Code Breaking

orchid-21Have you ever read ‘The Secret Life of a Knitter’ by the Yarn Harlot? Do you remember the part about Danish knitting patterns? Now try to imagine knitting from such a pattern, only it’s full of mistakes. And not little mistakes, either. Like telling you on one page to start the pattern on the sleeves by decreasing one stitch and on the next to begin the raglan shaping by omitting the increase at the beginning of the pattern. I hope this makes sense because the pattern sure doesn’t. It’s enough to make even the most level-headed person run around in circles, pulling their hair out and making strange noises. Not that anyone around here has been known to throw major tantrums when the knitting is behaving badly but it does take unusually strong nerves to begin this particular knit and knitting-novices will do better to keep away from it. There’s fearless knitting and then there’s you-must-be-out-of-your-freaking-mind knitting. You know what I mean…

It’s a shame, really, because the design is beautiful and clever once you’ve deciphered the instructions. It would actually be a good project for beginners who are getting tired of plain stockinette and want to make something that’s a little more challenging. The pattern looks spectacular and very complicated but is obtained just by decreasing and increasing in the right places. Only the pattern doesn’t do much of a job of telling you what these places are.

orchid-1Now, I’m not the one to back down in front of a challenge (even though there have been occasions where I would have been better off if I had) and I’m well on my way with the front piece. Yes, you read this correctly, this is really the front. It’s a bit on the small side but it’s also stretchy as a certain warm place and I think it’ll be just fine. It’s always difficult to measure gauge in ribbing and even more so when the pattern isn’t very clear about gauge measurements but using a wool/silk/alpaca blend I prefer to knit it a little tightly and avoid unpleasant surprises later. And if I can avoid it, I’m not going to wash it. I’ve done this once with another project knit from a wool/silk blend and do you know what happens to ribbing knit in a non-elastic material when it’s washed? It becomes w    i    d    e! You know, I’m not bitter, not at all.

Update 01-07-2008

Until reading the comment by Jeanette I had been too engrossed by my own dazzling wit to even notice that I’ve completely forgotten to mention the name of the pattern. It’s of course Orchid by Helga Isager.

Still Here

It’s been a while since I posted the last time and I still don’t have anything to show but it won’t be long now. The blue cardigan is finished, it has actually been finished for a month now, but I still need to wash and block it. As soon as I’ve finished writing this I’m going to do it and get it over with. Hopefully the weather will behave so I can get some nice pictures for you.

Next in line is Orchid designed by Helga Isager who unfortunately doesn’t have a picture of it on her website. Those of you who’re on Ravelry can find a picture there. Just search for it under patterns. I promise to show pictures of the yarn and my progress as soon as possible. Cross your fingers that I’ll get gauge right away!