chosen would work and felt the warmth of the stranded knitting with the 'oh ahh' halo of Buachaille wool, the first project on my list has changed to the hoodie.

I didn't realise how much my mind was tuned to working with cables as I could feel the need to change gear when I cast in for stranded knitting. I hadn't felt this way before but I had to switch my mind to another level before I felt less clumsy knitting with two colours and knitting in the round again. I can now understand how knitters who excel in colour work sometimes cannot adjust to lace or cable knitting and vice versa. It is difficult to explain but for the first time I wondered how I was going to cope and if I should just keep knitting cables and order them wool for the cardigan after all. My determination bug lifted its head again so I kept on going round and round with the swatch detailed in the pattern notes. I still wasn't sure about the swatch  and thought I wouldn't knit the hoodie. The light of day arrived and soon my mind was changed again. The swatch took shape and the colours were muted which I feel suits me better than too bright and bold especially when I don't like to be the centre of attention. The striped rows are preparation for a steek! I still have to reinforce this and then cut up the knitting, why do I put myself through things like this? I need to learn and the fact I have learned a lot from projects I knit last year has given me a head start with two handed stranded work for the hoodie, remember all my sheep socks? The photo will look odd to anyone who hasn't heard of swatches but they are vital to check the gauge of needle to use and Kate is making sure with this new book that we will learn to do this without avoiding the steps. I didn't mind this one as I wanted something small to knit and I wanted to make sure I liked the colours. I have chosen Haar as my main colour with the beautiful new shade of....blue (I like blue) Moonlicht Nicht, and my accent is Furze which as you will see is gold. As you can see there is work when knitting a swatch which is left aside and isn't part of the garment but the swatch tells a story and should help with determining the finished size of the hoodie. This year I am going to try and learn so much more even if knitting a swatch takes time before I can cast on. I have to count the rows and stitches in a 10cm square to see what my gauge will be although this is the bit I sometimes fail at when it comes to sizing. I wasn't a star pupil in maths.

 

 

Top swatch shows the steek lines. I knit a few corrugated rib rows to see how the gold would look. I know it isn't neat and I still have to steek

Top swatch shows the steek lines.

I knit a few corrugated rib rows to see how the gold would look. I know it isn't neat and I still have to steek

Updated to show what happened after I reinforced the steek stitches and cut through the striped rows of my knitting. I will have to do this on the neck of The Oa to open it up. I survived cutting my knitting!

Updated to show what happened after I reinforced the steek stitches and cut through the striped rows of my knitting. I will have to do this on the neck of The Oa to open it up. I survived cutting my knitting!

This will be a project that will take me a long time but I hope when I find the correct size of needle and can work out a smaller size, I will enjoy the rhythm of the pattern. I know I will eek when I have to steek the neck,  a learning curve for me. I need to adjust the width of the sleeves, oh why do I do this when I feel like curling up and sleeping? I know for sure if this works out I will have a very warm hoodie, possibly mid summer but I don't really care as I think I am cold right through the year.

ps: I have ordered more wool for hats to keep me relaxed when things don't go right with the hoodie!

I still have the pattern for a cable cardigan and more wool for another Fair Isle if everything fails and I feel like crumbling as I had more than a few tears this week but I blame them on the flu or that pile of ironing!