I do not seem to be able to get my mind to stay in one place at the moment…I had great plans for the summer. Catching up on set aside designs, getting up to date with my work load while the workshop season is quiet, sorting out the house, etc, etc….alas I have achieved very little…apart from making bucket loads of jam!
As most of you will know Aurelie is rather busy right now, not only with her new ‘rainbow’ but with a lively toddler too! And so, it is my role to keep everything ticking over. We both have many ideas filed away so that we have something ready to ‘pull out of the bag’ when required. However, on this occasion my head would not co-operate with the task on hand.
It has been a funny week, so perhaps the easiest thing to do is to share it with you.
For once I had a plan, my week would start with the simple updating of a Christmas Toe- Up Stocking workshop in preparation for forth coming bookings. ‘It won’t take long’, I said to Aurelie while visiting last week. The fact that she burst out laughing somewhat hysterically should have been a clue! If we have learned anything from our mistakes over the last few years it should be that the overuse of this statement can tempt fate. I firmly believe that those four little words should not be uttered unless you are literally wearing your project!
Let me explain…..All that was required was to re-knit a sample in a different yarn from the one originally used. One that the workshop venue had in stock…..easy, peasey, lemon squeezy!
I had been sent some lovely red and white merino wool to knit a Christmas Stocking. Beautifully soft and the colours were gorgeous. However, once I had cast on and started knitting I realised the yarn just did not work with the original slip stitch pattern. Not to worry I thought, I will make a few alterations to suit the yarn……….click, click, click….there….much better!
Then came the heel. The original was a simple short row heel……hmmm….it did not look too good in this soft and smooth yarn, too untidy, gapping holes from the wrapping. Not to worry I thought, I will use a differnt wrapping technique, it will be something new to teach……..click, click, click, there….much better!
The leg was a whizz, I finished off the stocking with a Vikkel Braid (thank you for the inspiration Kate Davies), i-cord bind off and hanging loop. I was quite chuffed, simple for beginners, a few new techniques, Christmas colours, perfect!
Now for the blocking………..
The ball band said to machine wash at 30 degrees, however, I did not feel one stocking could justify a full load so I opted for the trusty Eucalan and warm water in a wash basin. I knew something was wrong as soon as the wool hit the water……and then…..it looked like there had been a murder.…eek!….…The colours were bleeding….I whipped it out pronto, but it was too late……….My candy cane stripes were PINK and my stocking had gained several inches in length. I panicked! Maybe it was because I had washed it by hand. I quickly threw it in the machine and paced the floor anxiously waiting for the end of the cycle. In happy anticipation a pulled the stocking from the drum only to find I still had PINK stripes and more inches. Quick….the tumble dryer (not recommended on the ball band)…….20 mins later…..I had a tantrum!
I will not bore you with the aftermath of my tale, except to say that this week I learned 3 very important knitting tips:
- Check the water temperature before launching your knitting into the water. It may be too hot. Higher than recommended temperature can cause colour bleeding and growth issues in Christmas Stockings made up of red and white superwash merino stripes.
- Soaking in cold water with added salt or vinegar before washing in Eucalan prevents colour bleeding in Christmas Stockings made up of red and white superwash merino stripes.
- If you do not heed the advice of tips 1 and 2 it is not advisable to PANIC or to have a TANTRUM. This only confirms the suspicions each family member already has about your sanity. If something goes wrong with your Christmas Stockings made up of red and white superwash merino stripes…….stay calm….call a friend (preferably Aurelie if you are lucky enough to know her number), post cries for help on Ravelry groups and wait patiently for advice.
With Christmas Toe-Up Stocking made up of red and white super wash merino stripes mark 2, I guarantee I will listen to knitting tips 1, 2 and 3 and will post the results to prove it. Be patient with me while I build up the strength to cast on!
P.S. As my post seems very wordy on this occaision I have broken it up with images of other summertime adventures. Hope you enjoy them x