Monday, 9 April 2007

Spoiling a stocking

When I'm not knitting, or chasing down children, my "proper job" is writing a thesis on George Eliot. From this information, you could reasonably assume that I really, really like George Eliot; I do, and one of the things I enjoy most of all are the minor characters and their distinguishing foibles. Here is Mrs Hackitt, introduced at the beginning of Scenes of Clerical Life:
She has brought her knitting - no frivolous fancy knitting, but a substantial woollen stocking; the click-click of her knitting needles is the running accompaniment to all her conversation, and in her utmost enjoyment of spoiling a friend's self-satisfaction, she was never known to spoil a stocking.
Well right now I seem to be letting a stocking spoil my thesis. I just can't seem to get my ideas in order (even though Mr. Nath has taken the Bear and the Moomin away to help me work) and whenever I begin to struggle, I revert to the nice orderly business of making this child-size sock:

I had a bit of a disagreement with the 1/1 ribbing and ripped back my first attempt to replace it with what VK calls "half-twist" 1/1 ribbing: that is, I knit through the back loop on every other row, and the result is much tidier than the untwisted version (and thanks to the Sheffield Knitters who helped to solve this problem). The rest of the sock is rather imperfect anyway. My tension has wandered in a few places and there are a few obvious pulls in the fabric. Still, I'm happy with it for a first try (with 4-ply and with dpns) - and I know the boy it is intended for will be oblivious to the flaws and just happy to see his sock materializing when he gets home.

In other distractions, I've become quite obsessed with Ysolda's patterns. Arisaig from Knitty was my "aspirational knit" when I first began following the trail of yarn, and I have just acquired a lovely-looking vintage 4-ply to make this beautiful cardigan. But that's not all! I've also bought some chunky yarn to make the Cloud Bolero. And that's still not all, because I also bought the Matilda Jane pattern and I'm considering stash options to make the Opera Gloves. There's something so appealing about these patterns, which have a just-right balance of winsome style and quirky details (I love the deep ribbing on Arisaig, and the little picot trimmed cap sleeves on the Bolero, and most of all the Liberty-print bow on Matilda Jane). Also, I think I may just have the teeniest tiniest desire to be Ysolda so that I too can knit and study at the same time.


Caroline M said...

Enchanting Juno has just finished Matilda Jane in red with a black ribbon. It looks stunning.

My avoidance always showed itself in having to clean out under the kitchen sink before I could settle to anything. I swore that after I'd written 8000 words on school finances I was never studying again so under my sink is now a total pit.

donnac1968 said...

Hooray, another Boosh fan.

You have made great progress on the knitting since you only started a year ago. I love the colour of the socks you are making.

Yes Ysolda's patterns are lovely, I have Ariel on my to do list (the top, not the scarf).