Monday, 31 December 2007

Not a Roundup

Christmas was lovely - laughter, tears and all the other drama of a family Christmas. I'm finding life back at home rather quiet by comparison. I had some success with the scarves I knitted as Christmas presents - you can see a full report at the Knitting New Scarves KAL.

I have been flogging round and round Mavis and am on the third ball of Silk Garden now. I will have to make a real effort to find the pattern soon as I can't remember how much of these chevrons I'm supposed to do. I know roughly where it is but it's a folded-up photocopy so it's easy to lose. It isn't an illicit photocopy: the friend I am knitting this for has bought a copy of Naturally Noro but she obviously realizes that if she sends it to me she stands very little chance of ever seeing it again, so she sent me a photocopy of the Mavis Pattern.

I have been thinking about what to start next. I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions: I either do something or I don't, at any time of year. And I'm not given to looking back on my knitting in an annual cycle. I do look back at the year and think of the worst and the best that has happened, but that's in terms of major losses and compensations in the larger scheme of things. But coming to the end, for the moment, of that great burst of all-consuming scarf-knitting has left me in a place where I am having to think a bit about what I want to do alongside Mavis... and the Stacked Wedges in silvery grey Malabrigo that I intend to start just as soon as I get a pair of needles organized. This may involve waiting for me to buy a set of 6mm rosewood dpns as I am in my customary state of post-Christmas skintness and not even I can persuade myself that rosewood dpns are an essential - not this week, anyway.

I sold some odds and ends on eBay (not yarn) and had some credit, so I got some lovely plain grey Jaeger Matchmaker Aran called Flannel from Jannette, one of my favourite sources of yarn. I want to make something very simple and classic from it and have been toying with this pattern, Montparnasse from Berroco. The yarn is a good match. I love asymmetrical things, and deconstructed things. The back starts with a single stitch.

I also seriously think it's time I started doing something with the huge skein of Habu Shosenshi linen paper yarn which I bought a while ago, ahem. I got it at K1 Yarns in Glasgow, a heavenly shop. The Shosenshi is grey too. They also have Habu's stainless steel yarn, which I have been coveting ever since I first began to see it on blogs. I wonder if one could substitute Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the Superfine Merino in this scarf? I'm not usually terribly into felting as I have difficulty with the idea of taking the time to knit something large only to end up with something small, but I might be prepared to make an exception. I have some striped-in-shades-of-grey Kidsilk Spray and I like the idea of using it with stainless steel. Maybe this is going to be a grey year?

I have Setsuko Torii's book, Hand-Knit Works, which I bought from Amazon Japan. I still get emails from them which I assume say, 'People who bought Hand-Knit Works also bought this,' but I can't be absolutely sure. It has pictures like this, which make me swoonand this, which is nice,
and this, which makes me hyperventilate, but in a good way.
There are lots of guides on the Interwebberies to understanding Japanese knitting patterns so I'm willing to give it a go, but I would probably start with something easy, and not a stainless steel cardigan. I have my own little swoony photo, which I took when I first got the Shosenshi. Katherine Walker, who owns K1 Yarns, told me that she soaks the yarn and leaves it to dry before she starts to knit with it, so I did three little swatches. Unfortunately, the one I liked best was the one that didn't get wetted and was never washed. I ended up in a complete state of indecision anyway. Katherine also gave me a worked-out-in-English pattern for a jacket so I could do that if my struggles with the book end in tears.

I treated myself to Victorian Lace Today with some of my Christmas Cash. I'm not in a great hurry to knit anything else from it (I did a very simple scarf already) but I want to have it for the historical content. However, having raved on here for hours about grey wool and deconstructed Japonaiserie, I will probably spend the year knitting fluffy pink shawls. I hope you will be kind enough not to point this out to me.

Sunday, 23 December 2007


In August I knitted some Christmas decorations, and posted about them. I did them in August because they're in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac for that month and I thought it was a clever piece of planning ahead. Well, I don't know about clever.

I gave some of the snowflakes to a friend for her tree, and now I can't find the others. Maybe I gave her them all. I probably thought, 'They're so easy to knit, I'll just do some more later.' Well, they're easy to knit if you can find the yarn.
I've found some aqua snowflakes and some Bittersweet stars, but no fluffy white snowflakes, and no fluffy white mohair yarn. Oh well. Maybe next year I'll be better organized. I used to be a very organized person, so it's very salutary for me to be such a shambles.

