This Too Shawl Pass
March 8, 2010
Olive is harshing on me in this photo. She’s judging me because although I only have 2 garter ridges left on the Flaggy Blankie, toward the end of last week I was laid low by a wicked case of the Starties. As always, it hit me from behind. I had been sitting on 6 skeins of Alchemy Haiku, in the lemony-lime shade of Citrine, for a full year without being seized with any particular impulse to knit it. I had bought it last year in Seattle when we were on book tour, and I was all hot to trot to knit something from Gina Wilde’s intriguing book, Shibori Knits. That feeling somehow passed over. Until late last week, when I was leafing through Shibori Knits again, and came across:
The Poet’s Shawl. The stockinette bits are Alchemy Haiku, which felts, and the garter bits are Alchemy Pagoda, which doesn’t. I just LURVE this thing. So I went off in search of a non-felting yarn in the eggzact same color as my Haiku–that seemed very very important, that it be the same color.
Success! I found 3 hanks of Alchemy Silk Purse in Citrine, at my lovely local, Knitty City.
Here’s The Thing
So I cast on. Noticing, in passing, that the Haiku is sort of EAGER to felt. It will felt on itself if the strand gets even slightly bunched up, or twisted, or especially if it twists around another yarn, be it feltable or nonfeltable. I kept going. Undeterred and undaunted and undismayed.
Until I got to the part where you do a vertical column of the Silk Purse, right in the middle of two sections of the Haiku. This means you have to have 3 balls of yarn, or bobbins of yarn or whatever, going at the same time. Which is a pain in the butt for several reasons. One being the self-felting qualities of the Haiku, and the fact that you have to be so very careful if you do not want the yarns to cross or twist, and even if you’re very careful, they are going to cross and twist–it’s just the way it goes.
And then, you see how in the picture of the shawl, there are lots of irregular gaps and holes on either side of the column of non-felting garter stitch? Even on the lovely sample? Well, that’s because of the felting, I’m sure, but it’s also because of the intarsia.
See what I mean?
It’s kind of driving me crazy. I was sitting up watching the Oscars last night (sans tweeting a peep of my innermost thoughts about any of it), and just kind of hating dealing with the 3 different sections and the self-felting and the gappy holes.
Does anybody think it would be wrong if I eliminated the vertical column of Silk Purse garter stitches running up the middle of the back? Because then, I would only be knitting with one of the yarns at a time, in an unbroken strand across the row. I could deal with that. Yes, that vertical column is cool, and might even be a big part of why I liked this shawl so much in the first place. But I just don’t think I can remain undaunted and undismayed throughout this entire project, if I don’t make it a little more…..do-able. Thawts?
Susan Has A Lot To Answer For
I’m also in a pretty good frenzy about this project. Volt, from The Fine Line, by Grace Anna Farrow. Which I’d never heard of until reader Susan from Katonah went and emailed me a link and said something insidious like, “I think you’d like this designer’s shawls, especially Volt.”
Oh, I liked it, all right. I liked it 6 hanks of cashmere worth. When have you known me to buy 6 hanks of cashmere all at the same time? I saw this pattern, and my Innermost Being cried out, “I want it! And doggone it, I want it in cashmere!” What is UP with THAT?
More about that later. It’s a wonderful book. I was never a shawl person until now. These could be My Shawls. Applied i-cord is involved. Enough said.
P.S. For fun, and wrap-knitting motivation, watch this video. C’mon! “Tie a scoff!” (Keep watching, at least until you get to the scoff-sporting dachshunds!)