After my last rant, and what I admit has been a somewhat negative attitude over the past few weeks, I think I’m turning a corner with my knitting. In fact, I’m starting to regard the knitting as something of a lifeline, a way out of darker places.
No, I still haven’t found my sock book, but there’s no reason I can’t just go out and get another one (the library doesn’t have it!) and get back to my socks. Done. Well, not quite done yet, but close. And once again, thanks go to The Baron for insisting that it’s money well spent . . . although I’m sure that as soon as I actually buy a new copy of the book I will find my old one and therefore be able to return the new one.
On the clouds-are-clearing front, however, two packages arrived via the good old USPS on Monday and both really cheered me up.
First I got four skeins of Rowan All-Seasons cotton via a yarn swap with my knitting-blog buddy Mick. Go check out her linky and see my new balls of yarn. Aren’t they pretty? The arrival of this yarn was exciting on many levels. First and foremost, when I finished Peacock Feathers I was left with more than 3000 yards of violet Jaggerspun Zephyr — a beautiful color, but I was fairly sure I wasn’t going to use it again for a long while. Somehow, maybe because Mick’s first lace piece turned out so well, I just felt that she was supposed to have the leftover yarn.
Meanwhile, my cousin, the youngest of our generation, the little girl I used to play with and the preteen I taught to shave her legs, is about to have a baby. Knitting is called for, but I’ve been feeling uninspired with my stash of KnitPicks Swish in shades of baby blue, baby pink and baby yellow and all-around stuck, what with the stalled sock and all. As soon as Mick’s yarn arrived though, I began trolling through Ravelry looking for just the right thing. I made one of EZ’s February Baby Sweaters and it came out really well, but I want to try something new this time. Many of the baby sweater patterns out there are a bit boxy and simplistic. I get it, babies are sometimes a little nebulous around the edges, but still I think it’s important to put detail and attention into a baby sweater and not just seam together two garter-stitch rectangles. Wow . . . I am becoming such a knitting snob! Any gift made with love is a wonderful one that will hopefully be received as such, but I have (hello, type A much?) high standards for my own gift projects and I want this sweater to kick ass.
So . . . this afternoon I pulled out Mick’s yarn and swatched for Trellis from Knitty, which strikes me as the perfect combination of cool and detailed without being too fussy or going overboard. My gauge was a tiny bit off but I was happy with the fabric and hey, babies come in all sizes, right? I always think a little bigger is better for baby things — the roominess extends the useful life of the garment. I had to go down to size 5 needles to even get close (4.5 inches for 21 stitches instead of the suggested 4 inches) and now I’m ready to cast on.
But wait . . . what was the other package that brought sunshine and light? It was from KnitPicks, of course. I had a leftover bit of cash on a gift certificate and my work/knitting buddy Miss V. was going to do an order so we went in on it together to get the free shipping. It was pretty wonderful having a few days of anticipation before the KnitPicks box showed up, early as usual. It was also really fun to have Miss V. be as excited as I was about the delivery. I think it’s one of my favorite things about knitting — having other people to get giddy with about something as simple as a cute stuffed animal pattern or finding the perfect yarn. I barely had time to teach her how to knit before she was off and running, tracking down cool books and patterns and joining me on yarn shopping trips.
What was in the KnitPicks box you ask? Well, I’ve been wanting to try a mystery lace KAL for a while now, and when I came across the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl Along it seemed perfect. I wanted to use just the right yarn — the Zephyr seemed too delicate, I didn’t really like the swatch I made with the KnitPicks Shimmer (seen here in Turquoise, I initially bought it to make a shawl for my wedding and scrapped the plan when it started to look too much like tye-dye), and I didn’t have anything else that felt right in my stash. With the start of the KAL looming (the first clue was posted last Friday — I think membership will be open until June 30) I was desperate to find the “right” yarn and I rather blindly took a stab and ordered 4 skeins of KnitPicks Shadow in Juniper. Big mistake. The color is a teal-and-red combo that Miss V. described as “grandma.” Funny though, rather than being bummed I’m a bit excited to test out the KnitPicks exchange process. More about the Goddess Knits KAL later . . . for now it’s enough that I have a cool baby project that I’m excited to get started on. I hope the summer sun is going to keep shining on my knitting!