Saturday, September 13, 2008

goodbye Vermont, hello desert

In the last few weeks, I found a dissertation topic, survived/celebrated a family wedding, said goodbye to my beloved Vermont, and drove the three thousand miles back to Arizona. It's been a scattered, whirlwind time. So, as sad as it is for me to be back in the desert, there's also a relief that comes with settling down again.

I spent much time knitting, but it, too, was scattered. Take these three shawls for the wedding. Two weeks before the wedding, the bride asked to borrow my wedding shawl. I happily and joyfully blocked it out and readied it for her. But I thought she might like to have a shawl of her own, so I set scurrying about to see what I could put together in that time.

My first idea was a storm cloud shawlette in a delicate lace yarn. I cast on with the silk/alpaca laceweight that you see in the top of the picture, but it just didn't work. Too light. And, doubled, too clunky. I probably wasted 8 hours of time on this project before I had to admit to myself it wouldn't work.

By that time, I had only one week left before the wedding. I overnight ordered the ivory mulberry silk that you see in the bottom of the photo. I designed another half-circle shawl to show it off. And it would have come out beautifully, if I'd only had enough time to finish it. Instead, in my haste I was splitting stitches and making beginner mistakes that I thought were a decade behind me. I couldn't pull it off in time. So now I have TWO unfinished, unnecessary shawls.

I did finish one shawl for myself to wear to the wedding. It's, of course, another storm cloud! This time in the silvery, sparkly kidsilk night yarn, which is a silk and mohair yarn with a bit of spangle thrown in. I'm not modelling it, though, because it displeases me.

I switched up the stitch pattern (from elongated garter to elongated stockinette) and it looks dreadfully boring. Blah color. Blah texture. To make matters worse, the shape has changed with the stitch pattern (I just thought I could block it any which way -- not true), so now it's too long and not wide enough, and that damn ruffle falls in a less proportionate place. Nothing worse than boring, except boring with a bad ruffle.

But I did have one success: simple ribbed hats for the bride and groom, as a reminder of their Vermont wedding. I went down to the Green Mountain Spinnery for the yarn, which was an excellent visit that I'll post about later. Here's a little aerial shot where you can see the beautiful texture and color well:

I knit matching hats for the happy couple, and they seemed quite appreciate. Success at last!

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