Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Morticia Addams, But In a Good Way

Dear Ann,
I’m running out the door to Boston, but I must fulfill my mission of encouraging the knitting of many more Volts. Look at Ravelry–there are only 16 documented Volts! That is an insufficient number of Volts, given what a satisfying, gorgeous, intriguingly-constructed knit it is.
I will admit that in my chosen colorway of greys, black and acid green, this might be Charles Addams’ (or Tim Burton’s, or Wes Craven’s) favorite shawl. There is something about it that shrieks, “Morticia”! But it shrieks, “Morticia, you look FABULOUS.” (And not for nothing, but I am in no danger of being mistaken for Anjelica Huston as I go about my daily routine.)
Get a load of the wingspan on this baby.
I highly recommend the upgrade to cashmere. It’s pricey, of course, but you are going to be knitting on this for quite a while, and you are going to own it for the rest of your natural life, and you are going to be very, very happy at every stage that it’s cashmere. Also, you are going to have lots of little cashmere nuggets left over for future fabulous knitting.
While knitting Volt, with the piece bunched up on a circular the whole time, I had an inner conversation going about how I am no waifish knitwear model and it wasn’t going to be big enough to truly wrap my hulking bulk in. This was, like most negative self-talk, nonsense. Volt blocked out to an extravagant amplitude. It’s a wearable blanket. Light as a feather, wide as the sky.
The one thing I would do differently, next time, is to do the i-cord edging to match the colors on the edge, instead of in the contrast color. With i-cord, it’s ridiculously easy to change color at exactly the right spot, and it’s no trouble to hide the ends, and I think an “edgeless edge” would be a lovely refinement, like a painting without a frame or a quilt with no borders. Needless to say, I did not feel strongly enough about this to re-do the edging. Never! A done edging is, by definition, a perfectly fine edging.
Boston-area knitters, please come see me this weekend!
When I get back on Sunday night, I want to see at least 20 Volts on Ravelry. Fail not at your peril.*
*This phrase was at the end of every subpoena I ever issued. I believe the technical term for it is an empty threat.

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  1. Lovely, lovely shawl, and a charming model to boot. Would kill for the hair.

  2. Wish I was in Boston. When are you coming to Toronto?
    That is a truly lovely shawl — and indeed sort of spooky!

  3. Carissima!!

  4. Your shawl(and your model) are beautiful! Empty threat = LOL.

  5. WAAAAYYYY too much stockinette/purling for me…

  6. Dang…I don’t fly into New England until Monday night…I’m going to just miss you!
    Volt is fabulous and the people of Boston should rave over its demure pilgrim-like colors. Tee hee!

  7. I love it! Such a cool non-shawl-like shawl. P.S. This is my first comment and I am excited about it because I just finished reading ALL of y’alls archives and had many points at which I wanted to comment, but decided it would be just WEIRD for me to do so on a 2004 post, in, well, 2010.

  8. That is the most fabulous wrap I have ever seen! I am dying to knit it, but you scared me with the counting drama you experienced early on. Do you have any tips on how you cracked the code? Also your “hulking bulk” description made me truly laugh out loud. I really love how you write.

  9. “Fail not at your peril.” I think that’s gonna be my new e-mail signature.

  10. I LOVE the empty threat line, have to find a way to work that in to my general conversations!!
    Looks great, safe travels.

  11. Travel safe, and I will see you in Harvard,MA tomorrow! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!….Wendy

  12. Have the Volt pattern, busy with other stuff but yours is so beautiful I am moving it up in the rotation so it’s next! And yes, cashmere! Yesssssss!

  13. Wow! That’s a whole lotta fabulous there! πŸ™‚

  14. Have the Volt pattern, busy with other stuff but yours is so beautiful I am moving it up in the rotation so it’s next! And yes, cashmere! Yesssssss!

  15. You had me at extravagant amplitude.

  16. Re: “negative self talk nonsense”:
    “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
    –Peace Pilgrim
    The quote above just came to 2x in the last 2 days, from 2 different sources. I just felt moved 2 share.

  17. Love this shawl (can’t contemplate cashmere though!) and love the fabulous picture behind your model even more. What is it?

  18. Perfect wrap to grab when speeding out into the morning mist with the little poochy one.

  19. You convinced me, got the yarn waiting for the pattern to be delivered by post.

  20. Tres, tres chic!

  21. Love these photos, the shawl is so much more provocative when I can see through it. One day…

  22. your turn of phrase “little cashmere nuggets” makes me smile with pleasure πŸ™‚

  23. More pictures of awesome knitting being modeled in a clean house. *sigh*
    I’m going to have to quit coming over here. Can’t you artfully place some clumps of dog hair or something?

  24. It’s simply beautiful!!

  25. carrie is so lucky to have such a creative mom!

  26. WOW – Carrie is so lovely – a young woman now….
    Still love the Volt. Don’t know that I have the patience, but it sure is gorgeous.

  27. My colleague’s take on “fail not at your peril” is that it should actually be “fail at your peril.” Because, truly, to “fail not” would mean complying with the subpoena in all respects. So it’s even emptier than an empty threat.
    Or…maybe it’s an unconscious way for the subpoena issuer to undermine herself: “just a little warning here: if you comply with my subpoena, it will be at your own peril and I might just win the lawsuit.”

  28. I really like the contrast trim! But then, if I were knitting it, it’d be hot orange and lime anyway, because I’m violently allergic to anything that isn’t made in obnoxious colors.

  29. It’s really beautiful – and beautifully modelled! What cashmere did you use? I tried to buy some at Purl but got the gage wrong and ended up with something so fine I can hardly see it!

  30. I love the shawl, the Carrie hair and the dog all in motion in the first shot. “OK, everybody…twirl!”

  31. I would have loved to see you Sunday, but I didn’t get done my training run (waddle, it was a pathetic run) until about 2 p.m.

  32. Dang, now that I just started my second 32-row repeat of the Upstairs shawl, I’m thinking I could’ve made a Volt!

  33. Just beautiful. Whenever I hear knitwear described as light as a feather, I just shiver with delight.


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