This week my WIP is a little magical. It is a shawl, but is a very magical shawl indeed. Sadly, it is not so magical that it knits itself. Nor does it knit up at a magical pace. And there is no guarantee that is will be the perfect size when it’s finished either. (Just for the record, I have never figured out exactly what the perfect size for a shawl is. It seems to be way too dependant on my mood.) It is magical because of the stripes. Those little colour changes are happening all by themselves in the right place and making perfect little sections.
Now, before you start thinking that I have figured out the secret and am some sort of knitting wizard, it’s really not that at all. It’s the yarn. It’s all the yarn.
The Yarn Harlot first blogged about it here and you can imagine what happened next. The yarn became a very scarce commodity. There were sell-outs, and back orders, and now it seems that scoring a skein of the magic yarn is the same as winning the knitter’s lottery. Somehow, my knitting guru managed to do just that and for Christmas a few of us received skeins.
This past weekend I cast on the shawl. It says right inside the ball band, to be used with topdown triangle shawls. I checked Rav and the Caterpillargreen website and picked a pattern. I grabbed my 3.5’s and cast on. Four and a half hours later I was cussing the yarn and the dyer. I was oscillating between thoughts of auctioning off the skein and lighting it on fire in the courtyard. It was not going well. Colour changes were happening everywhere except where they were supposed to. I was miserable. I was frustrated. I was so very, very unhappy.
I had gone up and down needle sizes, tried a different pattern, added a second colour. Nothing was working. So I took to Twitter and posted my woes. Very quickly I received helped from another knitter. She pointed out that gauge is super important and to try again. So in one last ditch effort I went up another needle size. 4 mm way the key. They were the saviour for the shawl, and at that moment my sanity. It all started to work! It started striping by itself!!!!
Now the shawl is flying off the needles. My goal is twofold. First I want to finish it this week so I’m ready for the weekend. (More about that on the weekend ;) Next, I want to somehow win the knitting lottery when Caterpillargreen updates again. They have some truly beautiful colours just begging for me to knit with them.