I got all those scarves wrapped and posted, except one. That always happens, doesn't it? I'm seeing the recipient today. I was going to give her the blue-and-purple-and-green Noro Silk Garden Shag instead, but I really genuinely think she would prefer the Lake Tahoe one, so I don't think she'll mind waiting. She's a teenager, so I can give her an Amazon voucher to take the edge off.

You can see where the Lake Tahoe one is up to. It's a pity the light is still so terrible as the colours are marvellous.

I'm going away for Christmas, to stay with family, and I'm going to meet the baby that I knitted these hats for. And this one. We'll be four generations, so that should be fun. (I'm not telling you which generation I am.) I was going to take grey Malabrigo yarn and start on Stacked Wedges, but I decided that counting might not be within my range of skills during the festivities, so I'm going to take my friend's Mavis and go round and round and round on that. Every second round requires counting, but only up to four, and it's always four, whereas Stacked Wedges requires counting different numbers of rows which is probably a step too far.

I'm not sure when I'll be back, but before the new year. I'm putting a new puzzle in the sidebar, just in case you have a spare moment. I hope you all have a fab time over Christmas, and can spend it with ones you love.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Tilted Pink, etc.

I've finished the pink Tilted Blocks and I'm about to wrap it up so that I can post it tomorrow.

The colour isn't at all right in this photograph, but it's my last chance for a picture. The real colour is much more pink, and less violet.

Much more like this, except that the scarf isn't blurred.

I've also taken the opportunity to photograph all the New Scarves I've done, as most of them are leaving my hands tomorrow.

I have, you will not be surprised to learn, already cast on another Shag, in Lorna's Laces Lake Tahoe, although it occurred to me tonight that I might have miscounted and this one might be extra. We'll see.

NOTE: Owing to a fit of absent-mindedness, this post is a duplicate of the one at the Knitalong. If I delete it, I will also delete all the photographs in the Knitalong posting, so I'm leaving it here. Just pretend you haven't seen it. Thank you.

Finished Tilted

This is a short post to say that I've finished the pink Tilted Blocks; I'm putting a longer post at the Knitting New Scarves Knitalong.
The other purpose for this post is to say Hello to all the jigsaw players (?) who came over on Tuesday from Jigzone. I nearly fainted when I saw my blog stats - what a responsibility.

I've done the Jigzone jigsaws for years; it's one of the older Bookmarks on my browser and I've always found them compelling, although I hardly ever do a real jigsaw. I'm not very clever about it, so I usually do a 48-piece Classic. I think the playing-through satisfaction of jigsaws is very close to that of knitting (and that desktop favourite, Solitaire) and I'm really pleased that you've been interested enough to come over and that so many of you stayed to read the blog. I hope you come back. There's a new ball of wool in the sidebar to keep you busy, a ball of Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Sport in the Lake Tahoe colourway.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

More Scarf News

I ripped the meandering lavender Scottish Tweed, and it's turning into a Tilted Blocks. You can see a close-up of it over at the Knitting New Scarves Knitalong. I do love this colour. I would never wear it myself - I'm so pale that I just can't wear pinks and mauves, except for a dark shocking pink. I have the sort of skin Billy Connolly was talking about when he said that Scots are actually blue and it takes us a week in the sun to turn white. So it's nice to have someone else to knit it for.

Those of you with long memories may remember some pearly grey Malabrigo that I got to make into an Elizabeth Zimmermann ribwarmer. Once I cast on, I started to wonder if I really wanted a large pale grey wodge of garter stitch over my upper half, so it's been on the back burner.

However I remembered it today when I was casting about for a soft yarn to use for the Meandering Stripes scarf. The variegations in the yarn will show off the short rows perfectly. I shall get it out of its hiding place, but I really mustn't cast on until I've finished these presents, because this one is for me.

For those of you who have been complaining about how much time you're spending on jigsaws, there's a new one in the sidebar. It took me ages.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Dithering about Meandering

Yesterday I showed you the ball of Rowan Scottish Tweed that I'd bought. I was thinking of doing another scarf from Knitting New Scarves, maybe Meandering Stripes.

