Well, that was a long silence, wasn't it? There hasn't been a huge amount to say, as I have been busy knitting Mavis and then ripping it out and then knitting it again and then ripping another bit out.
I seem to have been more than usually dopey, and have managed to get more stitches on the front half than on the back half, although you can see in the photo that they're evenly matched at the hem. The obvious answer is that I decreased too much on the back but a close examination doesn't support this.
And every time I measure it, it's a different size. The chevron stitch section is impossible to measure anyway because it stretches in every direction, and the rest of it grows quite often. I think this yarn will relax a bit when it's soaked and dried anyway (I'm not going to pin it out rigorously so I am avoiding using the b-word) so at the moment I do seriously believe (as opposed to wildly hoping) that it will be the right size. There's a jigsaw of the chevrons in the sidebar.
The Kidsilk Sampler Scarf is inching along. The olive yarn did indeed turn out to be olive in the morning light, although at the curry end of the olive spectrum. I have now changed to a deep dark chocolate shade and intend to introduce that extravagantly bright green that Rowan calls Jelly next. Many thanks for all the comments about needles. Knitpicks don't ship to the UK, Gretchen, but Get Knitted import some of them and I want to try them out. I keep getting side-tracked by the multi-coloured wooden ones, of course - oh look, pretty. The facts that this yarn is much easier to knit in daylight (for me, anyway) and that fine-pointed metal needles are required, are sort of pushing this project and its companion further into the year.
What companion project, you ask? I ordered a copy of this from Amazon and it arrived yesterday. For those of you in too much of a hurry to click on the link, it is Clara Parkes' Knitter's Book of Yarn. It has a pattern for a Scaruffle, a sort of ruffly, frothy scarf which can be knitted with Kidsilk Haze and which I think would suit stripes very well. My impression of the book so far is that the content is very good, although I think she has been let down a bit by the photography and design. The photographs are pretty, but they don't always yield the information which a potential knitter needs and wants. Like a lot of knitting books nowadays, its appearance suggests that it is aimed at beginners, although the content will be of interest to advanced knitters too. One thing that really baffles me is that scattered throughout the book there are sumptuous, whole-page photos of a single skein or an artful ball of exotic fiber, with no caption to indicate what the h*ll it is. Or am I missing something? Is there a list somewhere at the back? I can't find one.
This obviously isn't a reason for refraining from buying the book: it contains a lot of well-organized information and some lovely patterns by named designers, from small and simple to a Norah Gaughan cardigan. It's a book which you will read when you first get it and continue to refer to frequently afterwards. I think it could reasonably be called a treasure trove.
I went to HK Handknit's closing down sale this week, with my friend Jean. I bought a book of Louisa Harding's patterns for children; I like her patterns but they aren't usually the sort of thing I would wear so it was nice to find her patterns for little girls. If they had had any blue Auricania I would have bought it, but they didn't so I couldn't. As Jean said, it's not as if either of us needed any more yarn.