Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

Truth #4: Give Your Handknits to People on Painkillers

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Dear Kay,
You know, it was just delicious to be away, wasn’t it? It made me realize how important travel is, how refreshing it is to be in a different place, to make that phone call home and have your son say to you, “Hi Mom. I can’t really talk–I gotta go shoot off the homemade fireworks we made.”
I managed to F an O during the odyssey to San Diego. I’ve been cranking on a Kiri shawl for a beloved pal who is currently undergoing some plumbing work. She’s a knitter herself, so I’m kind of nerbous about giving her this shawl–maybe I’ll give it to her while the Oxycontin is still flowing so she’ll just look at it and go, “What a pretty sail you made. I love pirates too!”
I haven’t blocked this yet, and you know how I am about the blocking. Blocking is the dental floss of knitting. Nobody likes it, but you never regret having done it, right?
A quick peek at this Kiri reveals some startling truths.
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Truth #1: Only the slightest of color variegation works for a lace pattern.
I love this yarn, as you know. Its sheeny shine makes me think of a sari, and this particular shade is particularly spicy. But this shade of Blue Heron mercerized cotton is probably a bit too variegated for a lace project. If you wear this thing over black, it looks great. But a lighter color underneath makes it hard to see the pattern. If I’m knitting lace, I’m wanting people to see the fact that lace is present. There are holes in this thing, people. On purpose.
Truth #2: It’s easier to work a pattern when you have the pattern with you.
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As I ran around throwing stuff into my suitcase, I tried really hard to remember to pack the Kiri edging pattern–you know, the scallopy doodah part that makes it all look kind of Morticia Addams? Well, I did pack it, but I lost it somewhere in the Nashville airport, so you know and I know that some Southwest Airlines flight attendant is happily edging an airplane blanket while I had to Move On and Wing It. In the interest of finishing Kiri fast, before my pal’s drugs wore off, I settled for an eyelet border and some garter stitch. She, being a knitter, will see this for what it is: a desperate act by a desperate woman. Or, being on drugs, she will see it and proclaim, “Polka dots!”
Truth #3: It’s OK to knit a pattern more than once.
Until now, I have never knitted a pattern more than once. It has been a hard and fast rule for me: no repeats until I’ve knitted every pattern ever written. But I saw different things when working this Kiri, and it’s such a lark of a thing, that I really loved it. Thanks so much, Polly, for a tasty shawl.
Off to block this thing asap.
Love,
Ann

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Kay and Ann — your book was the talk of my knitting group last night. One of the ladies works for a yarn wholesaler and said she had to fight off other employees to take a long look at your work. She described in detail several of the patterns she liked. We were all drooling.
    Expect your Arizona sales to skyrocket.

  2. What? You’re not allowed to knit patterns more than once?!?! CRAP. I am so screwed.
    Woodcuts? WOODCUTS? ;-)

  3. Very, very excited about the book arriving in Canada. Hurry up, Canadian book importing people. My Olympic project is Kiri! I have some lorna’s laces in Bittersweet…but now I wonder if it’s too variegated. Good grief: I may have to swatch. Yours is looovvely…inspiration for me during the opening ceremonies!

  4. Kiri is completely gorgeous, whether or not the edging is “proper.” I’m sure your friend will be delighted that you knit her something so lovely and thoughtful.

  5. Beautiful Kiri, including the edging. I’m on my second and loving it – the pattern really is like munching on some really yummy kettle chips, isn’t it?

  6. I lost my Kiri pattern in a bed and breakfast in Ireland — since I didn’t bring another project I soldiered on thinking I remembered the pattern and could read the knitting until a few days later when we stopped at a cyber pub. My half finished shawl has a design feature but is not froggable due to the mohair haze.

  7. I fell in love with a variegated yarn and a shawl pattern at the same time. I have decided that while to the untrained justifier, it would appear that the variegated yarn obscures the pattern, to the highly qualified I-can-justify-anything, pretty-much-kind-of-person like me, that the yarn merely adds a layer of mystery. An enigma hidden within a mystery, or whatever.
    In other words, I don’t care, and am going to do it anyway (spoken in a high-pitched whine).
    Join me.

