The first thing I did upon finishing up grading my students’ portfolios was cast on for a shawl to wear at my cousin’s wedding on June 20th. I had a skein of bamboo-blend sock yarn in a light yellow green (which goes nicely with the dress I intend to wear), and I thought it would be perfect for Annis (spoiler alert: as you might guess from the photo that leads this post, Annis is not going to be the shawl I wear at my cousin’s wedding!).
Annis starts with a VERY long cast-on (363 stitches), which I did successfully the first time, and happily knit 7 (very long, time-consuming) rows of the lace pattern. Then, it was time for us to go to Ohio for Memorial Day weekend, so I stuffed it in my bag to bring with me. But then…when I took it out to start knitting, my circular needle broke. This has been happening more and more often with my Knitpicks Harmony interchangeables – the cord just pops out of the metal join. I really love the Harmony needle tips, and the interchangeable set has served me well for several years, but it seems like the glue is just going bad or something – it’s happening all the time now, and not just with the cords, but with the tips themselves popping out of the metal joins, also. (Advice on a replacement set is welcome!) In this case, it popped out while I was knitting, and I lost a bunch of stitches, and had to rip out…and then ended up with an enormous tangle of yarn that was making me cry. Luckily, my husband is an awesome person, and he methodically picked out the tangle for me so that I could cast on again:
So, I cast on 363 stitches again (this is not trivial, especially when you have a 3.5 year old around), and knit the first row, only to discover that I was 10 stitches short of completing a final repeat of the lace pattern (I don’t know whether this means I had too many or too few stitches, because I didn’t actually count the number of pattern repeats I’d knit). That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I mean, Annis looks pretty, but I just don’t think that a shawl knit from the bottom-up is a good fit for my mind and life as it currently stands. Counting and I just don’t seem to be good friends anymore (remember that this was part of the impetus behind switching the Stripes! cardigan to be top-down rather than bottom-up!).
So I starting going through my Queue and Favorites on Ravelry, trying to figure out what would make a nice summery shawl with a single skein of sock yarn. And then I remembered that I’d bought Kirsten Kapur’s Shawl Book One. I was going back-and-forth between Thalia and Nefertem, but a peek at the pattern revealed that Nefertem would require quite a few stitch markers, and I had exactly three with me on the trip (and no easy means of jury-rigging extras, either). This pushed me towards Thalia – and the lovely open “dots” in the body of the shawl helped, too, because it just looked more summery. So, Thalia it is!
I knit on it every chance I got while we were on our trip, like when we went to a playground with M and her cousin. It doesn’t look like much, all bunched up…
…but once you spread it out, so that the “dots” open up, it’s absolutely lovely!
I think it’s going to be an absolutely lovely shawl…I’ve just got to actually FINISH it in time to block it before we leave on June 17th. What do y’all think? Can I do it?