I cast on and started Meandering - the sharp-eyed amongst you will see that it doesn't have stripes.

It's coming along nicely, but I'm not sure that I'm going to keep going. I can't see how this is going to look on a human being, and I think the yarn may not be soft enough for the style. The two already completed on the Knitalong are softer (they're actually Stacked Wedges, not Meandering Stripes, but the principle is the same).

Maybe I should make another Tilted Blocks: I know that looks good in a tweedy yarn. Or maybe I should make yet another Shag: it really does seem to be a pattern which brings out the best in any yarn. Now seems to be a suitable time to confess that I have already started another Shag, in Noro Silk Garden 236, shades of blue and purple.

On another subject entirely, I always thought that one of my favourite shades of Lorna's Laces, Bittersweet, was so called because the colours are hot, sweet pinks and reds with a dash of sour, sharp peach, but I discovered today while looking at one of my favourite photoblogs that Bittersweet is a kind of berry-bearing vine and berries are red, pink and peach. I expect a lot of you knew that already but I feel I have to share my discovery - the photo is worth seeing, anyway. If you want to see the colours in the yarn, look at the jigsaws in the sidebar.

Oh and I'm watching The Girl from Missouri, made in 1934. Starring Jean Harlow, written by Anita Loos and her husband, with gowns by Adrian. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, 7 December 2007

Fancy a Shag?

I cast on for another Shag scarf almost as soon as I'd finished Aria, as I needed some unconscious knitting to do while I was away from home. It's funny, the first time I tried this pattern, I had to concentrate like it was the trickiest bit of lace, but now I can do it while I'm catching trains and listening to the iPod and talking. I had a ball of Noro Silk Garden in earthy naturals, number 47, and I had been pining to do this pattern in a graduated yarn ever since I saw Wendi's . I originally bought the Noro to use with a creamy coloured yarn in another scarf, but it never worked properly. This time it was perfect. I had to buy another ball and I've ended up with a really interesting bit of rusty colour at the centre back, but this scarf looks good wrapped from front to back too, so that's OK.

I bought more Silk Garden today to do another Shag, but I also got some lavender Rowan Scottish Tweed to do Meandering Stripes or Stacked Wedges. My aunt wears those sharp lilac and pinks (sky blue pink) and I think she'll love one of these for Christmas. I don't mind making all these for other people becauses I feel I am working towards deciding which one I want for myself, and I'm quite happy spending some time making Absolutely Sure.

In between, I cast on my friend's Mavis again and I've finished the first ball. It's stretched bit further this time, because I cast on fewer stitches. I'm putting this aside now until after Christmas, not least because this is yarn to work on in daylight. If you knit this in the winter, you miss half the pleasure.

Speaking of which, have you seen these Raven yarns? Although they're from the Socks that Rock people, they're available in other weights, like silk and mohair laceweight, or even a bulky 2-stitches-to-the-inch wool from Uruguay. I've managed to stop myself buying any immediately, because I am simply not going to knit shades of black in a northern winter but come the spring I think I shall be unable to resist. The Knitting Linguist has made the most beautiful stole.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Full Length Aria

Here are some more pictures of the completed Aria.

It's been hanging up and has stretched a couple of inches, as it's quite heavy. I might roll it up soon and get it ready for wrapping and posting.

It's a very satisfactory shape and texture for rolling and draping and I'm really curious to see how different it will be when I make it in wool. It can be folded for frilly occasions,

or worn flat for more everyday events.
I was showing it to a friend and produced the three I've done from the book, which I have hanging on a coat hanger, and she said, 'Now that's just showing off.' I expect it is.

Aria doesn't actually do anything curvy at the ends: it's just the photo.

I went visiting on Friday night, and took the little pocketed scarf which I knitted recently for the person who can be seen in the new jigsaw. It was very warmly received and then enthusiastically worn the next day, and I received an order from the big brother as well. I said the pockets were handy for keeping your hands warm and he pointed out that they would also be useful for carrying Star Wars figures. I hadn't thought of that. He wants his in red and green and I didn't even ask if he wanted little hearts on the pockets as I didn't want to be withered with a glance. I might do stars instead.

