One of the best phrases I took home from my years at uni was one of my prof's favourite idiom of nailing the custard to the wall. In case the image/analogy isn't as obvious as it is to me after years of hearing it - it's about the impossibility of nailing down a complex issue in a simple sentence/theory. Well, I've knitted with milk, does that count?
I'd cast on these lovely cabled trousers a little while ago for baby I, who was born almost 6 weeks ago. Well, my niece was born a week earlier, and that kind of got into the way of completing them in time. So 4 weeks late, here they are, bright, lovely and cosy. And huge. I mean, not really and truly huge, just significantly bigger than intended. Which is ok for babies/toddlers really. I followed the pattern for 6-12 months, but used 4mm rather than 3.75 mm needles, trying to make up for it by knitting tightly. Well, doesn't every knitting pattern tell you to ALWAYS DO A SWATCH? OK, I didn't, and here we have approximately 18-24 month sized trousers.
I love the ruffled edge and while the pattern in itself is straight forward enough, it was the first time I knitted short rows (for the bum) and grafted. I left out the crochet detail of a phoney seam - simply because I don't know how to crochet (I really really have to learn how to crochet and it's on my top wish list if I can find someone patient enough to show me the basics). The trousers are knit with Rowan Milk Cotton, Tutti Frutti (which has real milk protein in it, how bizarre!) - a lovely cotton yarn with a vivid colour to it - an almost shine, it isn't quite shiny, but the yarn still appears to be a little bit because of its consistency. Hard to explain, let's put it simple, it's pretty and slightly unusual.
The trousers have some unusual detail: a knitted waistband for inserting an elastic band, and the bum is wide enough to fit over even the fluffiest tot bots cloth nappy. The pattern is called Juju au Lait, designed by Miss Knitta, and it's one of the patterns featured in A Hat In Time (she altered the original pattern especially for the publication to accommodate UK yarn, how nice is that?), which of course you can buy now as an e-book, on Ravelry, as a Lulu book or you can pre-order the much cheaper physical print run. Thanks to my friend N, it is now even available on amazon.co.uk: A Hat In Time. Plug plug plug. It's all for a good cause so I'm not embarrassed in the slightest. Just by the book for yourself, for your friends and family, and tell everyone about it. I mean, absolutely everyone.
With patterns like that, how could you not buy the book? Ah go on.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about how a pattern like this could find its way into a hat pattern book, there is a good reason. There is only one non-hat in the book (and that would be Juju au Lait) and I didn't exclude it because it was such a beauty of a pattern. So it should really be called 37 hats and one pair of trousers to knits and crochet.
Right, and for once, I have nothing on my needles. What will be next?