Most of my knitting activity this past week has focused on my ongoing stranded-knit project, the Intricate Stag pillow, which since it's intended as a Christmas gift does come with a certain time limit attached to it. Considering that it is also a thank you for my Dad's gift of 2 kilos of beautiful ready to spin roving from New Zealand, and that he gave me this wonderful gift at least 2 years ago it might be mentioned that my timing is already a little off, but that's the way gift giving can be in my family. We all make stuff, and make stuff for other people and each other, and I think it's fair to say that everyone in my family are either poor judges of how much time projects take; procrastinators; involved in too many projects at one time; or simply have no sense of time. Actually, for most of us, it's all of the above all of the time.
But I am pleased to say that my modifications to Norah Gaughans' Intricate Stag Bag (available through the Knitting Daily Pattern Store)have vastly speeded-up the process. I am knitting the pillow in the round rather than back and forth (a real sanity-saver when doing stranded knitting) and adapted the border designs to be something more interesting, and have also adapted them further to make this interesting diamond design on the pillow back. I have just worked past the deer panel in the center of the front and am now winging it on the opening in the back, which will have a buttoned flap to allow the pillow insert to be removed for washing, etc.
The chart is much easier to do than it might appear (assuming that one is knitting in the round as I am; it would be a nightmare to do from the backside in purl if done in rows). I have a handy magnetic chart board from Knit Picks that makes it very easy to follow the chart - I highly recommend this little gadget. It also helps a lot to photocopy the chart, enlarging it too a more easily seen size. The zigzag background is very rhythm, and would have progressed much more quickly if I was actually capable of counting to 2 on a regular basis.