Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Monday 25th January - Knitting with Porcupine Quills

 Today I completed my hat and I am extremely pleased with myself for many reasons.

My main happiness has been using up all the leftovers from the crochet blanket I started in Spring 2019. I discovered this yarn called Knitcol in a a dozen or more wild colourways. Unable to choose which one I liked best, I bought one of each. I made crochet granny squares using a complete ball for each square, working away while we made the hour-long journey every week to visit my godmother. She had always been a keen knitter and crocheter (is that a word?), and had even knitted professionally for designers. Her work used to be sold all over the world. So the blanket, and the technicoloured yarn made a good talking point when we visited. You can see the blanket in the background. My godmother died in December 2019, and I joined the squares (fifteen of them, in the end) together over the course of last year.

However that left me with all the remnants; 50 grams, enough for... A Hat!

I started casting on, using a pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman's book 'A Knitting Workshop'. Then I discovered the instructions were for a child's hat. I pulled out an inch of ribbing - I hate ribbing - read on a bit further and worked out how many stitches I might want for my size. After another inch of ribbing - I hate ribbing, oh, I've already said that - I discovered another unrecoverable error and pulled it out again; I think I had gone halfway round the circle and then gone back instead of continuing.
Third time lucky? Yes, because I had given up on trying to achieve the hat using double pointed needles and found a circular needle of approximately the right size.
Elizabeth Zimmerman's instructions career wildly from precise to informal, so I chose 'informal' regarding needle size... it worked, anyway.
Of course, there comes the dreadful moment when double pointed needles have to happen. After rounds and rounds of decreasing the number of stitches you suddenly find they won't fit round the circular needle any more.

This is a bit of a hairy moment, transferring the stitches onto four separate, no, not exactly separate, but intimately connected needles, and trying to knit round them all. It feels very like wrestling with a small, wriggly, wilful porcupine. For the next hour I was continually being stabbed by the needles; in my hands, wrists, stomach, even, but in the end I won, and I have a hat of many colours. Even better, I used up all the scraps of yarn apart from about a foot or so.

There is one slight miscalculation; if you have used the remnants of fifteen balls of yarn, that means you will have thirty dangling tails to darn in...

1 comment:

  1. Love the colours in the hat - that is a lot of ends. I actually get on well with DPNs but it took a while.