I've been quietly knitting away here, and it is time to show progress. First, the black jumper. See how nicely the pug fur displays? I tried a few different things with this jumper. This is the back, and the ribbing is done with a slip stitch (technique on a piece of yellowing newsprint ripped from a Daily Telegraph circa 1965) which results in a kind of casing through which you can slip elastic, should you desire. Quite easy, quite successful. What was not successful was my practicing of continental knitting. The knit side is easy, I can do that. But the purl side resulted in a very visible line of stitching. I must have been somehow reversing the stitch so it looked like knit, not purl. This I did not discover until well beyond the armhole decrease, so there was some frogging and re-knitting. I will practice on something smaller next time - even a SWATCH! This jumper was going to have a cowl neck but I have changed my mind and it will be a Vee neck. It may still have a lace border on the sleeves, and may even include a frosting of beads. Fun to imagine.
Naturally, you cannot knit a jumper all the time. You have to have mini-projects going. I've blogged before about the Arrow pattern I found in Charlene Schurch's book, so here they are. Yes, I have finished them both, and adore them, wear them all the time. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, which Julie gave me. See how nicely the pug fur goes with them?
Moving right along, a friend lent me her book on Knitted Tams, by Mary Rowe. Looks like just the thing, I thought. I had a ball of black Patonyle which was going to be socks for Michael. I had some leftover Lorna's laces. I now have a tam which matches the Arrow Socks! (Although the colour in the photos makes them look different - the tam shows the closest match to the real colour). Highly successful, and I am now working on my next tam. My mother liked it so much she wants one. My cleaning lady liked it so much she has commissioned one for her daughter - the wool has been purchased. Stay tuned for those two.
The same friend who lent me the tam book also gave me a ball of Jigsaw self-patterning wool. She also gave me a pattern which called for casting on 60 stitches. I thought 72 was more my size, so that's what I did. Just a basic sock, in plain knitting, but it was fascinating to see the pattern develop. Should I try really really hard to ensure that they are a real pair, and try to start knitting at the same colour change in the wool? Nah, let's just go for it. To my enormous surprise, they turned out pretty much EXACTLY the same! Here they are:
Now I have three pairs of hand knitted socks for me, only four more to go before I have a week's worth.
On the rhythm side of things, Julie and I went to the first lesson of our singing course last night. What fun! Some could read music, others had no idea, but at the end of it the class sang four-part harmony. We enjoyed it tremendously. At the tea break I spoke to one of the participants. "You look very much like ...." I said. "I am", she said. She was someone who worked at Fisher Library, University of Sydney, with me in 1971. I haven't seen her since. Yikes! Fancy recognising her!