Phew, double phew and cables

December. December, December – I’m just trying to remind myself that, in defiance of the weather which is more reminiscent of a rather gloomy September, Christmas is very close. I can’t quite believe it, because I’ve been knitting for various craft fairs / pop-up shops for ever, and now I’m knitting for me*. How appallingly selfish.


cables 1

I decided it was about time that I knitted something that wasn’t either a) another ****** chunky ****** cowl (I don’t mind knitting them, but I’ve had people trying to buy them off the needles since late July, for feck’s sake, I mean, I know it’s been an uninspiring summer and all that, but chunky, woolly, thick cowls? In August? I mean, really?) AHEM, and b) plain vanilla, stocking stitch with nothing unusual happening type of knitting.

So I went through the stash, now divided into stuff for me and stuff for cowls / craft fairs / pop-up shops, and pulled out some which was remarkably recent – bought in Shetland this summer (when, in defiance of fashion, I was NOT wearing a chunky woolly cowl).

cables 2

It’s a fine Aran weight, tweedy, and possibly not in a base colour I’d normally pick but which I was assured would suit me. It’s possibly the very last – well, not the very last, because I bought two cones – that I’ll ever get from Hunters of Brora. (I wrote a lament for Hunters almost two years ago – it’s here – and never thought I’d see any more of their wool, and then there was this huge box full of big fat cones in Lawrence Odie of Hoswick, marked down.)

It’s been an age since I could make my hands do cables, but they are a lot better so I thought I’d give it a go. I do NOT like using charts with cables, no idea why, quite happy using charts for anything else, so I had to write out the pattern since there are three different cable patterns involved, plus increases and decreases for waist shaping. And I’m loving it!

cable 3

There is one problem, though. It’s a bit like knitting with Noro, where I can’t bring myself to stop because I want to see what the next colour is going to do. I can’t stop knitting this because I want to see what the next pattern repeat does to the whole, but I have to, because my hands won’t take too much. I was remarkably circumspect – for me, not for anyone else, anyone else would be sensible most of the time with silly hand injuries and a niggling rotator cuff problem – and picked a pattern which has plenty of plain knitting as well. From a design point of view, I’d love it if the sleeves had cables but they don’t, which is probably just as well from the not-injuring-myself-again point of view.

What is it? Wait and see… but it’s NOT a cowl. Of course it isn’t. Cowls don’t have sleeves. Yet.

(PS: I’m betting, as usual, that it doesn’t fit. Yes, I did a tension square; yes, I fiddled with the needle size and the garment size and everything else in order to make it work in a yarn for which it was not designed, and I did the maths properly for once. But I still think it won’t fit. It doesn’t look big enough. I never think things look big enough, mind, and then I end up in something which would go twice round the gasworks.)

*I haven’t just been knitting. I’ve written a book too. And delivered it on length, and on deadline.  Yo!


8 thoughts on “Phew, double phew and cables

    1. kate Post author

      I seem to have a bit of a tweedy yarn addiction thing going on. Just can’t resist….

      (Actually, I really just have a yarn thing going on, cough, cough)

  1. Aoife

    I have the exact opposite of your “it never looks big enough problem” — whenever I knit something for someone who isn’t my size, I think it’s looks HUGE and I measure and remeasure a million times! I know that plenty of people are bigger than me, but it just never looks right to see what I make for them, and I worry so much until I see them wearing it.

    1. kate Post author

      It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Makes me wonder if ‘body dysmorphia’ isn’t actually a normal state and one we shouldn’t worry about ( not that I do, except when knitting garments). You know how your voice never sounds like ‘you’ when you hear a recording? Like that, only with body size…

      I may either a) have come up with a significant new theory, or b) not have had enough coffee yet. Reckon it’s B….

  2. Lydia

    I like cables too and I prefer written out instructions…. the yarn you are using looks lovely.

    Hope you have the best of Christmas Days and Santa brings you something nice……

    I am, of course, wondering about the intriguing book you have written?

    1. kate Post author

      Glad it’s not just me who finds those easier written out!

      Happy Christmas to you too – trust there’ll be plenty of wool under your tree!

      (The book, believe you me, is not really that interesting. It’s a business book – I worked in business publishing for ages and have ghostwritten in this area too – which makes a change from my usual stuff, which is mostly food writing.)

    1. kate Post author

      Lots of sympathies – I know that ‘bleagh, I can’t be bothered’ feeling…

      I’m enjoying knitting it, but bet it won’t fit. Far too much marzipan. And the rest.

      Best wishes to you for a really good 2016.


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