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.
Yarn : Caterpillargreen Merino Twist shawl striping
Colour: Warm and Fuzzy
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl
For more great stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.
11 Comments | tags: knitting, shawl, WIP, WIPWednesdays, wool, yarn, yarnalong | posted in knitting
There were moments. There were moments of panic and doubt. There were moments when I couldn’t bear to look at the remnants of the skein for fear that looking would make it run out faster and ensure that I wouldn’t be able to complete the socks. There were moments of absolute certainty and confidence. No matter what I was thinking at any moment, the only thing I was thinking about was if I was going to be able to finish the socks. I thought about it while I was knitting the socks. I thought about it while I was in the shower. I thought about it while I was thinking about writing this post. I thought (or more accurately) I fretted constantly about if I had enough yarn.
I squished the ball. I poked the ball. I eyeballed the ball. I breathed a little sigh of victory every time I finished a section. Even though that relief was very temporary and almost instantly replaced with doubt. This dance, this tango, of hope and doubt caused my relationship with the socks to be a very unique one indeed. There were moments when I knit them at a fever pace and there were moments when I literally froze with the socks in my hands, unable to knit a stitch.
Finally, I decided that what I needed was mojo. I needed the mojo of other knitters. The more knitters I had near the socks, the more likely I was to finish them, or at least that was my thought. So there came a day when it was a friend’s birthday. She is a long time knitter and I knew the likelihood of at least one other knitter being there was high, and I was right. Three knitters in one place had to be enough. I hoped it was. I said a little prayer to the knitting goddess and really hoped that she was listening.
I don’t know if any of that made a difference. I suppose in the end nothing I did or didn’t do would have really made a difference. The amount of yarn I had wasn’t going to magically change. Knitting or not knitting was the only difference to be had. So in the end that’s what I did.
And there was an ending. Actually, it was the last thing I really accomplished before the plague was bestowed upon me and left me only able to complete one or two rows of a heel flap in a day. But, as I knew it would, the end did come. And there in the grande finale, the only thing that was left for me to do was revel in glory and the satisfaction of having a finished pair of socks.
Yarn: Tanis Blue Label in Poppy and Sand
For more Friday knitting check out Creative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.
9 Comments | posted in knitting
I’ve made Jaywalkers before. I have in actuality made eight complete pairs of Jaywalkers. That’s sixteen individual socks. I know how this pattern goes. I know what to cast on, and when to start the heel. I know when to start the toe. I know how to tell if a yarn will be too tight or too loose, and how to fix that so that the socks will fit perfectly. Most importantly, I know how they should look.
I know that if it is a self-striping yarn it will most likely look something like this.
Or maybe this.
Or maybe even like this.
I use this pattern with self-striping yarns because it works so well. The pattern does not overpower the yarn, nor does the yarn in any way overwhelm the pattern. They are a wonderful compliment to each other, a perfect synergy of yarn and pattern that blends beautifully to make my favourite socks. These socks are reliable. They are stable. They are ever-present. They are Jaywalkers.
Until now. The only things I can say us that this pair, my newest of my beloved Jaywalkers, is having an identity crisis. They have no idea what they want to be.
Truly, there is some multiple personality disorder happening here. Big stripes, little stripes, all out chaos? Sure! Why not? Forget order. Defy expectation! Be whatever you want to be. And while you’re at it, befuddle your knitter. Leave her shaking her head and wondering what the heck is happening and if the second sock is in any way going to match the first. It’s all just so much more fun this way!
This past weekend I went with my hubby to return some books to our local library and came across Cinderella Girl by Carin Gerhardsen. It’s a Swedish murder mystery that I had heard a few rumblings about. It is the second novel in a series, but I didn’t realize that and jumped right in. This book is working fine as a stand alone, and while there is some back story that probably would have been better filled in, it’s not difficult to infer what’s not actually there.
Here’s the thing. This novel is written exactly they way you would expect a Scandinavian novel (or movie) to be written. The pacing is different. It is slow and very methodical. It’s barely over 300 pages, and it took until page 80 for the first murder (in a book that claims to be a murder mystery) to occur. I’m still not certain who the main character is, or how pretty much any of the separate story lines connect. Currently it’s just all sharing the same space in between the same covers.
I would like to point out that none of this is making for a bad read. This book is neither unenjoyable or horrid. It just is. It is contemplative and detailed and a rather easy read.
For more great stuff check out KCCO and Jenny’s Yarn Along.
6 Comments | tags: jaywalkers, knitted socks, knitting, top down socks | posted in knitting
I really feel there should be more of an update to the list. I feel like I should be crossing things off with gleeful abandon and that there should be some measurable amount of forward momentum. But there isn’t or at least it doesn’t feel like there is. Sigh.
My Sister in law, on the other hand, is making stunning progress with her crocheting. She’s completed her first pillow case and a baby hat. She’s struggling a little with the second case as she can’t seem to replicate the mistakes she made on the first one. The joys of becoming more confident in your craft. Even her wool licking dog, Miss Daisy, is getting in on the action!
And now for the list.
Redacted YOP List
Iced – finished Feb 2015
64 crayons – Finished Jan 2015
3. Vincent price socks – should be much closer than they are.
4. 10 more squares for Nordic Holiday
1. Lumberjack X4 Two pairs finished Jan 20. Two to go.
2. Baby gift for the April baby
4. socks (unknown)
5. Socks (unknown)
3 Comments | tags: knitting, Year of Projects, yearofprojects, YOP | posted in knitting