  8. And your shawl is beautiful, which gives me even more incentive to break rules. Bah! I say!

  9. I just finished MY Kiri, too, and I’m totally in love with it. I have it on today!
    First thought: I used a highly variegated Helen’s Lace, and while it’s true that it looks best over black, I don’t see that as a reason not to use it. I’d say that I wouldn’t want to use a highly-variegated DARK yarn (particularly one including black or very dark blue or purple), but I don’t see the variegation rule as a strict one.
    Second thought: When I finished Kiri she was like a tiny version of her true self, all squashy and un-blocked. But she was still clearly a triangle. I took the last stitch off the needle, stood up, and proudly said to my three fellas “I’m finished!! Look what I made!” Now, you’ll have to picture it: Me holding this semi-large triangle in front of me, somewhere below shoulder height.
    After a moment of silence my husband asked “Is it a thong?”
    And that was it: it will be forever after known at my house as the “shoulder thong.”
    It’s a beautiful project and I do suspect I’ll do it again…

  10. Yum. The Kiri, she is on my list of things to knit before I die. Yours is gorgeous.

  11. Mary B — It must be pure hell living with waggish teenage boys–a regular laff riot!
    Re: variegated colors and lace. Am I the only old-timer who remembers the CRAZE for Charlotte’s Web in 5 or 6 shades of Koigu Painter’s Palette? Variegation plus lace plus STRIPES. It’s all about what you like, right? (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) I like Ann’s–it’s like a cozy color-y blankie, and of course I never object to a garter stitch-based edging. Tis the gift to be simple. xoxo Kay

  12. Painkillers are great. I have some right now for my broken assbone (pardon my french), and am now ready to knit the sweater.
    Where is the sweater? QUICK!! BEFORE THE PILLS WEAR OFF!!!

  13. Oh, your Kiri is lovely. I like the colorway of the yarn a lot, even in the lace pattern. It will really brighten your friend’s day!

  14. Lovely Kiri! I just bound off my Kiri last night and she awaits the tub. Mine is knit in Kid Silk Haze and I will miss the fluffy Kiri cloud in my lap in the evenings as I knit it. It’s definitely on my list to knit again – although I may try Birch in the meantime. Beautiful knitting and nice save on the edging!

  15. Even though my attempted variegated Kiri and I had to go our separate ways, I’m not bitter and can say yours is beautiful. I like the simple edging. With all the colors & leaves there’s plenty going on. By changing the edging, you haven’t technically knit the same thing twice,so no need to reevaluate your place in the knitting repeaters cosmos.

  16. a lost pattern???? pass the drugs, please. your work is in the genius department.

  17. mmmm….kettle chips….
    I wish I enjoyed knitting lace. Maybe muscle relaxers would help me keep from wanting to poke my eyes out with my needles while I attempted it. That’s a thought…
    Awesome shawl and even awesomer save on that edging. that’s some kind of knitting super power.

  18. Lovely, lovely shawl. And I’m sure she’ll love it when she’s off the junk.

  19. I totally stole your idea to knit Kiri in BHMC awhile back and I love it.
    Mine was done in “Deep Copper”–it looks similar to your new one here–maybe less pink. It took so long for me to complete–I can’t imagine knocking one out for a friend, literally, on the fly. Since your friend is a knitter, she’ll have an extra appreciation for the extraordinary thoughtfulness of your gift.
    Good for you, Ann!

  20. I’m the queen of knitting a pattern again, and again, and have the socks, scarves, and dog sweaters to prove it!

  21. It’s delightful! And the edging she is tres chic! What a lucious colorway. Methinks it will look fab-o over any solid color. And not to worry-I can envision people hot-footing over to your friend to admire it, and as she languidly raises an arm to thank them, their little ol’ peepers will veritably POP out as they then note the intricate, hand-wrought laciness of La Kiri.
    And Stephy, all I can say about that copper version is:
    “VA-VOOM!”

  22. Really beautiful, I love the colour. Was it blue heron? (I always assume Koigu). I’m sure your friend will love it and, being a knitter, really appreciate it.

  23. Don’t you hate when you forget a pattern and you really want to knit that project!!! Rats.

  24. Wow, I’m totally impressed, but to Melinda I give the true nod. I knit a scarf in kidsilk haze for my grandmother-in-law and felt like I was knitting with her very thin hair. Don’t think I could handle a whole shawl of it!

