Knitters DNA

Handspun never felt like “stash” to me, probably because it’s a finished object in and of itself.

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Also, it’s so so so pretty.

But it is stash, stash almost too precious to be used. No more! I’m sticking with my recent philosophical pivot to use the things I have instead of letting them molder… by turning them into objects that will surely molder.

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Pattern: Knitters’ DNA by Martina Behm
Yarn: Handspun
Roving: Frabjous Fibers Hand-Dyed Blue Faced Lecester in #118 Tea, Toast & Cake
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A not-so-great photo for scale

I love the variation in handspun – it’s why I make it! – and then I’m not quite sure what to do with it because of that variation. Happily, I’m in a stage where simple patterns mean comfort knitting, not boring knitting, and this mental space lends itself well to finally using some of these special skeins I’ve been hoarding for too long.

But I still don’t know how to effectively wear a shawl. Any tips? Give in to it and just be a person who wears shawls? Will I feel less silly with practice?

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Inaugural MMMay2018 Post

Since one of my goals for Me-Made-May is to actually wear the shawls I have sitting in a neglected pile I thought I’d experiment with ways to wear the things and put together a quick photo guide. Unfortunately, this exercise only reinforced why I never wear them. In no particular order:

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The Cold Shoulder: not your grandma’s blanket for keeping warm in cold office environments
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The Old Country: on someone else this says “I just drove here in my roadster”. Not to self: borrow MIL’s roadster.
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The Neckerchief: only knitters wear scarves this way. You probably don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. Reminiscent of dogs wearing bandanas.
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The Headband: was hoping for 1930’s movie star, more closely resemble a pirate.
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The Shoulder-As-Clothes-Hanger: my personality can’t keep up with the drama
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The Bandit: remain unidentifiable while drawing attention to yourself
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The Girl with a Green Ribbon Around Her Neck: keeps your head attached to your body
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The Broken Arm: not for use with actual broken arms
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The Romani: pairs well with the Headband. Related, but not photographed: the apron. Wear shawls below the waist only with extreme caution.

I don’t wear accessories generally. I’ve wondered if it’s a matter of habit more than style so I’m going to go ahead with my pledge to try to incorporate these shawls into my wardrobe even if I don’t know what I’m doing.

Those books, I should say, are nearly all Hubs’. I’m a Kindle convert.

Cursed

This is what I had saved as a draft in a post titled “Full Circle” in which I had intended to triumphantly reveal my finished Leaves of Grass.

This story finishes where it began, at Knitorious in St. Louis, where I procured this project’s first 5 skeins (yes, that was the listed yarn requirement) and its final 8th skein (yes, that was the actual yarn required).

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Isn’t it sweet how I thought I was done with it? Well, it wasn’t done with me. This thing is cursed, I tell you, cursed.

If I read auspices I may have gotten a clue from this shawl’s beginnings. This was a souvenir purchase while on a family vacation during which the car broke down not once but twice in two days in completely different ways and the second time so spectacularly that we rented a car and continued on because our choices were either do that and get where we were going or hang out in a suburban Indiana Holiday Inn until the car was either fixed or declared beyond repair in 4 or 7 days and go home.

Then the yarn gobbling.

Then the moth(s). Hubs tells me there was only one moth. Like he used to tell me there was only one mouse in our infested apartment building. I was just catching the same one over and over. I’ve never been able to figure out whether he’s optimistic or in denial.

Then… then… then I burned it up in the oven practicing due potential-moth-egg-and-larva-killing-diligence.

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I’m a big girl. I didn’t cry.

I’d been baking or freezing all my yarn and finished projects since I spotted the moth without incident and I just can’t explain what happened here.

The last few weeks I’ve been swimming against the current. I think if I just stick with a thing it’ll turn out, but some things the harder you try the worse it seems to get. Right not this feels like a lot of wasted money and wasted effort and that stings. I’m down, but I’m not out. I’m stubborn and resourceful and I’m going to figure something out. But I’m going to wait until my wounded pride begins to heal and I feel the current change or I learn how to swim in it, whichever comes first.

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Pre-baking. She was 5 feet in diameter and glorious.

Good news is I’m excellent at treading water.

How a Shawl Became a Blanket

Who needs gauge? Not this girl. That’s the short story about how this shawl became a blanket. Or would be if I had enough yarn to finish it.

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The long story involves the purchase of 5 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft while on vacation, the realization those 5 skeins would never make it, the procurement of 2 additional skeins that surely would, and the one last skein that is still needed when they didn’t. I ran out with 18 edge chart repeats to go. It wasn’t even close.

If you’re going to play it fast and loose you gotta suffer the repercussions.

I was probably never going to wear this in public, anyways, she said petulantly. If I ever finish the dang thing.

A Pi Are Squared

I’ve finished my knitting and gift projects (except for husband’s shirt which is still in time out a month later and might not make it under the tree) and I thought I was going to make a bunch of gnomes because cute! but then I went to tidy the guest room in anticipation of the hoards of marauding children that would storm our house during our holiday open house and as I was tossing things into the closet my eyes crossed the stashed ziplock bag of 5 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft that I bought last summer when we stopped in St. Louis for a few days on our way to Pittsburgh. The stop was scheduled and the yarn stores were scoped out beforehand, but the trip to the car mechanic for brake work was not which threw a literal and metaphorical wrench into our plans. Happily, the mechanic shop turned out to be within walking distance of a donut shop and Knitorious. I managed to spill an entire large cup of steaming hot coffee straight into my purse at the donut shop and the walk to the yarn store wouldn’t have been an an easy one with two small kids in tow even without heading in entirely the wrong direction at first but we persevered and dammit if I wasn’t leaving that yarn store without some reward. 5 skeins of Loft, an awesome hat kit, and a margarita with lunch helped a bunch.

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I bought these skeins to make Leaves of Grass and it’s just the thing I want to be working on as we ramp up to the holiday high times. It’s nubbly, warm, and comforting.

Our car troubles weren’t over, but that’s enough about our most recent Griswold family vacation.

Special Snowflake

I love knitting lace! I do not love wearing lace. I have a stack of finished knitted lace shawls probably being eaten up by bugs as I type this. I’ve made really intricate lace for fun and simpler, modern knits that I thought would be more wearable, but I am a habitual person and when it gets chilly I still don the Clapotis I made out of Noro Silk Garden Sock way back in 2009.

Wow, has it been 8 years already? Where does being “habitual” end and “in a rut” begin?

Back to the task at hand. If I’m not going to wear lace I thought maybe my table could.

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Pattern: Snowflake Stole by Dorothy Siemens
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Findley in White, 2 skeins

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Of course I’m already worrying about stains so my table may not be lace-adorned after all. Is it gauche to put this under a clear plastic tablecloth? Undoubtedly. I may need to rethink this plan. That or only serve white foods at Christmas dinner.