January 17, 2010

The Perfect Pattern

When last I wrote, I was in the middle of knitting a beautiful textured shawl. As is the norm for me, when a project it enjoyable, I tend to knit it quickly. I wish I could drag it out, make it last, but it never works. So the shawl was finished and though I could hardly stand the anticipation, I blocked it for a day.

It seems recently that I’ve been trying a whole bunch of techniques that I tried out as a new knitter several years ago and moved away from after the initial taste. I have felted recently, I have knit a shawl/wrap, and I have blocked. All things I tried out in my neophyte knitting days and found to be too complex. I think I felt that they weren’t worth the effort I had to put into them.

Well, I don’t know if I am just maturing as a knitter, or if I am getting bored or what, but I have enjoyed the recent diversity of projects. The blocking was frustrating because I don’t ever have a surface that works and I never seem to get it quite right with my stupid pins. I think I lucked out with the textured shawl, it just doesn’t require me to block the hell out of it. I don’t need a giant, blanket-sized thing to cover me. If I did, I would pick up one of my blanket WIPs and work on that. The shawl also doesn’t really have any lace, so that helped. My wimpy blocking did the trick, with a little cursing along the way.

I also used the Eucolan that Keith gave me for Christmas. Yes, you read that right. A man (and I happen to date him) went into a yarn store and picked out several great knitting items that I would likely never buy myself because they are splurges, including balm for my hands and the wash. And while I’m bragging, he even managed to buy me a sweater that a)fits and b)I love.

Anyway, back to the shawl finishing. It went well. After blocking it as super soft and flat and instantly a fixture around my neck. It is the perfect accessory. Large and soft and warm, but not too big and was super easy and short. I am happy.

After it was over I found myself in a knitting malaise. I have several recently purchased skeins kicking around. I have several amorphous pattern ideas floating around in my head, none of which I felt like starting. And meanwhile, my sister’s unfinished gloves were sitting on the table, glaring at me reproachfully. I had felt ok letting them sit while I finished the shawl. It was a recovery project, something to keep me sane after the frantic Dad scarf incident. But a little voice in my head (and a not so subtle nagging by Keith) warned me that if I let two projects go by, then they might never get finished. So after not-so-gentle pushing from Keith, I picked up the gloves and finished off the second one.


It was like the weight was lifted and I could return to knitting whatever the hell I wanted with a guilt-free abandon. What I wanted was a small kerchief that I saw at Cast Away. It turned out to be a version of the Silk Kerchief by Kate Osborn knit in Malabrigo Lace with an added ruffle finish. So after some initial struggles with the crochet provisional cast on (I may or may not have expressed loudly some unkind words concerning crochet, lace-weight yarn, and the cruel sadist who invented this method) I managed to get it going. And I love it! It’s so light and airy and soft and easy to knit. A perfect conversational knitting piece or for watching movies, like we did last night. It’s non-intrusive and a pleasure to work on.

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