When you just have to rail-road it

I was on the 13.28 train to Norwich.  The train was pulling away and I had to decide if it was going to be a reading or a knitting kind of journey. The novel’s main character had just begun to get under my skin so the book won. I removed the knitting pattern which was folded inside to keep it flat, sat back and began reading, glanced over at the pattern and then changed my mind. Those cables and that wool. They were calling me like it wasn’t funny anymore, like they really wanted to disturb the story. I pushed the book aside and began casting on. 

The yarn was Rauwerk, a woollen spun mossy, foresty green, reassuringly toothy and substantial, pleasingly different to the last few 4ply projects I’d had on the needles. And it began to do that thing that it does when you haven’t started a new project for a while and you’ve found the one that for any number of reasons is what you were always supposed to knit. My fingers seemed to be in cahoots with the wool – like they’d been angling for this union all along and now they couldn’t get enough of each other. They worked the wool effortlessly into stitches that turned into patterned fabric as fast as the stations were appearing down the track. Colchester, Ipswich, the rib with its offset twists was taking shape, Manningtree, muted fans began to unfold, Diss, the first full repeat was now in view. 

People began standing up to pull their jackets off the luggage shelf. “This train is now approaching Norwich where it will terminate.” Nearly two hours of uninterrupted knitting had got me into such a heady state of stitchy passion, I’d  clean forgotten about my hero in the book now long-since upstaged by a ball of wool and a pattern called Shandy. That rail-road start set a pace and an appetite for knitting this cardigan which, if anything, picked up speed, so that 3 weeks later or last Saturday to be precise, I found myself sewing the last button into place. Unputdownable, page-turningly compulsive, this was knitting so deleriously delicious, that its casting off was bound to come with a little regret. I love the finished cardie, really I do, but oh the heart-stealing knitting of it, makes me slightly wish it could have gone on just a little longer..

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