the Senior Cat said.
He was sitting there drinking tea and trying to understand the meaning of the term "tension" or, as North American knitters would say, "gauge".
My friend R had turned up with "the jumper" (sweater to you North Americans). It has been unravelled and the wool has been rewound and then put into hanks. The knitting kinks have been taken out. The hanks have been rewound. She is ready to start again.
Oh yes my otherwise highly intelligent friend forgot to check the tension. She thought she had it sorted. I warned her. I told her it wouldn't work but she went on anyway.
"You were right," she told me earlier when she phoned to see if I would offer comfort, tea and advice.
I didn't laugh. I gave her a virtual hug over the phone and a real one when she got here.
We talked about tension. I tried the yarn and the needles she had used because, she told me, "I think it's 8ply" and I thought to myself, "It isn't." It wasn't.
She needs to be knitting this at around 16.5 stitches to 10cms. This means using a pattern which says 16.5 stitches to 10cms not 22 stitches to 10cms. It makes a difference, a big difference to the number of stitches you need to cast on. If you wanted something to be 100cms in width you would cast on 165 stitches - not 220 stitches.
I do that sort of maths in my head and R is perfectly capable of doing it too. The Senior Cat is also more than capable of doing the maths. It was the concept he had a problem with. R explained. I explained. Oh.
I gave R a couple of ideas as to what might work. We talked some more. The Senior Cat drank tea and showed R a puzzle he had made for someone. He told her he would make her one as well. There was a mischievous look in his eye as he said it. I knew he was getting his own back after being given a knitting lesson of sorts.
Later though he sat down to his evening meal and said,
"I didn't realise it was that complicated. I really thought you just sat down and knitted."