|What name is inside the envelope?|
Some of my original selections didn't even make it to the first round. They were all 16 stitches wide, and when I tried laying the samples I had already completed onto my blue Wondrella, I realised that this was going to be too wide.
Out of curiosity, I did try knitting up one of the wider patterns. But after frogging it for the third time I gave up!
|Beyond my capabilities, for now|
One of the samples I had already knitted is 13 stitches wide. Not only did this seem a bit too much, but the pattern is directional. I'm considering doing the pattern on the sleeves as well as the front, but the sleeves are top-down while the body is bottom-up, so this sample had to go.
|Not quite right for this project|
This diamond pattern with twisted stitches is pretty, and very easy to knit, but doesn't show up particularly well in this marled yarn - I think that it would work better in a solid colour.
|This gets a bit lost|
The ukuleles pattern was another one which I had knitted already. It's narrow, and shows up well, but I didn't feel I was knitting the shapes very consistently.
|Ukuleles, banjos, lutes - they're all in there|
Of the samples I had already knitted, this left the chain links (or, as I always think of it, 'the sausages') as my favourite. But there were still a couple of cable designs left to try.
|Chain links, or sausage links?|
This one was far too wide, but I liked the central element of narrow and wider twists, and wondered if I could just knit that section.
|Definitely got potential|
Because I'm new to cable knitting, it took a couple of goes to work out which parts of the chart and instructions I could ignore.
|Trying to block out the bits I didn't need|
But I got there in the end, and it was worth the effort.
This immediately became my new favourite pattern - sorry, sausages. Not too wide, shows up well, not directional. The only one issue was that I wanted something which was symmetrical across the two fronts, not the same. (At this point, I offer my apologies to any experienced knitters who are reading this and thinking, "Oh for crying out loud, it's simple.". As I say, I'm a knitting novice and cable is a whole new subsection of what is still a fairly new area.)
In the meantime, I did one final sample of basic cables.
|Twists in both directions! What witchcraft is this?|
These were a bit too basic, but I did make the exciting discovery that the direction of the twist depends upon whether you put the cable needle to the front or the back!!! Groundbreaking*. Armed with this new knowledge, I went back to the instructions for the previous sample and made a couple of changes. And, voila!
|At this point, I did take a moment to bask in my triumph|
So now, I am knitting a swatch the same size as my original one, mostly in stocking stitch, but with the cable band included. Hopefully it will not affect the gauge, and I can start knitting.
* - I joke about it, but I am really enjoying all of this. I have been sewing for more than 50 years, about 90% of my entire life. So while I may come across a complex pattern or a tricky technique, the opportunities for me to learn something totally new are few and far between. Starting from scratch with a new skill is exhilarating.