I finally finished the kidney warmer on Saturday night, watching the Olympics followed by the beautiful Un monde presque paisible on BBC Four.
Before I send it off to my sister I thought you might like to see the envelope in which she sent me the yarn:
Yes, it does say 'Pippety wool-bear Berman'. Um, is that a good thing?
Encouraged by Ashley and my real-life friend Anna who came for tea on Sunday, I decided I could come to terms with the breathtaking purpleness of my new yarn. Full of hopes, and expectations of becoming the most chic and colourful dresser on the block, I began to cast on for the Picovoli. And -
Seeing as I'm quite good at breaking things I'm also used to sticking them back together, so not too daunted I glued the needle tip back into the brass bit. Wary of this needle I tugged on the other tip to make sure it was securely attached. All seemed well, so once the glue had dried I cast on again. I cast on in my usual way with circs: the tips held together to cast on over two needles, the stitches spreading along the doubled cable until space decrees that you pull out one needle tip by tugging gently on the cord, the stitches spread out around the circle and you hold the tips together again to continue casting on. This may be convoluted but it stops the cable from snaking around impatiently as it waits to be covered in pretty wool loops. This needle, however, isn't happy with my method. Want to see?
Brand new never-touched-before only-arrived-in-the-post-on-Friday Webs needle, how do I love thee? Let me count the number of times I have to mend you before I can knit a blinking stitch. (This is not the tip that I glued on, by the way, it is the one I had diligently checked. I do believe it fooled me on purpose).
In order to stop myself going round and mindlessly round for a little while to get a circular gauge swatch I thought I'd just start knitting the top on the recommended needle size and cast off when I'm a few inches in with a provisional cast-off. That way I've done a circular swatch with the added interest of strategically placed increases, and if I get gauge I'll just rip back the cast-off and carry on where I left off.
Unfortunately it appears I cannot count. At. All. (Note to self: if you are planning on knitting in front of the TV while drinking wine and enlivening the proceedings with your valuable criticisms of Tony Bleugh, it would be advisable to attach a row counter rather than telling yourself you are too good for counting tools).
Since the possibility of continuing the top as it was had now diminished, I thought I'd also use the swatch as a samper and try out some other increases that I found here in case they looked better than the little bar that forms at the bottom of the second stitch when kfb-ing. Turns out they don't. I should have trusted the perfectionist Grumperina, although in my defense it was truly in her spirit that I started questioning. (Clearly the failure to count was my own take on proceedings).
It transpires I don't know how to cast off provisionally either, and have leant the book that would tell me to Anna, so leave you with a picture of my gauge swatch, provisionally cast off in waste yarn, blocking on a very old pink towel.