(I’m just practicing for what I’ll have to tell Melissa.)
The knitting theme of this weekend has beenâ€”surprise!â€”Malabrigo. I confess I am unfairly using patterns from Crystal Palace to knit up my Malabrigo, so I will have to buy generous amounts of Crystal Palace soon to balance out my knitting karma, but I shouldn’t find that difficult!
I’m knitting the Cameo Shell Stitch Shawl in Bergamota malabrigo, a vivid, pinky-coral. Every row or two, I have to stop to fondle the work in progress. The garter and shell stitch patterns are wonderfully thick and cozy. This shawl will be nice and warmâ€”much more than a decorative something to toss over my shoulders. My one regret is that I have just four skeins of this malabrigo, which should be enough, but which is threatening to run out on me a few rows early. I’m hoping I can make it through the last of the shell stitches, then I can can cast off in a contrast color, but I may run out before that in which case I will be tinking and grumbling and working on a Plan B.
I’ve also started the Cabled Capelet in Col China malabrigo. This is a fun knit: enough variation in each row to prevent tedium (which is important with 300+ stitches per row), but a clear overall logic, so one never has to knit against one’s instincts. The color variation of this yarn works well with the pattern, giving it lots of depth, but not obscuring it.
When I started knitting, I took great pride in only working up my own designs, but I’m discovering that working from patterns has real benefits, as well. Following a pattern takes enough pressure off that I can dream things up while I’m knitting, wondering how I might rewrite a stitch to make it bigger or smaller, what other kinds of garments it could serve well for, and the like. I am still toying with possibilities for the mock cable used in Rosebud. Now the Cameo Shawl had me cooking up alternate versions of the shell stitch that would lend themselves to staggered placement and knitting in the round. It’s also teaching me how to add stitches gradually to build up to another lace repeatâ€”a task that had me feeling a bit too intimidated to try Michelle Ciccariello’s lovely Aran Weight Victorian Lace Poncho, which is waiting its turn in my Ravelry queue.
If it weren’t for this thing called “work” that keeps getting in the wayâ€”who are these eighteen-year-olds and why do they keep asking me about their papers?â€”I could lose myself in an absolute frenzy of creativity.
Chris had two good additions to my list of pet theories…
1. It’s ok to sometimes buy ‘less expensive’ yarn from mass marketers. It allows us to have enough money to afford the nicer yarns too. And to NOT feel guilty about it.
2. Knitter to non-knitter translation. “Let me do just one more row” really means “I’d rather stay home and eat cereal for dinner and watch movies (so I can knit).”
I would add a corollary to #2: any film in the theaters is bound to be out on DVD in a few months, so why pay money sit in a room where I’ll have to worry about crabby non-knitters and the possibility of dropping stitches in the dark?