WIP: Over The Fair Isle

I have been very much enjoying knitting the stranded colourwork rows of the Flossie Bear pattern once I assured myself that I can knit this technique without stress or literally tying myself into knots, scared to knit alone in the room lest my boyfriend return sometime later to find me bound head to foot in an entanglement of my own knitting, quietly sobbing ‘not the fair isle, it strangles!’

Once I figured out a way of cradling the carriage of both yarns in one hand so that I didn’t have to knit part continental style and part English, but still allowing me the benefit of not having to drop one yarn to pick up the next at each colour change, I could knit at a pace not noticeably slower than when knitting plain stockinette in the round. I dare say I would be much slowed if I were to try and juggle a third or gulp fourth colour into the mix, but for Fair Isle style techniques my way seems to work just fine for me.

As I neared the end of the colourwork portion of the knit it came time to choose what this pattern was going to be. Skein Queen’s Flossie Bear pattern is for a cuddly soft toy, quite like a cushion in form, but when I saw the pattern my brain immediately flashed up, in lurid pink neon, hot water bottle cover, and that’s what has been in the back of my mind since I first saw the pattern some weeks ago, but I haven’t given too much thought to how I might actually make it work as a cover for a hot water bottle.

As I knit the last few rows of colourwork I changed my mind seven or eight times as to whether I was going to stick with the tried and tested soft toy, or somehow try and construct it into a hot water bottle cosy, and when I finally reach the plain rows of knitting I decided to take the easy route and go for the soft toy/cushion. It was easier, simpler, no thinking required, and I knit happily onwards. Except, a few rows on, I thought how much warmer Flossie would be if she could only be a cosy. So, I ripped three rows of knitting out, back to the end of the colourwork. Audere est Facere as they say. Yes I am a Latin scholar Tottenham Hotspur fan[1].

I’m attempting to knit an overlapping ribbed section with some buttonholes, to create an opening almost like an envelope. I knit 50 stitches in the centre of the reverse back and forth in 2×2 rib for eight rows before casting those stitches of, casting another 5 stitches back on for the overlap section and then rejoining the knitting in the round, keeping the newly cast on 50 stitches in matching 2×2 rib for eight rows. I’m going to have to insert buttonholes in this ribbing section at some point, and I’ve just got to that bit now, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to quickly write this blog post before plunging onwards. I am quietly hopeful that this hot water bottle cover is going to be great. Well, once I figure out how to line it and make it both cuddly and fit the hot water bottle, anyway, as it is currently decidedly un-snuggly and rather wide…
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[1] Audere est Facere is the Spurs club motto, and translates as ‘to dare is to do’. See, football is edjumacational.

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