Back in the saddle

This beautiful statue is Rendezvous, by Bob Quinn. It’s sited in a bower of trees on one side of Belfield Lake, on the University College Dublin campus (my alma mater). There are many pieces of sculpture dotted around the campus, but this is one of my favourites.

I couldn’t resist draping her in a few of my designs -in-progress. This one is in single-ply Donegal Soft (Donegal Yarns), because I’ve been experimenting with lacey tweed recently. The next one is Kureyon sock (Noro), with very fine Alpaca Light (Lang):

And just to show that Niamh’s pink boucle shawl (Cushendale, see Local Colour) isn’t skimpy on an adult:

Let’s hope whoever she’s waiting for turns up….

By the way, I’ve been wondering what to do about pronunciation guides. Some of the names I write about are Irish, and are not pronounced using English rules of pronunciation. It strikes me as a bit pedantic (and irritating!) to put pronunciation tips in brackets every time, and probably no-one cares much , anyway, but maybe my followers (big hugs, lads!) would like to know? Some feedback on this question would be welcome! For example , my son Darragh is pronounced Da-ra (a “g” at or near the end just emphasises the vowel), my young model Niamh is Nee/av and my favourite crochet designer Aoibhe Ni is Ay-veh Nee (and I agree with her decision not to use her full surname, because that’s actually complicated!)

And I think it’s clear by now that Dublin English has its own idiosyncrasies, but I trust you to figure it out by yourselves…

Remember the Curve of Pursuit blanket (Pat Ashworth) I started when I was sick and dopey? Well, it has grown considerably, and the ever-longer knit rows practically knit themselves while I’m watching anime with Darragh, which is just as well, because I’m glued to the subtitles while he , enviably, hardly needs them anymore. My latest knitting-induced daydream: I travel to Japan as an established designer and tour the country, with Himself as translator….Hmmm, all that yummy food, too!

I’m working on the last pink square now, and the sides as you can see are longer than the needles (rubberbands would have been a good idea).

Me, rescuing imperilled stitches- D took these 2 photos, so I could also show my waistcoat design! This is a prototype and needs tweaking. Cushendales gave me the yarn specially (pure Irish wool, 400m/100g), it’s not commercially available yet (thanks, and watch this space..).

In response to requests (I love hearing what you’re interested in, lads!), here’s a brief tutorial on German short rows in garter stitch. When working short rows in garter st, knit to the end of the short row according to the number of stitches indicated in the pattern, including the stitch you would have wrapped, if the pattern calls for the wrap-and-turn method. Don’t wrap anything!  Note: the first pink ridge continues across the top of the purple wedge, the other (short) rows simply stop neatly above it, without leaving holes. Have a close-up look between my thumbs. Leave the yarn dangling at the back, then turn the work.

The working yarn is now hanging down in front of you: leave it where it is and insert right-hand needle purlwise to slip first stitch.

Now slip that first stitch and at the same time pull the working yarn straight up and over the top of the right -hand needle to the back of the work (away from you). Then insert the needle knitwise to knit the next stitch. When knitting this stitch, keep a firm tension, so that the turning stitch is pulled up a little and you get what is called a doublestitch (it looks like 2 sts interlocked at the top of the needle):

Knit the first st.

Now the turning or double stitch has been completed while knitting the first ordinary st of the return row.

When the time comes to knit across the short row, just knit the double stitch as if it were an ordinary single stitch- easy peasy! And it looks even smoother in stocking stitch…

And now for some non-technical gorgeousness:

This is the Leafy Canopy Shawl by Anniken Allis (The Knitter, Issue 49), made in so soft Drops Alpaca. It’s a real lace pattern, so I had to wait til recently to get back to it, but it’s worth it.

In fact, it’s so lovely I’m continuing the lace through out the shawl, not just as a border as in the original. Playing around with other people’s patterns = a sure sign that I’m back to myself again!