Sunday, January 19, 2014

Knitting on the hoof

I find long car journeys very trying, but since we travel regularly to Cumbria, and my step-mother-in -law lives over three hours away, I am often looking for anything to take the edge off. 

Recently I've shared some of my knitting with groups and have commented on how knitting fits this bill for me almost every time - unexpected traffic jam, slow moving because of congestion... of course while the light lasts and I am the passenger.

This, for example, would be ideal.  I began this in a meeting which had its longueurs.  The pattern is from the Barbara Walker Treasury, but is so straightforward that one would not need a copy to hand.  I inserted the Jacob's Ladder in the centre and reversed the cable for symmetry.  All I have to do now is knit for forty three inches - ideal car knitting.  The cable moves four stitches, so a cable needle is more or less essential here - over two or three I just drop off the stitches and pinch them in my left hand.  However, I've discovered that the wooden pin from my shawl pin makes a good substitute cable needle, so that need not be a problem.

Here, now, is something I probably wouldn't knit on the hoof - or at least, that small part which is done in intarsia.  Multiple small bobbins of wool - or, if you are like me, an unholy tangle - and a picture to follow reasonably accurately - no.   But the back, the sleeves, the rib, the rest of the front are all plain sailing and so ideal for car knitting.

So what about lace knitting?  Obviously when setting up the pattern it might be a problem, or if the yarn was very light or fragile.  However, most lace patterns - like this one - have plain purl alternate rows, and these are ideal.  Those long chevron rows are really very mechanical once established, and do take about half an hour per row.  This, the Aeolian shawl by Elizabeth Freeman, does have nupps  - small bobbles made by a two row manoeuvre - and I would find those a bit challenging on the move, but that's about all.  Most knitting is a short sequence of stitches repeated many times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this shawl, I have knitted that one too, I wear it all the time as soon as there is a bit of nip in the air.