Dr B’s cabled jumper is still going, though perhaps not strong. I made it in 1988.
You know how it is. After the busy-ness dies down and life gets back to normal, you want to knit, but don’t have a project in mind. You can’t quite bring yourself to get back into the swing of tinking the existing projects (there are several, as I said last time). And then, into your email inbox – right on cue, just like last year – pops some irresistible temptation from Bendigo. Last year it was sock yarn that lured me. This year, it’s their latest, lovely, special yarn. The variegated colourways are attractive and there’s a black-grey mix. YoungB’s birthday jumper – in some pattern suited to the yarn, of course, not the original choice over which he dithered so much I gave up – looks like a winning option again. Quickly, before you change your mind, you dig out a fast, easy pattern and order the yarn. Well, that’s what I did, anyway.
Then Dr B and YoungB returned from visiting a friend, who continues to be remarkably impressed by the – now very old and falling to pieces, but too nice to throw out – jumper I made for Dr B during the first year we were married, and which he still wears because he loves it. As you can see, it’s riddled with cables, albeit at the lower end of complexity. Otherwise you die of boredom. Right? It is a nice jumper and I think it’s beginning to influence YoungB (who once refused to borrow it for a ski trip because of the cables; but who’s now experienced a truly chilly, Northern-hemisphere winter and has doubtless seen others wearing handmade jumpers of similar design).
YoungB then suggested that he’d quite like a beanie. With cables on it. I hauled out my trusty old Patons Book 483 Winter Warmers that I’ve been using for ever, and showed him a couple of patterns. He chose a Fair Isle one, pattern 17, as well as one with cables, pattern 18, after also considering pattern 22, which is the one I made for Dr C a couple of years ago. He and I shuffled off to our LYS to choose some yarn. I’ve been knitting for enough years to know that, as long as you buy reasonable quality yarn and ensure that it’s all from the same manufacturer – as well as the obvious colour and dye-lot matches, if it’s a single-colour buy – then you don’t have to buy the yarn specified. After looking at and comparing several different brands of pure-wool yarns, we picked out four different shades of blue for the Fair Isle beanie, and a grey wool and alpaca mix for the cabled number (I see it more as an obvious grey, he sees it as having a strong teal hue).
Now all I have to do is think of something quick and appropriate that I can make for a colleague’s birthday on Thursday, though I’ll start the knitting immediately and, fnigres corsesd, hope that I don’t get too many interruptions. Realistically, I’m likely to come to grief on the jumper but it IS a quick and easy pattern. The beanies will take time, but when you commute for the best part of three hours, five days a week, then time is not your main problem. It’s finding the dedication. Given that YoungB specifically asked for a beanie, and chose the pattern and yarn himself, then I dare say the dedication will be easier to find than it often is.
Have you reached the annual point where you simply have to have some knitting to keep you sane?