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…
I 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…
This 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…
I 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:
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.