Knitting Woe-Woes

Today I was going to show you a photo of Norn and tell you about its progress, but the camera has gone to work with my Other Half. Downtown Glasgow is currently being transformed into a slice of Philadelphia for a Brad Pitt film shoot and Dave wanted to take photos of Philly taxis, the JFK Boulevard street signs and whatnot. I had a look yesterday afternoon and it feels slightly surreal to see the American flag flying over the Glasgow City Chambers. Oh, and Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrived in Glasgow yesterday. Cue media madness.

Let's keep things in perspective, though, and talk about much more important matters such as my Norn jumper. You may remember that I posted a photo on Monday:

Look at that! Beautiful, squishy jumper-in-progress. Lovely colours, just-enough-interest colourwork and heavenly soft. I look at that photo and I'm beaming like someone's mum.

Monday evening I realised that four rows down the colourwork was off to by one stitch throughout half the back. Two of my knitting friends couldn't see the flaw, but I knew a half-the-back's worth of one-stitch-off-ness would bother me.

Tuesday afternoon, I gently pulled the jumper off the needles and started ripping out the four rows. Then I paused.

Off the needles Norn looked .. different. Norn looked very different. Norn looked .. big. I grabbed the tape measure and had a look. Then I measured myself (just to make doubly-sure).

Norn had eight inches of ease.

I checked my gauge. I had an acceptable gauge, though not bang on target. I did knitterly maths. Hmmm. And then I ripped out Norn.

So, while my own knitting is in time-out, let me mention something else. I am not a stitcher, but I recently came across a stunning sampler. I asked my very good friend, Paula (who is a marvellous stitcher) about these samplers and she pointed me in the direction of Ackworth Quaker Samplers. Then Paula mentioned there was a knitting connection: Quaker pinball knitting.

I found more details on Ravelry: the pinballs are knitted intarsia-style on 0.8mm needles using sewing thread (I feel faint just writing that!). They are gorgeous. The beyond-excellent Needleprint blog has an entry on makkin' wires for the pinballs and just what makkin wires the girls at Ackworth would have had at their disposal.

That sort of thing really does add perspective to my present knitting woes. Norn is knitted in double-knitting on 4mm needles. Thick, thick wool on thick, thick needles and no intarsia in sight. Who am I to feel slightly blue and moan about "a mountain of knitting"? So, I'm going to grab my trustworthy 4mm needles and cast on for a size smaller - and that's the silver-lining right there: fewer stitches!