Monday, October 03, 2016


It's some time since knitting featured here - but that does not mean that no knitting has been happening. 

While on holiday, we had the sort of train journeys which lend themselves to long stints of knitting.  I took the sleeves of the cardigan I am knitting from the Rowan yarn I found in that charity shop in Cockermouth earlier in the summer.  I've now decided that the colourway is Oatmeal, rather than Porridge which is a creamier, lighter colour.  And it feels a bit like oatmeal to knit - bumpy and slow.  It certainly reminds me how much toil is involved in knitting a full-size adult garment.  I like to knit both sleeves together, so that the rate of increase matches, and both will be ready at the same time.  But it is the kind of project likely to be put down and not picked up again for some time.

We did see quite a number of yarn stores while away, and several other people knitting on trains.  I bought one ball of a Regia sock yarn, in a colourway I have not seen in the UK.

Before we went away, I put in an order for Kate Davies' book of Haps, and the yarn for the one design out of it that I could imagine actually knitting: Uncia. I thought it was time to take on a challenge in my knitting again.

For a while - almost two years in fact, I have been knitting for charity, using long-stored yarn and balls of acrylic bought in specially.  Most recently I've been on mittens for the elementary school in Rapid City.  It's easy and mindless to turn out pairs of these.  The idea that they might actually be worn by someone who would be cold otherwise is a strong incentive.

Likewise all those iterations of the Gidday Baby pattern for the Pine Ridge reservation.  I never seemed to tire of variations of that, but recently the birth-rate seems to have slowed, so there was a natural break there.

So then, Uncia.  This pattern, by Lucy Hague, is about as far from mindless and repetitive as it is possible to get.  I can usually knit while watching tv, travelling, talking, even reading on a Kindle.  But not this one.  This one requires really good eyesight, strong lighting and total concentration. 

Apparently it was designed after visiting a series of Gothic cathedrals, including Cologne and Mont St Michel.  Now, we were outside Cologne cathedral for several hours recently.  The façade is extraordinarily beautiful, in shades of grey and black.

  As the evening sun lights it up, the stone shows all its honeyed tones.  Imagine translating those arches into cable and lace: this is what the designer did.

I am now almost through chart C - there are five more to go.  The Gothic arches are already clearly visible, and the knitting has taken on a certain rhythm.  There are four hundred rows in all, as it fans out into more traditional lace; I'm about to do row 238.

I seem to have gained a Follower - is it you, Outlaws, or have you been there for some time?


LizM said...

Good luck with Uncia - I'd love to knit it one day, but it will need to wait until I have time for knitting that requires concentration, or at least active consideration.

knitski said...

I love dropping by to see your photos, your travels and knits . . . just nice to see another part of the world.

Mary Lou said...

Watching you and Jean with Uncia reminds me that I am truly a lazy knitter!