Follow Your Arrow

View of Llandudno pier and the Great Orme as seen from the Promenade. The sky is blue and so is the sea!

The song ‘Follow Your Arrow‘ by Kacey Musgraves has been a proper ear-worm for me this week. I’ve even been singing it in the shower! If you’ve never heard it, I highly recommend a listen.

There are changes are afoot in our household, with my lovely wife moving on from primary school headship to a new pathway of her own devising, and I may be doing some musical stuff in our local community in the near future as well as continuing to knit up a storm. I’ve even been brave and set foot on a big wheel – the one pictured in the main image of Llandudno pier! Once we got moving (after sitting at the top for far too long) it was quite spectacular.

In the meantime, I am preparing for four knitting workshops this month and for Yarn Gathering on Sunday 17th! As part of this, there has been a lot of printing happening today. As you might expect, some of the printing has been patterns, but there have also been posters, risk assessments, pattern spreadsheets and public liability insurance certificates!

A slightly less fun part of today has been trying to find out why my car insurance renewal quote for this year is 50% higher than last year’s premium. That’s without any changes to the policy (and no claims) at all! Fortunately I got to speak to a really helpful woman on the phone, explained the changes I do need to make, and she is going to ring me back on Friday when she’s heard back from the underwriters and then we’ll look at possible discounts. Argh. At least I know I’ll be speaking to the same person, so I won’t have to go through everything again from the beginning.

Admin is one of those things that has to be done and it’s something I generally don’t mind. Having had a week of visitors and then visiting Kent, the only work I’ve been doing is social media and knitting, so I’ve had to catch up with myself a bit today, which means I’m noticing the admin more than usual!

But the knitting? Well! I thought I might have moved on to the sleeves of Lichfield by today, didn’t I? Haha! I’ve done both the sleeves (apart from the very tops of them – I need to decide whether or not to knit the extra four rows added by the tech editor just before the final cast off rows) AND I only have two rows and the cast-off left to do on the neckband.

That means the shoulder seams are already done as well. Although, now I’ve seen the photos of it lying flat I think I might redo the neckband to shift the stitch pick up a little on the left hand front (right side of image). This will get rid of the little ‘pull-up’ I can see at the bottom of the neck band.

Do you see how the stitch pattern in the back panel lines up perfectly with that of the neckband? It does that for every size. That type of detail is important to me as it makes a design (and a garment knitted from it) look really finished and precise.

Once I’ve re-done the neckband and done the last little bits at the tops of the sleeve caps (I’ll probably add the extra rows in one sleeve, leave the balls of yarn attached, pin them to the body of the cardigan and decide which fit I like best, then redo the top of the other sleeve cap to match), that’s ALL the knitting done. Then it’s blocking time, seaming and weaving in the ends. With any luck (and if the weather isn’t too hot) I’ll be wearing it at Yarn Gathering, although I can’t sell the pattern myself until next January.

It’s been an eye-opener knitting a waist-length garment in my size. It’s so much quicker than something long that supposedly ‘hides’ your hips/bum, but in reality does nothing of the sort. That sounds pretty obvious when you think about it, but the full circumference of knitting happens at the bottom of a garment, so to take off 6-9 inches of fabric is a lot of knitting removed from the equation. This might make it sound as though I don’t enjoy knitting. I do – I love it. But I also know (and have been told by other knitters) that it can get very frustrating when it can literally take months to complete a garment when making a larger size. I also seem to be using slightly less yarn than I’d calculated which is interesting. I started each section with a new ball, but I only used 3 on the back, 2 on each sleeve and 1 on each front. It’s 1 so far on the neckband, but that might become 2. Add in a 10% buffer and we’re looking at 12 x 50g balls rather than 13 for size 7. Another saving! I can see potentially more waist-length garments (or ones with a waist-length option) in future designs…!

Anyway, I hope Yarn O’clock doesn’t mind my ‘borrowing’ this photo, but I thought this was an excellent placement of a diversion sign – and a great example of ‘follow your arrow’ too! Why not divert into a yarn shop (though ideally not while still in a car)? On the day of Yarn Gathering (September 17th, 10-4), Yarn O’clock will also be open from 1-2pm.

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