I knit another design by Kit Couture. This design is called Rost. I admit, I chose it without asking my dear friend if he would like it, but I was very relieved when I checked in with him and he agreed he would like it! Quite appropriately, I finished it while he was in Norway, much closer to Denmark than usual.
I love the design. It starts at the neck and is knit in the round from the neck down, so the yoke is one of the earliest steps. It was so much fun knitting this part, though I look at designs that are colour work all the way to the hem and that doesn’t seem like fun to me. This was a great match of (pattern) challenge to (my knitting) capacity. I still have some colour knitting tension issues. My last effort was, if anything, too loose. This time, it is a little tight. When he tried it on while in progress, my friend admired the corrugation in the yoke and marvelled over how I could be so clever as to create it. I decided against making a big issue out of it being a flaw! But it did not block out (as I had hoped it would) so it’s lucky that he likes it and it looks great unless you’re examining it as a fault in the knitting. I can live with imperfection, as it turns out. It was reassuring to try it on him a couple of times as it progressed–it is a great fit and looks fabulous on him (in my humble opinion).
After the yoke, the body is knit down to the hem, and then each sleeve is knit on in the round. For me, knitting in the round is the obvious way to proceed (because socks), and this is the knitting strategy I have adopted on some garments I have designed myself, learned from books adopting Scandinavian knitting processes.
If I had this design in black and white and had to choose colours for it, I would never have chosen these colours. I think this is one boon of knitting from a kit (or from a pattern and using the prescribed yarns, something I don’t remember ever having done). In all honesty, part of what has been so interesting about these two Kit Couture knits has been having almost all the choices made for me. Knitting with handspun is not like this at all, and knitting these has felt so easy! It turns out it is not the complexity of the knitting that feels hard for me in making up my own patterns or knitting with handspun, it’s the decision making. This is an extraordinary freedom, but I think I had already noticed that the degree of challenge is sometimes more than I can easily manage. Either I lack the confidence or I just feel too tired to decide in the pieces of time in which I knit.
Repetitive, simple knitting makes up a lot of the knitting I do, and it has to. In the environments in which I knit, counting is impossible or rude and referring to the pattern all the time, likewise inappropriate or not manageable. Colour choice is not my strength either. I only make wild colour choices where the risk is low. Garments that won’t be seen (socks–I am knitting some lurid socks right now); things that will not be worn (tea cosies), recipients who make decisions for me or are excited about my random colour ways, bless them one and all.
The kit is also unspeakably cute: all those balls of wool lined up in cute little rows in a beautiful card board box, with a darning needle, picture, instructions and some Danish liquorice treats. And this wool was cushy (merino, my friends) and fat and even. I love knitting handspun and some of mine is very even (while some is certainly not). Cushy is harder to achieve for me, and I haven’t knit a garment on 5.5 mms before. Fast! Sensational, especially on something so big. Entertainingly enough this garment required only the same kind of frankenfitting for father as Sotra required for son: everything needed to be longer than the largest size but only as wide as the smallest. This is the simple kind of fitting I can mange without difficulty. I can’t wait to hand it over, even though today is the last day of winter! And, something about knitting these kits has made me want to knit and knit and built up my confidence for big knitting (jumpers, not socks). There was a rash of casting on as soon as I finished it…