Frivolity

It feels good to have some lace on the needles again.

Sure, I always have a lace project in progress (or two…. or three). Alas, the time that is required to concentrate on such complicated frivolities has been quite limited as of late. As in, I’d rather spin. Ha! The lace has been taking up needle space and collecting dust for a few months, now. Untouched, unloved.

Actually, the three lace projects that I currently have on the go have been collecting dust because my knitting has been more utilitarian. I need to make a baby gift for so-and-so. I must finish this sweater for a customer. I should get that test knit finished. And while I would love to while away my time on complicated lace shawls that have no purpose in my life whatsoever, there just aren’t enough hours in my day.

That is why I jumped at the chance to test knit a lace shawl for Cosy. At last, a lacy knit that has a deadline and a reason and a sense of urgency that my other lace projects utterly lack. Besides, look at this shawl that I am testing. Beautiful, right?

And another look:

Mary Louise Shawl in Cosymakes Snapdragon Light Fingering, Red (Raveled here, and Cosy’s finished shawl here)

It feels so good to be working on lace again. And not just because it is so stimulating and interesting. Not only for its delicate beauty or the gorgeous yarn. Not merely for the charm of turning a chart into art. All of that is true, to be sure. But at this moment right now, I am taken with the way an entire large shawl project still fits inside my new knitting bowl. (From Blue Room Pottery on Etsy. A “Happy Nothing Day” gift from the Mother-In-Law from Heaven)

Oh, sweet frivolity!

What Ever Happened to That Lace?

Rest assured, the lace obsession rages on, but several things have been slowing me down.

Hinderance #1 – Pregnancy Brain Lingers On. Despite being five weeks post-partum, I still can’t manage to remember a simple lace pattern – even when it is repeated eight hundred times! Sleep deprivation deserves some of the blame as well (see Hinderance #2), but I should be able to wrap my brain around a few yarn overs. This isn’t that hard (for lace) and I have mastered much more complicated patterns in my knitting life.

Hinderance #2 – Sleep Deprivation Causes Narcoleptic Attacks. If I am knitting on the (super-secret-christmas-gift) stockinette stitch project, I most definitely will fall asleep. It has happened…. twice. If I am knitting on something more complicated, say, this lace for example, well… see Hinderance #1. Fortunately, I am a tea snob and have the caffeine it takes to carry on.

Hinderance #3 – Silk (while gorgeous and fabulous and wonderful and awesome) Is Very Slippy and Hard To Work With. To fix this problem, I moved my knitting off of my slick nickle plated needle to my Harmony Wood needle. It helped, but I still have dropped more stitches than I care to count (can you say “tink”) and have to watch carefully even on the easy purl rows. The stitches dance around all over the place and the yarnovers like to rearrange themselves on the needle.

Hinderance #4 – 

Need I say more?

Hinderance #5 – Let’s be honest. The biggest reason that I have neglected my lace is this:

Can you blame me?

 

Of Dropped Stitches, Procrastination, and Treasonous Lifelines

It started last September. It was coming along so beautifully.

The Rona Lace Shawl in Knit Picks Shadow Vineyard

Then, I took a break. I thought it was safe and secure in it’s cute little bag. Alas, when I picked it back up in December, I found that the needle had pulled out of a few stitches and they had dropped. Kicking myself for leaving my lifeline 40 rows back, I put it back in the bag and decided to I would frog it back to the lifeline… later.

Today, I picked it up again (my current knitting project is boring me to tears, and I thought I could use a challenge). I started to pull the needles out and rip back to my thin, green safety net.

I noticed too late that my lifeline had abandoned me, as well.

Almost half of the circle was not protected by my treasonous lifeline. Why I didn’t tie the ends together is beyond me, but then again, I was presumptuous enough to leave it so far behind, I guess I thought I wouldn’t need it.

Such a talented knitter as myself! HA! I scoff at lifelines!

And look where it got me. I was almost finished knitting that first ball, too:

And now, I am back to square one.

This is a must knit shawl, so I am going to cast it back on and complete it… later.

For now, I am thinking that my teal skien of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace needs to be a Peacock Shawlette.

Jaali

Words just aren’t enough, so, I will just show you.
Jaali in Malabrigo Lace Sealing Wax

Three things about this knit:

1. Kitman Figeroa is a genius. I plan to knit all her shawls. This one is challenging, mentally fatiguing, it kept me awake at night and turned out exquisitely beautiful.

2. I knit this holding two strands of Malabrigo Lace together, making it as luciously soft and warm as it is beautiful.

3. Knitting a shawl from the bottom up is highly satisfying. All shawls should be made this way. The last row was 3 stitches long!

The Bookworm really wants this one. And, you know, I enjoyed knitting it so much I might be willing to knit it again. But first, I gotta get to those soakers! Only four more weeks to go before my knitting time becomes nursing time!

The Stash Project Update

I have been really good. Everything that I have knit so far this year has been with yarn from the stash.

But, I have had to make some interesting substitutions, and abandon some knitting plans for new projects.

Jaali is a good example of this. Last year, I bought this yarn:

Malabrigo Lace Sealing Wax

…to make another Wispy. Or maybe a Featherweight Cardigan. Or maybe a Whisper Cardigan.

In any case, it was supposed to be a cardigan, preferably one designed by Hannah Fetig, because I love her patterns so much. I even bought the patterns in anticipation.

Then, I got the pattern for Jaali… and had no yarn to cast it on. And it had to be cast on. Right. Now.

So, I sucked it up, grabbed the yarn from my stash, and, holding it double to make it fingering weight (in case you missed it, there is the interesting substitution I spoke of earlier) and cast on post haste.

I don’t regret it. I mean, just look at it!

I fall in love with it more and more as each (ever decreasing, hallelujah) row is completed.

But, it is taxing to keep up with this whole New Years Resolution thing.

So, my brain is trying to trick me into buying new yarn, without buying new yarn.

Taking part in Ravelry swaps was one strategy – and it worked well. I got some new yarn (plus other goodies like tea and notebooks) and that was fun.

Then, my brain tried to figure out the fastest way to knit all the yarn that I have so that I will have to buy more. (Uh, not gonna happen.)

Then, my brain got really generous with Christmas knitting, since buying yarn for gifts would be a “legal” purchase (thankfully, my common sense won out on that one – I have enough knitting to do without adding a bunch of gifts with a deadline!).

But this newest ploy is just genius. I am thinking that maybe I need a new hobby. What if I got into hand-dying? Is it really a yarn purchase if I buy naked yarn for dying? I don’t think so.  I think I might be onto something here.

Just don’t tell The Man…