Before I set off visiting, I had to start a new scarf project. I had been intending to do a new style from KNS, but I thought it might be a bad idea to be wrestling with six needles and swearing a lot when I was in company, especially the company of small people who might repeat it the next day, so what did I do but start another Shag. I'll show you that tomorrow.

Sorry I didn't keep my last promise about posting: I hope it didn't spoil your weekend :). I got sucked into YouTube for hours and didn't have any brain left.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Aria All Done

I finished Aria last night. I made it to the end of the sixth ball of Natural Silk Aran: it's 64 inches long just now but I expect it will stretch. I've hung it up so that it can.

The drapeyness of this yarn is just heavenly: it's soft enough to fold over double so that you get twice the frills on one edge. (My spell-checker didn't like 'drapeyness', but doesn't suggest anything else. It doesn't really like 'spell-checker' either, but I insist on hyphens.) It's worth clicking on the photograph to get the full glory of the yarn, and the frills.

I caught the end of My Cousin Vinnie, when I was finishing off the ends. It's one of my favourites; if I catch a bit of the courtroom scenes, I'm hooked. I always forget that it was directed by Jonathan Lynn, after he'd written Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, and then I look it up and remember again. It's difficult to come up with quotes from it because most of the funniest bits are exchanges rather than one-liners; the scenes between Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei are a joy, even although they consist mostly of them bickering. Vinnie on being given breakfast on his first morning in Alabama - 'Sure, I've heard of grits. I just never actually seen a grit before.'

Blugger won't let me load any more photos of Aria tonight: it must be doing something more important. I'm not here tomorrow, but I'll post again properly on the weekend. Meanwhile you can go over to the Knitting New Scarves KAL and see what everybody else has been doing.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Noro Rip Out

You know that thing I said yesterday about making sure the yarn wasn't twisted when I was doing the first row of Mavis? Well, I had another look at it after I finished that post and I noticed that it was actually twisted. I don't know how I'd managed to do that. So I ripped it.
Once I took it off the needles I was able to measure it properly and discovered that it was a bit too big too, so I'm not too bothered about the ripping. I think I learnt enough on the first cast on to be able to do a better job this time, and I won't have to worry about that mistakette that I was trying to ignore. So everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

These rosewood needles are the ones I get from Scottish Fibres, a German brand called Susanne's. They are available in ebony too and the wood is the left overs from the manufacture of musical instruments, a cheering thought and as close as I am likely to get to playing one. I have tried the ebony needles but the ebony didn't seem to become as polished through use, but I love the rosewood, especially the dpns. Classic Elite distribute them in the U.S.

There's a new jigsaw in the sidebar, showing Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet again.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Noro Cast On

I started my friend's Mavis on Saturday night. I cast on and did part of the first row. On Sunday I finished the first row and got a few rounds done. The first row was excruciating, because of trying to do YOs and K2togs while counting and making sure the yarn wasn't twisted, and allowing for the thick-and-thinness of the Silk Garden. The first row so often is excruciating and it must really put off new knitters because they think the whole thing is going to be like that and don't realize that the rest will be so much easier.

On Saturday and Sunday I was working on it in artificial light and it was only when I saw it today that I realized how lovely the colours are. It's shade 226 and it's not as bright in person.

I didn't really think what I was doing about knitting it in the round and I ended up with a slight mistakette, but I think I've resolved it. I've done a few more rows since the photo and am nearly at the end of the first ball of yarn, which seems a bit fast. I think I'll leave it for a while now, because I want to do some more Christmas knitting, and I just wanted to get this started so that I could be sure of how the stitch worked (a very simple chevron) and to see what the colours looked like. And so that I could tell my friend I've started in case she begins to panic.

I'm on the sixth and last ball of yarn for the Aria scarf so that should be done soon.

I forgot to show you this. It's the third Daisy Hat I've knitted from Itty Bitty Hats and the fourth hat for this baby. She turned out to be a girl and she's called Ellie.

It's made from Rowan Handknit Cotton in Sugar. I gave it to Ellie's aunt and uncle to take to the U.S., where Ellie lives, because they were going for Thanksgiving. I'm hoping to meet her at Christmas when she may be over here making an exchange visit.

