Saturday, August 04, 2007

Can I Get a Do-over?

When I announced my intention to knit myself a wedding shawl out of essentially cobweb-weight yarn (or, as some called it, thread), most of you -- and especially those of you who know me in real life -- expressed some concern but for the most part were extremely supportive. I'm glad no one told me I was completely nuts, although late last night I came to the realization that I must have been completely wacko. I want to show you how far I'd gotten as of last night:

I'd been knitting very slowly to get to this point, in part because knitting with this "yarn" is kind of like playing with a Chinese finger trap; the more I pushed it to try to get to get the stitches to move along the needle, the more resistant it became, and as soon as I relaxed, the stitches were liable to slip right off the needles. In fact, that's exactly what did happen. In the middle of a row, as I took my right hand off the needle to wrap the yarn around to make a stitch, the right needle slipped completely out of the stitches and about five of them fell off the needle. I tried to grab them, but somehow I missed a couple and could not seem to get that area of the pattern fixed correctly. At that moment I realized that this yarn was not worth fighting with -- I'm anxious about the wedding as it is without this added anxiety! I was ready to admit defeat. And it's just as well, because this yarn was knitting up too yellow for my taste.

Don't think this is the end of the wedding shawl, however! I still wanted to get one done for the wedding, but I decided to go with another yarn in my stash that I've worked with before -- Misti Alpaca Lace (I used it first for this shawl and had nearly two complete skeins left). Since we were up anyway -- J had to be on a work conference call at midnight -- I cast on shortly before 11 last night and managed to get through all the set-up rows. Finally lace knitting felt familiar and easy again. I could see what I was doing, if a stitch slipped off it didn't drop down into previous rows (thank you, alpaca halo!), and I was able to watch TV and talk to J without losing my place.

That's nearly three repeats of the main chart finished after only a few hours of knitting. I am getting into my groove now and feeling much more confident. I'm aware of the fact that it's not white, but the bridesmaids' dresses are green, and I wasn't really planning on wearing the shawl for the ceremony or anything anyway, so this will work just fine. Also, I need to make a little product pitch here. You see my KnitPicks chart keeper in the back there? So worth the $9.99 it cost me! It's much easier to move the magnet than to keep moving a sticky note, and I've been able to move my knitting around the house without messing up the chart or losing my place. (I can assure you I haven't been compensated in any way by KnitPicks -- I'm just so happy to find a good, useful knitting product that I felt I had to share!)

I also got another lovely surprise in my mailbox today -- a package from my Sockapalooza pal! Look-y here at all the wonderful Dr. Pepper-themed goodies:

The socks I'll get to in a second; the package also contained a lovely note from my pal, Dawn; Dr. Pepper-flavored Jelly Bellys; instant raspberry iced tea packets; cinnamint gum; and some Harry Potter chocolate frogs. Mmm!

The socks are the most delicious part, though. These are knit out of Claudia's Handpaint sportweight, in a colorway called Peppermint Mocha, but Dawn told me she called these Dr. Pepper socks as she was knitting them. As you can see, they are a perfect fit:

And so incredibly cushy! I'm not sure what pattern they are (Dawn, can you enlighten me?), but they're a nice stretchy rib and will be so cozy to wear in the winter. Thank you so much, Dawn!


  1. Anonymous6:11 PM

    I forgot to tell you the pattern!!

    They are the Campfire Socks from Cider Moon. It is a free pattern on their website. It was so fun to knit and I absolutely love that yarn!!

    I hope you enjoy them and don't stress over the wedding!

  2. What a great package, (love the socks, Dawn)!

    Your Solstice Slip socks look great (so does the "bad sock"), and although the cobweb weight yarn didn't work out, your "something blue" (that is blue, right) Misti Alpaca version is lovely!

  3. Wow - you got a GREAT package! I love how it's all color coordinated.

    Good Luck with the shawl but I'm sure you won't need my luck to make it work - you're on the right track now. :)

  4. Anonymous12:43 AM

    you're on a lace craze!

  5. Great package from your Sockapalooza Pal! I haven't jumped in on any secret pal thingamajigs yet. Maybe someday.

    Sorry I couldn't quite repress my horror (or keep my yap shut) when you pulled out your serger thread shawl last Wednesday. Yeek! What you had when you quit looks beautiful, though, but the new alpaca laceweight looks fabulous, and much more do-able!

    OF COURSE you can get a do-over! Yay, you! :)

  6. Glad you got the shawl thing sorted out. I love those socks you got as well (even if I don't like Dr. Pepper) - they're beautiful.

  7. I'm sorry that the first shawl didn't work out, but I think the blue will be just lovely! You can do it!!

    Great socks from your pal, by the way!

  8. I have faith in you! I love the Dr. Pepper package...that's awesome! I'm gonna look up that sock pattern now...

  9. sorry that the first shawl didn't work out, but i have faith in the second. and who is luckier than you with the dr. pepper sock package? looks delicious!

  10. Oh I've used that exact color Misti, and it turns out GAWGEOUS.

    What's the pattern?