I finished the Red Sandstone Jacket and I still like it. It is cast off along the right front and I didn't want the usual cast-off edge, which I felt would be too inflexible, and too visible, so I did Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off. I remember using this once before on something and thinking, I really must remember this and use it more often, but of course I had forgotten until I went looking.
I had bought an extra ball of yarn just in case, but I needed to buy a further one and used almost all of it. I don't understand this, and it doesn't seem to have been a problem for other people who've knitted it. I got a sore shoulder while I was working on this, either due to excessive mousing or excessive stocking stitch, or perhaps a combination of the two.
When I came to the seaming everything fitted together like a dream. It's a well-shaped garment and the shoulders fit more neatly than I expected. This is a good thing. I will try to find some red sandstone to photograph it against for you.
I swatched for the retro tank top but I haven't been given any further instructions about what size is needed, or what colours are wanted, so I can't do much else. I wish I could find a tank pattern that would knit up in Felted Tweed Aran, as my shallow and impatient nature makes me reluctant to knit with Felted Tweed itself, which is double knitting weight.
I wanted to carry on knitting with the Jet but I couldn't decide between Kaari and the latest Pinwheel so I made the pocket band for Kaari while I thought about it. I then cast on for Kaari but after a couple of days mysteriously found myself casting on the blanket as well. Perhaps the YOs on the blanket will stop me getting Stocking Stitch Shoulder this time.
Sorry the photo is so dark; my copy of Photoshop Elements is on the fritz and I can't brighten it up. You know what it looks like anyway.
After I had done about four inches of the back of Kaari, I thought it looked a bit wide, even for something that's meant to go over my hips, and when I checked I discovered that I had a) cast on too many stitches, and b) failed to notice a rather significant row of decreases. Sigh. I've ripped and cast on again.
There have been various signs of winter here. First of all, it's been bl**dy cold. Then on Sunday, the heating broke down which never happens in the spring. I rang the engineer on Monday morning and then, as I put the phone down I touched a radiator and lo, the heating had come back on. So I waited a few hours to make sure it wasn't a fluke and then rang again and arranged for the boiler to be serviced. Alan Ayckbourn maintains that central heating systems have a symbiotic relationship with th major religious festivals, and I don't want to tempt fate at this time of year.
On Monday I got my first Christmas card, from my Buddhist cousin. She always sends a card around this time of year but it's usually a plain one, not a Christmas card. This year it has robins and holly and snow, and reads 'Season's Greetings' so I think it has to fall into the category of Christmas Card. She just signed it with her name, no 'Love', or 'Best wishes for 2010', or even a 'from'. As I have explained to people from time to time, she's a rather Presbyterian Buddhist.
The best sign of Winter is that my bougainvillea has come into blossom, pouring out bright pink flowers on the 26th of November and ever since. I don't know why it does this, why a tropical plant should bloom in an Edinburgh winter, but all the ones I've had have done it. You're meant to give them a tropical night and put them somewhere dark at 6 p.m. every night but I never do and they sit in the glow of all my lights, and televisions of increasing size and then burst into flower when the frosts loom.
ADDED: The Red Sandstone Jacket is from Paton's pattern book 1250, Jet, and is knitted from Paton's Jet in Lolly Orange. The pattern is listed on Ravelry here, and my version is here.