I am missing my Kauni very much. I want so much to pick it up and see how the next colour change in the pattern works, but I must do some more other-people-knitting first. I just hope they appreciate it. But meanwhile, do go and have a look at this Kauni Christmas stocking pattern. It's the cutest thing, and there are a couple of other Kauni patterns too.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

A Post about Post

The postman was very good to me yesterday. Well, I suppose he was just doing his job, but I like to think he was being generous. (I cannot type 'postman' correctly first time; it always comes out postamn or something. The spellchecker suggested 'tampons'.)

He brought this delicious skein from Natalie at the Yarn Yard: it's not a club yarn so I can show it immediately. In fact, she's sold out of it, so yah. It's called Byron Bay.

It's a beautiful combination of blues with a little grey and some pale green, which I simply cannot get the photographs to show properly. All my favourite colours in a softer and more restrained blend than I've been acquiring lately. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, now that I have abandoned any pretence of being a sock knitter, but something frothy for around the neck I think.
And all the way from Wisconsin, came this lovely treat.
It's a prize for telling an unseemly story on Cheesehead's blog comments. The pink is two delicious balls of Louet Gems merino fingering in Baby Coral. It's beautiful. I think it might be a baby hat soon, although I suspect I will use it doubled since I'm not the daintiest knitter.

The blue and the undyed are washcloth cottons that Cheesehead added as a piece of Americana to widen my knitting experience. I can remember knitting a dishcloth once in my childhood, but it was a white stringy thing which is better forgotten. I am looking forward to following the ballband instructions and finding out what all the fuss is about. (Scroll down to 2 June.)

And there's two finger puppets too; a sheep which in the photo is trying to escape from the box and an alpaca.The sheep is my favourite. She is covered with bobbles; I get very impatient if I'm expected to knit bobbles and will only do it for people I love very much and who wear small garments. See right.

So I am very impressed with anyone who knits tiny bobbles on tiny finger puppets.

Cheesehead is running, not a knitalong, but a Hunker Up and Get Your Craft On, which is meant to help us meet those Christmas deadlines so if you think it would help, or if you just want an excuse to sit and do unalloyed knitting, surf over and join up.

I have read so many Thanksgiving messages today that I feel slightly disappointed that I won't be sitting down to turkey and pumpkin tonight, but a Happy Thanksgiving to those of my readers who are.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Scarves, But No Bears

I'm afraid I haven't fulfilled the earlier promise of the post which asked you to identify a small pink piece of knitting. It was intended to be a teddy bear's ear, but after I'd knitted four of them and began to assemble the pieces, I was eventually filled with a fit of rage and disgust, and I threw all the bits away. Well, perhaps rage and disgust is putting it a bit strongly, but I got fed up with it. I like sewing, but I don't always like sewing knitting, and that particular piece wasn't ingenious enough to hold my attention. And I had sewn the teddy bear's legs together by mistake.

So the pockets on the little scarf will remain empty, unless I find another teddy / rabbit / pig to take the place of the discarded one. The little scarf is cute, though.

It's from Knitting for Children and their Teddies, and is actually meant to be scarf for a bear, but I sized it up a little bit. Here you can see it on Sylvester, who is being very patient given that I haven't knitted him a scarf for himself yet. Rowan Kid Classic in Feather and um, something else.

After all this fiddle faddle, it was a great relief to return to Aria. I completed another ball of Natural Silk Aran and today I would have finished another, except that I made a mistake while I was watching, which was on BBC4. I don't think the film was that gripping, I just kept thinking it was going to be gripping so I knitted a purl row by mistake. Since it would have been at the back of the neck, I pondered leaving it but for once my better self won out and I ripped it back.
I'm nearly half way through the yarn, and I think I'll use it all.

The ingenious Vivienne answered my question about putting functioning buttons in the sidebar, so you can now click on the Knitting New Scarves Knitalong button and be whisked magically thereto. Oh, and there's a new jigsaw too.

P.S. The reason there were four teddy bear ears is because each ear consisted of a front and a back, not because the teddy was a mutant.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Amy Winehouse's Stunning Gig

I don't suppose Amy Winehouse knits, but this is the figure of her from Carol Meldrum's new book, Knitted Icons. That's because this post isn't about knitting, but this is meant to be a knitting blog. That podgy arm behind her belongs to Borat, but I've cut him out of the picture because he's a bit distracting in his thong.

