Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh sod it it'll have to be some knitting

Can't seem to get a proper post together, so it'll have to be some more knitting, including Tom in a hat.

The hat in this picture in fact, featuring all Tom's knitted Christmas presents, none of which were ready in time for Christmas:

These items include the epic merino/cotton half fisherman's rib sweater I think I mentioned a while back, which just about came out OK, proves not to have enough warmth in it to be worn just now, and I was so fatigued by the sight of it after about half a million tiny half-fisherman's rib stitches by the time I'd finished that I was not sorry to see it put away for a bit. Also featured are a pair of green and black striped thick socks, and said hat.  This is the second hat I have attempted to make for Tom; the first was too big, too fuzzy, too fussy and, ultimately therefore, too feminine. Odd this masculine/ feminine knit thing, it really is quite delicate, anything too fuzzy and chunky, however sombre the colour or plain the stitch, is just not right. Tom didn't complain of it in those terms, but nevertheless that was the fact. 

This one, however, seems to have worked. The red and grey pattern was derived from an old chart to be found on the Estonian museums public portal. Despite careful transcribing of it onto big squared paper, my maths still let me down and there's an odd jog in it so it doesn't flow freely round the hat, but Tom, like Eric Morecambe, says you can't see the join. Also by the time I'd accomplished three repeats of it the hat was already too long so I had to rather hastily bring it to a conclusion by means of gathers rather than decreases, but, even so, it is a satisfactory garment and has already been christened on a wet and windy beach.

The other noteworthy thing about it is that I started and completed it in a single day on New Year's Day, which listening to BBC Radio 4 FM's all day dramatisation of Tolstoy's War and Peace, which was very good, and which the sight of the hat will always bring back to me. I did take a break to eat mid-evening and so missed the battle of Borodino. (Finding that link has just revealed to me that the actor playing Pierre Bezukhov, Paterson Joseph, is black. I love radio.)

So here is Tom wearing his hat (I've noticed he's often a crowd pleaser, so I'm shamelessly exploiting this):


Zhoen said...

A lovely hat on a dashing Tom.

Perfection is unobtainable, and really, undesirable. Beauty always comes with flaws.

marja-leena said...

As Zhoen said re Tom! Just curious about the sweater and the colours I see on my monitor - is that a fuschia pink? for a man, for Tom? Or do I misunderstand?

I love everything here but covet those socks! I wish I could find some like that to wear around the house as I detest most slippers. One of my daughters once knit a lovely thick wool pair for me that I much enjoyed but once put them in the dryer by accident and they shrunk, so passed them on to youngest with smaller feet. I found a great pair at the Scandinavian Christmas fair for my husband which he loves but I could not find the right size for me.

Lucy said...

Thank you both.

ML - no, it really isn't fuchsia, but a dark burgundy colour, a little bit towards purple perhaps but really quite manly! He has a few things that colour and likes it very much. The main problem with it is it's a bit short and clingy to be altogether flattering, and the pattern was such it was difficult to make many adjustment, but come the spring and less bulky clothing it will be OK I think.

Rouchswalwe said...

Rakish! Oooo, I like Tom's hat very much indeed!

Lucy, you've made me giggle for 10 minutes at least with your, "I did take a break to eat mid-evening and so missed the battle of Borodino."

Yes, rakish! I imagine Tom holding a pint of ale in his hand just below where the photo is cropped.

Avus said...

Yes, I LOL'd about your Borodino comment, Lucy, too.
Looks a proper hat - keeps Tom's weakers (as my kids called them) warm.

Stella said...

I'm in awe......I've turned out zero knitting and look at what you've produced! You are clever to adapt a graph and execute it. And clever in your writing, you've given us all a laugh.
I am curious about your you rely on the fireplace for heat? Long live wooly socks!

Lucy said...

Thanks again. They are still broadcasting W&P in single instalments so I can probably catch up with Borodino later.

R - Tom probably had a glass of wine in fact, and I seem to remember was in fact doing a jigsaw, a festive season indulgence, always paintings, never photographs and never fewer than 1000 pieces.

Avus - I accept commissions if you'd like something similar, though La Poste has just got difficult about envelopes of more than 3cm thick, though they can be as wide as you like. I've never heard 'weakers' before, I suppose it rhymes with 'peekers'.

Stella - well, I don't always feel so clever, odd that one who has such very basic problems with counting and simple multiplication should have taken up knitting so eagerly. But Estonian/Latvian knitting charts (the Lithuanians don't seem to go in for it, or perhaps they just didn't have the folklorists to preserve them) are just so fascinating, I collect them by the score, and I long to go Baltic island hopping one of these days. The problem with this chart was, each square was seven stitches wide, so I assumed a repeat of seven would do it, which would go into the 105 stitches cast on in the round but in fact it required a repeat of fourteen - a very basic error. We have a fairly modern fireplace and burn wood, but also have ceramic block electric storage heaters, the best we could get at the time, lots of insulation and lots of hot soup, and we just about stay warm enough - our winters here are often wet and windy but usually comparatively mild. I too love woolly socks, though of course I suffer from second sock syndrome (along with second mitten, second sleeve... annoying how so many elements of the human body come in pairs), and have just bought a tube of clear bathroom silicone with which to experiment with reinforced soles.

Catalyst said...

It certainly put a twinkle in his eye.

Marly Youmans said...

You clever grapher! I do like that hat... and Tom in it. I cannot knit. I daydream and split all the stitches. Alas.

the polish chick said...

how can he not be a crowd pleaser? handsome fellow like tom! and in a smashing hat!

you knitted a hat while listening to war and peace, huh? i'm quite impressed.

Roderick Robinson said...

Grateful though I am, I must confess there are times when I feel all written-out on knitting. As a result I took you at your word and ignored this post. Then, as so often happens, a remote conceit manifests itself (In this case an imaginary tapestry of my life, the early years marked by a sort of Greek chorus of knitters - my Mum, my two Grans, etc - getting on with the job as I lurch unwarily into adolescence) and I read the above, looking for a peg that seemed conceit-worthy. Instead I found WaP. Perhaps in future you might employ a headline code for "ostensibly about knitting".