  25. Did you check Lost & Found in the Nashville airport? Last fall, I left a sock-in-progress in a restroom there, and ten days later, with immense relief, I retrieved the whole project. Thanks to the kind person who turned it in!

  26. Oh, my laird, when I saw “F an O,” I thought you faked something that starts with O, and that, my friends, is a testament to how very novice a knitter I am.
    Your FO is beautiful!

  27. Kiri was my first lace project. And what a learning curve… But what personal satisfaction to finish it and know that I actually made this lovely thing.
    I used a variegated Kimmet Croft laceweight wool in a shade called Storm Clouds or some name like that. It was variegated purples–not too dark, and calm enough to not obscure the design. I thought it was great for a first lace project because when I had to rip back rows and ROWS, I could clearly see which row was which.
    I can only marvel at knitters who can just toss off this pattern and complete it in a couple days. Awesome. Will I ever get to that level?

  28. DISCLAIMER, Y’ALL! I by no means tossed this thing off in a couple of days! I started it before New Year’s and have been soldiering away at it for weeks! I am the world’s slowest knitter, really. When I say “cranking,” I mean like somebody winding the bucket from the well.

  29. Have only recently found your blog. My problem is the opposite – if I find a pattern I like I keep doing it in various colours and styles. Love the shawl – I agree blocking is boring but necessary to avoid lace looking like a rag.

  30. I just re-knit a pattern for the first time (not including things like gloves, mittens and socks) … a lace scarf for my mother … and found it to be a very interesting experience. It would seem that — despite all my best efforts — I have learned a lot in the last 12 months.

  31. I’m sorry, Ann. You were working on it New Years–hey, it’s still January! You shall not claim my title of “World’s Slowest Knitter”. Maybe, you can be “Nashville’s Slowest Knitter” or even “Central Standard Time Zone’s Slowest Knitter,” but, no, not “The World’s.”
    I started my Kiri the first week of June and finished it the last week of August. And, I worked on it every day.

  32. I believe I am in Guiness Book with a photo as world’s slowest knitter. And that doesn’t include the time waiting to sew up and sew on buttons!

  33. Slow, fast, medium – you all get gold medals for attempting, finishing, blocking a Kiri. It is “on my list” to knit this summer. (plans, plans and more plans)….
    AND
    I had the same momentary flash with the F and the O as the novice knitter – So:
    May we never F our O’s, may we have as many O’s as we all want….and may our Finished Objects be celebrations of our other great love….knitting.

  34. Its a beautiful Kiri you has made there.

  35. Well, I love it, variegations, winged borders and all. If your friend doesn’t appreciate it I can promise the Salsa Kiri a good, loving home.
    Every time I start to give in to the “lace is not for variegated yarns” camp I check myself and remember that, although I may be a “crazy knitting lady” (as my friends call me), to the rest of the world this is an article of clothing, or less, an accessory. The rest of the world does not see articles of clothing as individual stitches. So I can knit lace in any colors that make me happy to knit. This was proved to me when I gave a finished Charlotte’s Web to my mother-in-law, who lives in a very Republican suburb in Ohio. (Although that may be redundant. Haven’t yet found evidence of a Democratic suburb in Ohio.) You’d think Charlotte, with all her extravagant colors, would be a little lonely there, but no, she’s had neighbors falling over themselves with envy!
    P.S. — Amazon has my book order! Can’t wait!

  36. What can i say but WOW!It looks amazing, I cannot wait till your book comes out:)

  37. Hello, I really love your blog. Your writing is hilarious (in a good way, of course). When the Knitting Olympics are over (I’ll be knitting the Teva Durham Fair Isle Bias Pullover) and I have saved up enough $$ to purchase the requisite yarn, I will begin the Short Row Fair Isle. When I begin the SRFI, I’ll gladly offer myself up to you as a knitting spectacle.

  38. She is a beauty. Your friend will be beyond thrilled. ANd beacause she is a knitter, she will realize all hte love and hard work that went into it. I think I see a Kiri in my future.

  39. Ann, it is beautiful!! Is this Thing 1 or Thing 2? Or am I comletely off base? The shawl is beautiful!!!
    How’s the perfect handknit sweater going?
    By the way, I have been a bit out of the loop and haven’t managed to post many comments recently but I wanted to tell you how fabulous that sweater is that you knit for Hubbo. It is so comfy and cozy looking and, well, just fabulous!! :)