A friend of mine was at Amy's gig at Glasgow Barrowlands on Friday, and he sent me an email this morning saying, 'I know I shouldn't expect any better but where are all the rave reviews of her stunning, flawless and sober performance from the Barrowlands last night?'

He's quite right. There are a few acknowledgements of the fact that it was a great gig but there are many more stories about her smoking on the plane and being grumpy at the airport. The fact that she gave a fabulous show should be news, but mysteriously it isn't. Who would want to be famous?

Linked Rib Again

Having been so clever when I started off the Linked Rib, I was pretty unimpressive when I picked it up again. Instead of separating the stitches as Lynne says, I separated them alternately. Why? I don't know.

It's like when I was starting Aria; the instructions quite clearly say to knit one tbl but instead I knitted one fb. Twice. So when I got to the next row, I had two extra stitches. I call this knitting blindness, although I suppose it's really pattern blindness. Sometimes I'm so busy thinking ahead that I can't actually see what's in front of me.

However, when I went round to see Jean, it was quite clear that she was getting on very well without any insights from me. She's doing it in Noro Silk Garden and getting on like a house on fire.

I have been doing some little fiddly knitting for a couple of the younger members of the family. There's a baby hat which you will see tomorrow, and something else.

Can you tell that this is?

Here's a clue.
Those of you have been enjoying the Kauni Jigsaw that I dedicated to Natalie might like to go to the Knitting New Scarves Knitalong and see the really fiendish one I've put on the sidebar there. It's a close-up of my tweedy Tilted Tiles Scarf.

Someday soon somebody is going to ask me what I do with my spare time and I am going to have to say that I take photographs of my knitting, turn them into jigsaws, and put them up on the internet. A likely story, indeed.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Blogger Help

Knitting a single solitary flange seems to have used up all my cleverness for the time being.

Can anyone tell me how I add to my sidebar an image which is also a link? I have tried and tried and can't see how to do it. I can do one or the other, but not both at the same time.

When I click on 'Add a Page Element', I get a pop-up which has a long list of options but none of them seems to offer this. If anyone can tell me which option I should select, I will be hugely grateful.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Linked Rib

My friend Jean, who is a much more accomplished knitter than I am, said she was having some trouble with the Linked Rib scarf from Knitting New Scarves, so I thought I would cast on and see if I could understand the pattern. I had noticed that some of the scarves included flanges and had thought, Well, I must have a look at that some day, and then I knitted three of the easiest scarves in the book. This scarf has a flange.
I cast on last night. It's Rowan Kid Classic, one of my favourite yarns and a very well behaved one in that it tends to stay where you put it and doesn't slide about or twist when you're not looking at it. I probably won't knit an entire scarf out of it because I want to knit others first, but it suits the pattern. The cast on is one of the trickiest parts of the whole thing, but it's only 30 stitches and even I couldn't lose concentration or patience in that time. I felt enormously pleased with myself when I got to this stage. There was a certain amount of foul language, but that was caused more by my lack of dexterity than by the pattern. Look, a flange. And a glass of wine, I know. You can see some of my knitting paraphernalia there too, or 'clutter' as some people call it.

Then I followed the instructions for the next part. I had some confidence by now and the instructions are very clear. The author, Lynne Barr, has a very three-dimensional way of thinking about knitting and I tend to be very linear (I have been accused of having two left brains) but I really understood what was going on. I even felt a certain insouciance about sliding stitches on and off needles in order to do the setting up for the next stage. Sometimes a little knitting under the influence isn't a bad thing.
Then I had to shift all the stitches around again and discovered why the pattern calls for six needles, Yes, six. My set of rosewood 4mm dpns is only five needles, so I had a rummage in the clutter, sorry, paraphernalia. I considered using a metal dpn but I thought that might slide out at some critical moment, and then I came across these. They're little dpns for knitting the fingers of gloves, 4 inches long, which I bought by mistake once - the hazards of buying online and not reading the description properly.

Anyway, it doesn't say anywhere that all six dpns have to be the same length, and they don't; it worked very nicely.
I then did the next five rounds and decided that I had been quite clever enough for one evening (and besides, do you see, my glass is empty) so I stopped there.