Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sing Muse...

... of the frustration of the knitter, who having embarked merrily upon a project involving a great deal of duplicate stitch, did find that this duplicate stitch did tax her heavily, until it felt like a saga to rival anything by Virgil or Homer.

I, gentle reader, am that knitter. With insufficient forethought I embarked upon Argyle Socks by Veronik Avery; partly because my father had admired them in the past when looking through her beautiful book Knitting Classic Style and partly because they looked easier than knitting "proper" argyle socks, with all their attendant hassle of intarsia, knitting flat and bobbins caught in a merry tangle.
However, I had reckoned without duplicate stitch. The socks themselves I knit up with comparatively few mistakes and thoroughly enjoyed myself, the second sock in particular went very fast. Then came the adornment. Duplicate stitch is essentially sewing, an art with which, even in the enlarged surroundings of yarn and tapestry needle, I am not entirely comfortable. Thus this duplicate stitch has become a true saga, after two weeks' I am almost finished but it feels like it has been far, far longer. I could have adorned a third sock with all the stitches I have had to take out and do again. Nonetheless this project will have left me fully conversant with duplicate stitch, faster and neater in my work, though my socks will not bear close scrutiny!
So on the saga continues, one weary stitch at a time, while my knitting needles sing their siren call reminding me how I miss their company. At least I have hopes of finishing in time for Christmas on current progress and I should avoid a 3am on Christmas morning finish. Dad will have more of the socks he loves, because he is worth it and I have gained fresh understanding of the phrase "a labour of love". And we shall all live happily ever after, or something like that.

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