Don’t Panic! (yet)

OK, there’s something else on the needles. Another set of needles. A conversation with a friend who has an elegantly semi-naked head revealed that yes, it does get cold (it was one of those conversations…). I measured it and said I’d knit him a hat one of these days. I like the look of the Seaman’s Cap. Saturday I was in what passes for a LYS around here, about 3m of wall space in a department store, and thought I’d look for some appropriate yarn. Ha. About a third of the display is Paton’s-style plain pastel superwash wools or synthetics for people much, much younger than my friend. The remaining space is Debbie Bliss, Jaeger and Rowan summer-weight yarns. I found a pigeon hole of Rowan Felted Tweed including some pretty heathered green/blue/white and stared at the label while I tried to work out whether I could use it. This was/is my first attempt at yarn substitution. The pattern calls for worsted at 20st/26 rows per 10cm. Felted Tweed does 22-24st/30-32 rows per 10 cm. After about 3 minutes my reasoning was spinning its wheels in the mud. Try looking at the weight: FT is 175m/50g; the cap calls for 200m/100gm. Near as dammit double. Right, I’ll knit it doubled — it’ll be on circulars, I knit tightly, and he’s got a big head (he said so himself) so I’ll use a larger needle size and hope. I bought two balls, started off and it’s looking very nice if a trifle thick (I’m telling myself it will wear well :-) Now, just past the halfway point I’m starting to worry that two balls won’t be enough. The shop is extremely unlikely to have any left if I go back — last time I tried that a full cubbyhole of alpaca/silk had disappeared in three days. The staff told me they can’t understand why all the yarn just flies out of the shop; I told them that knitting and crochet was back in style and they were the only yarn in town. They still looked puzzled.

Anyway, how to allay my concerns? Buy more yarn online? Nice idea, I like that, especially as ordering just one ball seems so sad. I’d have to get something else too. No, Get Thee Behind Me, Satan. I’ve gone from no stash (other than a bag of nice tabletweaving yarn) to three bags of very expensive stuff behind the chair. I feel secure but poor. It occurred to me that I could weigh the remaining yarn. I began with 100gm; if I’ve got 50gm left, I’m in the clear! 46gm is probably enough, especially as I’ve got quite a lot of my first long-tail (thumb) cast-on as well. I love that cast-on. Such a tidy edge. Oh, and I love my Denise needles, too. Even though I have a nasty habit (three times makes it a habit) of holding a needle with one hand while holding the knitted stuff and cable with the other, then pulling to shift the knitting on the needle. With sufficient twist in the pull to undo the connection. I WILL learn from experience.

Next time I hope to show the next FO. It’s a race: it might be the cap, or it might, it just might be my loom, fully warped and ready to go. I hadn’t realised what a pain it would be to warp and thread with such a wide castle. A pain in the back, literally. Three cheers for Pilates!


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