....the Delft Pillow is nearly done! Over the holidays I got to within striking distance of the end of the charted design, but for a variety of reasons ended up putting the project aside worked on simpler projects for a while. Just yesterday I pulled it out again to see how far I really did have to go to finish it and was so close I sat down and got going again right on the spot. I finished the charted portion of the pattern this morning and am now on the final stretch. I have just commenced the devilishly difficult 3-needle-i-cord-bind-off (if you count the dpn that is used to move stitches around it could be considered a 4-needle bind off, I suppose) but as this marks the end of the journey I shan't mind it a bit, or at least as much as I would have if this was the beginning.
This has been a challenging project for several reasons. The charted design is part of it; it's not something that can be memorized like a traditional Fair Isle type of stranded design, but with the help of my magnetic chart minder from Knit Picks it wasn't too bad to follow. It still wasn't exactly TV-watching knitting, but was manageable in quiet times and even on my commute. The bigger problem was my choice of yarns. Using inelastic fibres - cotton and linen - made for very hard-on-the-hands knitting, especially the linen. I used Euroflax sport weight, doubled, and the fibrous strands were easy to drop or split, in addition to the lack of elasticity. Also, the unique method of knitting the icord around the edge of the pillow required either 2 circular needles, or a Magic Loop variation (I used the latter). I found this to add a significant additional annoyance factor to the knitting which slowed me down a lot.
While the knitting was definitely a challenge for all these reasons, the finished product is turning out very well, and I'm happy with it in spite of its difficultness (is that a word? It fits what I mean so I'm using it anyway). While I can't promise to make this again anytime soon - and using wool would definitely have made it easier - I am very pleased with it and more importantly, I am quite sure my mom will be happy to have it on her couch at long last.