Summer is not the best time for knitting. Autumn is my favourite, when darkness shrinks the days and the fire can be lit. This is the best time for embarking on a new project. For a long time I have been making do with the wool I have had in stock, which is mostly the 4 ply equivalent from the wonderful Jamieson and Smith up in the Shetland Islands. They call it 2 ply jumper weight. I have bought loads of this in all their amazing colours and once bought on impulse, a ton of red, quite out of character for me as I described in The Tyranny of Red Wool.
Well, this autumn I am going to trawl through the patterns again, think very carefully and then splash out on the right wool in the right amount and therefore not mix dye batches. Until then, I am making a strange triangular scarf out of all the remnants – at the moment it reminds me of an Oxfam blanket.
I am aiming for roughly square shapes, but I don’t think it matters if they drift towards rectangles. Each square is 12 stitches wide and probably 16 rows high, worked on size 10 needles in stocking stitch. At the end of each row of squares I add a triangle. It’s not the easiest knitting, there’s a fair bit of guess work and masses of tangles. I am cutting the approximate length for each square first and sewing the ends in on the back as I go along to reduce the muddle. It’s easy to pick up and put down and there isn’t much real thinking involved, only decisions about which colour to use next from a steadily diminishing and knotty range. When it’s finished I will attempt to crochet an edge all around to somehow bind the whole thing together.
Also, by way of a confessional, I thought I would include the final pictures of the red 1940s cardigan. I certainly don’t want to put it on at the moment. I’m not sure I will ever feel that cold or even that bold. But it is finished and I’m not undoing it ever again. I think they call it closure.