The first of my 12 in 12 shawls is finished. I am pleased to say the the seemingly never-ending rows of moss stitch on the Flavia did in fact end. They lead to a 500 stitch border which was initially very daunting and did result in me texting my husband and telling him that I was seriously considering tossing the whole damn thing under the wheels of the car and driving over it a few times. I refrained from actually doing that and instead picked up the stitches that I needed and made the border. (Remarkably, I was only missing one stitch!) And it was worth every moment. I am super pleased with the final shawl. I’m going to post pictures in the next week as I still haven’t blocked it.
Unblocked and needing it's ends weaved in.
But, on to number two. Number two is Arroway by Stephen West. Aside from having reached the Fair Isle colour work section of the shawl and being slowed down a little, the shawl has been going swimmingly. It has had, up until this point, the perfect balance of mindless and interesting that means that it comes off the needles relatively quickly. And just at the point where I was beginning to think that I was getting too bored to carry on, Mr. West threw in some two stranded colourwork and now I’m not bored. And I love the colours of this shawl.
I’m using two shades of Indigodragonfly’s MCN Sock. The darker of the two is “Who’s a Guy Gotta Kill Around Here to Get a Drink” (it’s an Angel reference), and “Hi I’m Fred.” These are not two colours that I ever would have put together. But fortunately, I have a very helpful Hubby. When I went to him and said, “This is what I’m making. I want the colours to pop” he told me to give him everything that had the right yardage in it, and this is what he came up with. I was a little skeptical at first (I’m really good at picking colours that blend. Colours that pop were outside my comfort zone), but I realized very quickly that much like the colour of the bedroom walls, (I was pretty skeptical about that too), I loved these two colours together. The really good thing is that I had no idea what I was going to use Fred for. He was clearly stash and now he is happy in the shawl.
So far, I am on track with the 12 shawls in 2012 challenge. I tip my needles to those who are already on shawls #3 & 4! I think the fact that I know what my next shawl is going to be (Walnut Grove) and that the balls are wound is enough of an accomplishment all by itself.
With only 7 days remaining in January I am pleased to say that the Flavia shawl has finally turned a corner. At some point, I did hit that magic sweet spot where the rows started going faster and I felt like I was actually getting somewhere. A single row stopped taking so long that my hands would get tried and I would get bored and start cursing under my breath about how I had entered knitting damnation. To make matters worse, Glenna C, the designer, is one of my knitting buddies so I know that in the end the shawl is going to be beautiful. And that the pattern is well written, so I couldn’t even curse her while I struggled through the nightmare slog that is row after row of seed stitch. But even with that knowledge, here’s what I realized: if it wasn’t for the 12 shawls in 2012 group there is a very real possibility that Flavia would be set aside…….possibly forever. It would be sent to whatever that space is in your home that projects go to be forgotten about and where you can eventually block out the nagging guilt that is induced every time you see it because you don’t really have to see it that often. It’s not the same place as the naughty knitting pile because there is nothing naughty happening here. The pattern is not poorly written. The yarn is not jumping off the needles, flipping me a little yarny bird every time I put the knitting down and walk away from it. I have not bollixed up the pattern for more than a few stitches at a time and have always noticed right away. In reality this is a very well behaved peice of knitting.
But I have to admit that it will only be finished because of the challenge. Maybe it’s a good thing that this first shawl is being slightly disagreeable. I am hoping it means that everything else will be slightly easier and elicit far less cursing on my part.
Onto the edging!
So this year I decided to embark on the 12 in 2012 shawl challenge. I knit shawls, a lot. You can read more about that here. For me this will be challenging but not undoable. Ambitious without being insane. I intend to complete all twelve shawls and am happy about what this will do to my stash. Right now it’s all sunshine and roses, (aside from the fact that my January shawl is driving me a little mental), and I am in knitted shawl bliss.
And then I go onto to Ravelry and Twitter and this petals start to wilt and fall off the roses and the sun peeks behind a cloud and things get just a little dimmer. See, here’s the thing: people keep making new shawl patterns and I want to knit them all. I want to knit them all right now.
It started innocently enough when I won a copy of the Walnut Grove pattern from KnitPurlGirl. It’s a great shawl and the kind I like to knit. It doesn’t have a bunch of lace so it’s right up my alley. Simple enough. I swapped out one of the shawls on my Year Of Projects list and added that one in its place. I even have all the yarn I need for it and it’s going to be damned pretty when it’s finished. Then the January shawl for the West Knits Shawl club dropped and I love it. No real problems here yet. I just have to force myself not to stash dive and cast on the shawl right freaking now. And because Mr. West is already not a huge bundle of temptation for me on any normal day, he has a new patternoutside of the club dropping on February 1st. I love it and it will look great with the birthday yarn my husband bought me.
This may not seem like a big problem, but this now puts me in the position of having to really start juggling my list or saying forget it all and just add it. I’m leaning towards the first one.
But that’s it in a nutshell. I only have two hands, which do get tired sometimes. I need to eat and sleep and go to the gym. I need to work full-time. All these things contribute to a better, happier, warmer life. It’s a life in which I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and that makes me a much happier knitter. I just don’t have enough time or hands and I don’t have any magical powers that would allow me to knit two projects with my mythical second set of hands at the same time. (Though I do wind balls with my ball winder in my hands instead of on a table. I’ve been told this is odd.) I just don’t have time and I can only knit so fast, which is not as fast as I would like.
So now I have to juggle my list and fall into a fibre filled haze of madness and pretty shawls. I’ll post regularly as I fall into madness. Please, just pull me back if I go in too far.