Saturday, 16 June 2007

The birth of Brioche

As ever, it's Saturday, and I've not got as much knitting done as I intended. I felt sure that I would have knitted the heel flap and shaped the heel for my latest pair of socks, but I'm still on the cuff. I had every intention of starting my first Jaywalkers, and was about to cast on the 72 stitches when I last blogged on Thursday, but I soon became distracted and cast on 60 stitches for the usual Opal sock pattern with some yarn I bought a few months ago. I saw this yarn and remembered it was bequeathed to Rachael, who is a volunteer at school, and I felt guilty that I had promised her socks and not even cast on. The Jaywalkers and posh sock yarn no longer felt like a pressing project because it was more important to make a present for someone else. I love this sock yarn. I love all things pink, so pink sock yarn feels extra special. I'm going to knit 100 rounds on the cuff because Rachael needs the socks for camping and I know from experience camping, that the more wool on your legs, the better!

Speaking of camping, that's what I was supposed to be doing this weekend with the Duke of Edinburgh kids from school. However, that was sensibly cancelled due to Thursday and Friday's horrendous weather. I had real difficulties yesterday getting to school because of the deluge on the roads, and some members of staff didn't manage to get in because their areas were so flooded. Instead, we're going next week, which is better all round because I have my Spanish exam on Friday and I really must do some revision tomorrow. Also, I need to write reports and have some to do this weekend.

I made my way merrily to the Wool Baa again today to pick up my Colinette yarn for my Brioche throw. Here are the skeins:

From top left and going clockwise, they are:

I love five of the yarns unconditionally and feel very smug about the choices. However, I have real issues with Autumn Leaves. I didn't expect it to have so much blue in it. I don't remember noticing the blue on the website photograph and I feel it jars with the other colours. Have you ever seen a blue leaf, let alone a blue autumn leaf? I just hope that it works and that the whole throw is not spoilt by the conspicuous blue. Lucy's and Esther's yarns were also there for me to look at, and I think they both made superb choices. I fear my throw will be the poor relation in comparison.

This evening I have managed to put the skeins into balls. I sought advice from Jill at the Wool Baa and I didn't get a single tangle. No four day untangling job for me this week! Don't they look cute and bursting with potential?

I haven't managed to start it, but surely one day soon I will be casting on with those circular needles. A lot of precious throw knitting time was lost this evening looking for the pattern book. In his determination to tidy the house, Ezzie had put the book in the paper recycling bag only minutes after it had entered the flat. He thought it was an advertisement of some sort, and didn't realise that it had not been forced upon us surreptitiously in a magazine, but was instead desired, coveted and necessary for the my well being. Sometimes I feel I have got really far with him because he hardly complains about the flat groaning under the weight of all my yarn, yarn books and paraphenalia. And then other times, like today, I realise there is still a long way to go.

In the midst of all this, I have been to John Lewis and sought the help of Bev with Tulip. I have gone wrong with the pattern and need to rip a few rows. How demoralising. I am starting to realise which projects I should undertake, and which I shouldn't. I need large sections of repetition, which is why socks, throws, hats, scarves, gloves and cushions are ideal for me. I also need to avoid lots of shaping, which is why most other items are unsuitable for me. Everyone assumes knitting is about jumpers and cardigans, but maybe you can be just as successful a knitter without having these in your repertoire. I will finish Tulip because it is lovely and I cannot justify another failed project, but it is going to take time. My plan was to wear it in June, but I'm sure it will still be fashionable in June 2008.

I think I would be far better off sticking to what I enjoy. I don't enjoy knitting large items of clothing. My fantasy at the moment is a house full of knitted objects, not a wardrobe full of knitted clothes. Knitted accessories are much more appealing and I'm less likely to go off them. Plenty of people knit beautiful clothes, but don't get the wear from them that should really be justified. I know I will enjoy knitting the throw not only because it is just so beautiful and well within my capabilities, but also because I know I will be knitting something with longevity and I love the idea of creating an heirloom. Today may be the birth of Brioche, but it is also the birth of a new way of thinking.

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