Tuesday, 3 February 2009

February Fair Isle

In case you haven't noticed, it has snowed a lot recently. This snow has meant two days off work for me and I have used the time wisely to do some knitting. I still want to knit a different sock a month so decided yesterday would be a great day to begin my first ever Fair Isle.

One of the most frustrating things I have to deal with as a teacher is explaining the same things over and over again, only for my students to repeat the same mistakes. Whenever I'm teaching a grammar point we work on it in class, students seem to get it, they get homework and without fail a significant group will forget what they learned and the success they were having and revert to making the same old mistakes. I often wonder, why is that?

I really should remember that this same thing happens to me with knitting. I have spoken to a lot of people about Fair Isle socks and each and every time I have been warned that it isn't stretchy, you need a lot more stitches than usual and that it isn't always suitable for socks. Armed with this information and advice I still spent a lot of yesterday getting frustrated with tension, ripping things out, increasing the number of stitches and changing needle size. By the afternoon I had had enough and decided to phone the knitting equivalent of A & E, Caroline. Caroline advised me to turn the sock into a mitten. The sock isn't quite a mitten, it's going to be a glove and I'm happy with its metamorphosis. I think it was good advice.

The yarns are: Regia Nation in colourway 5399. The black is Regia 4 ply in colourway 2066. I think the hounddog tooth check looks great and it has been fun to do something different. (I do know it's not officially hounddog tooth, but that's what I've always called it; I think it's a homage to Elivs.)

There are some finished items to show today as well. Ezzie's pixie socks are finished. They are not quite identical as I ran out of the green. I think this is the first time I have ever used up a whole ball of yarn and it feels very satisfying. The second sock isn't as neat as the first as a lot of it was knit at the Arena whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing. (Incidentally, Strictly was fantastic but I did miss shouting at Darren Gough!)

I have also completed the blue socks for my friend Carlos. They will be sent to Switzerland at the weekend and will come in very useful in the Alps.

I was given a lovely present recently from Knitbird, which will come in really handy for my future self-designed socks. The stitches are really easy to use as they have big photos and have one stitch pattern per card. Very transportable. Thank you Knitbird.

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