Recent idle moments from January 2020

Fleetwith

I'm making Fleetwith using some rather nifty little helpers that I want to share - one is an app from the web, and the other is a little invention of my own.

Fleetwith3.jpg

The App:
The Fleetwith pattern is made up of 5 panels, which each have different repeats, so I felt that for the first time ever that an app might be better than a piece of paper. The right app turned out to be Knit Counter Lite (for the iPhone in my case) - which does very simply exactly what I needed, and is, astonishingly, - free. It is so good that I would pay for the full product; however, one of the main differentials is that Lite is limited to only one project - but frankly I hope never to have more than one project as complex as this on the go at the same time...
Knit Counter is set up so that as you increment the rows it also rolls round the counters for the repeats, independently, so you always know where you are in each panel.

The Stitch Markers:

FleetwithA-Z.jpg

To separate the panels, I started by using a huge number from my collection of stitch markers, trying to match them in pairs for each panel. It gradually dawned on me that it would be quite useful to have the markers labelled according to the name of the panel. I looked for markers with letters - and found some but they were mostly in sets A-Z and rather expensive so I decided to make my own. I ordered beads from Spoilt Rotten Beads with exactly the letters I needed (6xE, 4xA, 4xB, 2xC, 2xD), and made the markers using Coats (vintage?) 0.5mm wire following a method I found on YouTube. It was not quite a simple as shown - I used Araldite glue and it was difficult on such a small scale, and I was nervous about the flimsiness of the fine wire needed to go through the holes in the beads.
Luckily, the result is better than I could have imagined. The markers are delicate and smooth, so don't get in the way of the knitting, and seem quite robust so far...

As a footnote: I wanted to knit this rather complicated and LARGE project (capacious sweater and cowl) and started with the best of intentions using some vintage stash wool in a lovely cherry colour. However, it turned out (don't ask about a swatch) that after I had completed a couple of inches I realised that Rowan Valley Tweed is not actually a 4 ply, so the tension was not right, but also that even though in theory I had plenty of the vintage (thinner) wool, it's yardage did not match that of Valley Tweed.

Fast forward: after loads of unravelling, moving to larger needles, adapting the pattern to be very slightly less capacious.... and using my nifty little helpers, it's all going swimmingly.