Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Stream of Knittingness and Tigers

A magazine I bought a few weeks ago contained a lovely pattern for a knitted jacket type cardigan thingy. The more I looked at the picture, the more I liked it. So I sent away for the pattern which arrived at the end of last week. I looked at the pattern again. I didn't like it any more - no, I loved it. I adored it. I was very keen to start knitting this jacket type cardigan thingy.

'I know,' I thought. 'Before I go into town and buy the wool I'll have a look on the Internet and see if I can get it cheaper from a stockist. So I typed in Rowan Scottish Tweed DK. Lots of links appeared for places that had 'discount', 'bulk', and 'saving' in their titles. I found out this wool comes in a delightful array of gorgeous colours and it is made in Britain and is very woolly. I also discovered it cost anywhere between £5.25 and £5.85 a ball.

Now this would be okay if I was planning to knit, for example, a pair of baby bootees, or some winter drawers for Mrs Pumphrey and would require only one ball. But I'm not. In order to knit my lovely jacket type cardigan thingy I would need 17 balls. I got a pen and paper to do the maths because an initial calculation in my head made me feel a bit dizzy and to the point that I thought I'd made a miscalculation because wool for a jacket type cardigan thingy couldn't possibly cost that much, surely?? But I was right. My brain maths co-incided with my paper maths and this jacket type cardigan thingy was going to cost me nearly £100.

Blimey, I thought. I could buy a whole sheep for that. I sat contemplating how I could get around this fiscal dilemma. If I lost another two stones I could knit a smaller size thereby requiring less wool. My jacket type cardigan thingy would look lovely but I'd look like a sour-faced, scraggy skinbag because I'd be bad-tempered and underweight through lack of eating which is one of my favourite things. I could use a different type of double knitting wool from the one recommended but then would it be the same lovely jacket type cardigan thingy as illustrated on the pattern? Would I love it as much? Or I could buy a sheep, feed it, shear it, learn the art of spinning and dyeing, make my own yarn and have a truly 'home-made' experience. Or, and this one really made me shudder, I could go back to teaching and money wouldn't be an issue but then I would no longer have the time to knit the jacket type cardigan thingy.

It's still a dilemma although I have reached the spiritual stage that this jacket type cardigan thingy is a want rather than a need and isn't really intrinsic to my overall happiness. I'm going into town today to post a batch of Nearly King Jimbo scripts to various agents so I'm going to compare and contrast various brands of wool to see what I can get away with. Perhaps I'll look at sock patterns whilst I'm there. I've never knitted a sock before. I hear the skill is in turning a heel. Sounds fun...

And just in case you are worried that all this working from home is turning me into some kind of recluse with a wool fixation, something very exciting maybe happening in a couple of weeks with some tigers! Oh yes! There is a big cat charity in Kent and I may be writing a fund-raising story for them about one of the cubs. So we are going to visit! Andy revealed this to me this morning (I don't think he realises how excited I am by the prospect of this visit or he would have told me last night). He said that we had been invited to go during his week off, but not on feeding day. 'I don't know why we can't go on feeding day,' he said. 'Wouldn't it be better to go the day AFTER feeding day?' I replied. And we had a little laugh.

So tigers and lions here I come! More news as and when it happens...

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