Fractious Fair Isle Friday #3


The back is on the home stretch! Hooray! Although I’ve been distracted by heaps of new possible projects (*cough* POP Blanket *cough*), I’ve made a fair bit of progress.

The suitcase has had a little bit of a battering at the corners, but it’s still holding up under the pressure of being protector and guardian of my most prized project.

I’ve finally reached the white snowflakes and the armhole shaping. Annoyingly, they both coincide. Casting off the right number of stitches at the beginning of each row and keeping track of when to do it I find fiddly enough. Throw in some stranded colour work and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen.
Well, at least, that’s what I anticipated it would be like.

It was actually not too bad. I got heaps done, and surprisingly so, most of it was on the train. Normally, I’ll get knocked around, lose focus, and sit there quietly fuming as the perpetrator shrugs at the several dropped stitches. (This is why I’m a staunch advocate of “magic loop” and knitting straight using circulars.)
How I didn’t get bumped or riled by fellow passengers this week I will never truly know.
But people seem to be more considerate to their fellow knitting commuter when the other has a colour in each hand and a complicated, seemingly undecipherable chart on their lap. I’ve even received smiles from several businessmen. BUSINESSMEN ON THE PEAK HOUR CITY TRAINS DO NOT OFTEN SMILE.

Moral: Fair Isle is the path to peace, patience and good manners.

Are any of you public transport knitters? Or have bad experiences warded you away from taking your knitting on the bus or train?

Unlike Debbie Bliss, I decide to do the snowflakes a different colour to the rest of the Fair Isle in order to break it up a bit. I chose a cream colour, which at the time of choosing I was a little uncertain about, but I’m glad I persevered. I think it actually looks pretty great next to the grey. There’s several more rows of Fair Isle to be done (think hearts and tiny dots) before I can shape the shoulders and start on the front piece.
Slowly but surely, it’s getting there!


Subjectively Necessary Yarn-Accumulation Procedure


There’s a segment on Andrew Denton’s new show ‘Randling’ called ‘Double Speak’. Contestants have to come up with euphemisms for unfortunate occurrences. For example, a more innocuous term for bombing would be ‘high-altitude aerial persuasion’ or ‘gravity-assisted terrain reshaping device’.

Inspired by this display of witty wordplay, I’ve begun referring to my stash as my subjectively necessary yarn-accumulation procedure. And by those means of justification, here is my haul from my work’s winter sale.

These balls of Country 8ply will probably go towards making a seamless top-down jumper. I’ve been wanting to try that out for a while now. Something like this, but maybe with a bit more shaping.

I also bought some Totem DK to make crochet blankets for 107.

The blankets will just be a single colour. I’ve decided that for the green blanket I will make one square per ball, in total 20 squares to make a 4X5 square blanket. Obviously with all of the projects I already have going, and then the ones in my queue, I won’t get around to making those for a while. I did let myself do some experimenting though.
This is the kind of square I’m thinking of using. Its dimensions are roughly 25X25cm.

I got the pattern for this lovely square from the Japanese crochet book I bought from Kinokuniya a few weeks ago. I absolutely love this pattern.

I decided to work on it while catching the train home from work last week. The train was packed and everyone was off in their own little world. But as soon as I put hook to yarn, the woman next to me started asking me all these great questions about crochet and knitting. Once we started talking, all the other people around us joined in. It really made my day. They were all such nice people. None of them were crafters, but it was really awesome that they were interested in what I was doing.
This sort of thing keeps happening to me actually. For example, a woman on the train yesterday was watching me knit using the magic loop method and wanted to know how it worked. She was sick of not being able to knit socks on public transport for fear of someone bumping her and dislodging a DPN from her work. The conversation was cut short because I was only on for one more stop, but she was a genuinely lovely person and I only wish we could have chatted for longer…

I mentioned last time that I bought some cashmere-merino blend to dye naturally. Here it is in all its undyed, soft and abundant glory! Isn’t it grand?

Oh, the effort exerted by carrying all of these on the peak-hour bus home! Mind you, for every sale pack of wool, I received a free pattern book. Eight free pattern books! I felt like one of those insane Boxing Day Sale shoppers who carries home their own weight in post-Christmas bargains. And in my own very special way, I suppose I was.

In other news, I finished the contrast socks! Woo hoo! They were so much fun to make. I’m decidedly a toe-up convert. I’ll definitely be stocking up on Greystone before the sale is over so I can keep making these little beauties.

Today, I’ll leave you with this: While I was snapping away with my camera, Timmy became entranced by the carry bags I’d used to get the wool home. I managed to quickly catch a couple of blurry, but still adorable, photos of him investigating before he decided they weren’t as entertaining as first anticipated.

Until next time.