Crafting in the Country

It’s the 14th January and I have managed to do two weeks of work towards my monthly ambition of knitting one of these great boules de Noël…

af4a3-arneogcarlosjulekuglerI started to knit one and found it impossibly difficult. My wool was tangled. My rows were back-to-front. They’re knitted on five needles to a Fair Isle style pattern and oh my word they are fidgety. But I am not a girl to flinch from a challenge. If two Norwegian men can knit them, I’m sure I can. Let’s just say it’s extreme knitting though… colour charts and making stitches and going in the right direction. In all honesty, I doubt that men knitted these balls without supervision. It involved a level of multitasking that I personally believe men to be incapable of.

Anyway, I went bigger (like the big training needles they give you when you are learning) and practised with some scraps. So the scraps were size 5 wool and size 4 wool, I didn’t care. I wanted to see if I could knit anything that looked remarkably like the pattern in the book…

IMG_0344This was my very first attempt at knitting with two wools, Fair Isle style. I’m quite impressed, despite the problems with two sizes of wool. I notice now some dog hair has got into the design. So much the better. Yesterday, my crafty friend revealed she has needle felted a small cat. That is quite cool. She needle felted it out of cat hair. That’s bordering on weird.

Weird but not unusual. Yesterday, I was watching a youtube video by someone whose channel is called ‘Iknitwithcatfur’. I bet there are people who regularly needle felt with worse substances than cat fur.

I guess cat fur is not so weird. Wool is effectively sheep fur. It’s funny why one thing seems normal and the other seems like a bizarre fetish.

Anyhow, we had a craft day yesterday. Crafty friend was mosaic-crazy and had got out several boxes of shiny stones and lovely glittery, precious things. She is so crafty that she was mosaicking her bread bin. I don’t know anyone with a mosaic bread bin.

I made it my mission to knit a plain ball.

And it was definitely not knitting for the faint hearted!

At one point I was going to colour code the needles and see if I could make it any easier. No. I persevered. Once the first three or so rows are on the four needles, you’re off. All you have to do then is remember to make a stitch here and there and count lines and tick things off. Later, it started looking incredibly big (the pattern asks for 2mm needles and I was using 5mm needles) and a bit like a baby’s hat.

Then I started getting a bit ridiculous and thinking I might just knit randomly and see where it took me.

But I reined it back in.

By the time I finished, I realised it was a lot larger than the example baubles, but I’m unperturbed. Here is my first finished ball…

IMG_0378I don’t know about you, but Gene seems to be enjoying it.

My stitching was a little loose from needle to needle, so I have to tighten that up a bit, but I reckon I am now ready for a big version with a pattern. I’m ready for it. That will be my weekend knitting project.

I am also onto the sock bit of my yearly project list. I have another crafty friend whose mother knitted me this fine pair of socks last year:

DSCF3098

I am having a sock knitting lesson with her next week and so I have started to knit the leg bit. It’s on the smallest needles I’ve ever knitted with, which are 2.5mm, and some sock wool I picked up – and so far, so good. They aren’t perfect like this fine pair, but they don’t look like a five year old knitted them, which I appreciate my first ball does. I’m half of a mind to cover the ball with sequins and turn it into a knitted disco ball.

So I’ve cracked my mini-project #1 and have made in-roads to mini-project #2. The month might have only just begun, but I’m very glad I had a day to get it under my belt. I’d still have been faffing around with those balls come February, otherwise, I reckon.

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4 thoughts on “Crafting in the Country

  1. I am very impressed, it also shows how if you persevere at something you can master it.
    Well done ! and I await the next project with anticipation.
    Am also enjoying your walk photo’s – X – marks the spot.

    1. I’ve still got to do a mini-ball with tiny needles – I don’t know why you are impressed though… your knitting is amazing and mine looks like a five year old did it!

  2. Well done – you made it!! And OF COURSE, Gene would like a big ball… duh.
    Everyone has to start somewhere and mastering the art of 5 needles is never going to be easy, never mind fair-isling, too!
    Are you mosaicing your bread box, too? Do you even have a bread box?! I don’t! But then neither do I have any fair-isle baubles… LOL

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