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.