So glad to hear the news of a new baby girl in Shaynetown. Just the other day I was thinking, “How awesome are those Shaynes, and why aren’t there more of them?” Very glad that’s been taken care of.
You know how I’m such a technical whiz at knitting, right? I am always looking for the Better Mousetrap, the trix n’ tipz, the StepSaversTM. The other day I unvented an awesome new technique. I cannot re-create my thought process, for it was far too rapid and brilliant. (Quicksilver, honestly.) But I want to benefit mankind, so I will share the step-by-step directions.
1. You are more than 10 hours and half a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk into a homebrewed shawl variation on Veronik Avery’s lovely lacy rib scarf.
2. Your variation sucks.
3. The yarn, at least at the loose gauge you are knitting, is floppy and unappetizing.
4. Life has lost its meaning.
5. You have thought of 9 other things you’d like to cast on right now.
1. Slip the stitches off the needles. (I know that makes you nervous because when the stitches are off the needles, they can unravel. That’s OK. Stay with me.)
2. Unravel the dang thing.
3. All the way back to the first slip knot.
4. Put yarn back in stash.
5. Put needles back in the Ready position.
6. Carry on.
I cannot tell you how good it felt to do this.
Ripping out is so contrary to my nature. My nature is stubbornly optimistic but ineffectual. My inclination is always to put something aside and wait for “mojo”, or perhaps for a fashion for ugly floppy shawls. If I had followed my nature, I would have shoved this thing into a dark corner, where it would become dank and creased and horrible, and a year from now, I would come across it in a fevered hunt for a pair of size 4 circulars. After wondering what the heck it is and how the heck it came into existence, I would rip it out.
Ripping it out freed my mind and needles for the project I really felt like knitting. A shawl for Afghans for Afghans’ latest initative: a drive for rectangular shawls for women. It’s a great project, with room for creativity but very specific requirements. (I love it when a charity has specific requirements. Here, the requirements are based on Afghan custom and what women there actually can use.)
I cast on 318 stitches in Rowanspun 4ply, knit 9 garter ridges, and then started working alternating 18-row strips of stockinette and reverse stockinette in Noro Silk Garden Light and the Rowanspun. It only measures 60 inches long at this point, so I am going to add some length to the ends when this portion of the knitting is done.
Ask yourself: what can I rip today?