Some time later…

The highlight of the Summer has been cycling. Every year, we go to the Cevennes – a remote, hilly part of the South of France – because we love it!. We pack up the caravan and bikes and head down to the ferry as soon as school finishes. It takes a few bike rides, but gradually I unwind and get fitter, then I surprise myself by wanting to do longer, harder bike rides.

This year marked a milestone. My daughter was old enough to come and join me on a few rides. She rode her first proper mountain climb.

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The scenery is stunning. Tiny, twisty, broken roads winding up through the trees.

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This was the bottom of the Col de l’Asclier – at the top there’s a statue of Robert Louis Stevenson (writer of Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)  – he walked across the area and wrote about it publishing, “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes.” Here’s the view from the top:

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Back in England, we’ve done tandem rides and longer local rides near home. My parents-in-law are looking after the children for a few days so my husband and I are are going to seize the chance to ride the Sea to Sea. It’s a 136 mile route travels across the North of England from Whitehaven on the West coast – across the Lake District and Pennines to Tynemouth – across the East coast. We’ve talked about doing this ride for years but never had the chance -so I can’t wait.

Knitting has taken a backseat… but also my project was much bigger than I anticipated. I finished the Funchal Moebius wrap and it was worth the effort. My last few posts were about tension and I was worried that the work would not flatten – it did though. The pattern instructed me to iron the wrap to block it and this had a magical effect. It smoothed the ruckled effect perfectly.

Before..
Before..
After...
After…

The finished object is striking….

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I’ve learnt a lot about the need to perfect my tension though. Up until now, I’ve been so happy to complete a project with neat, even stitches. However, I am becoming more conscious of fit and recognising how it necessary it is for the overall garment.

OK- sounds obvious. But everyone has to go through this for themselves. Everyone has to knit a project without swatching and realise that they should have bothered with it.

My lesson went like this:

During the wrap, I was worried about ruckling so as the project went on, I became more conscious of keeping the floats loose at the back so I made them longer. When I finished the garment, I realised that doing this had made me  loosen the tension across the project – the top edge didn’t quite match the bottom edge.

When you look closely, you can see that the top is wider than the bottom. Also, the shapes get slightly bigger.

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I’m not bothered about this – you can’t see the fault when I wear it but this made me think.

The next point that bought it home to me was the jumper I knitted for my husband. When he wears it, it looks fine but he doesn’t find it comfortable. He said it felt a bit too big and that it just hung, “it didn’t have any tension”. He doesn’t know about knitter terminology, this was just how he found it. I do know that I knit a bit loosely so I took on board what he said and started to be conscious of keeping the year a bit tighter.

Originally, I’d started a jumper for my son earlier in the summer and knitted the back at my more regular tension. However this week, I started the front (being conscious of tension) and noticed that the diamond pattern looked smaller:

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Quite a big difference!!

To make the jumper fit, I needed it at the looser fitting so I pulled it out and started again, knitting loosely. I’ve been lucky – I hadn’t done too much.

But this has made me realise how much control you have over tension just by the way you hold the yarn – not just through the needles.

In future, I will be knitting tension swatches.

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2 thoughts on “Some time later…

  1. I just started a colorwork sweater, so very aware that I didn’t want to mess up the fit I did a small swatch. I have maybe done a swatch 5 times in my entire knitting life!! But I have learned my lesson, the swatch is the first step from now on! Love the cabled sweater and the cowl is stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

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