Friday, May 27, 2011

The More I Stay the Same

I suspect a little indirect Harlot influence.  I should probably explain, apologetically, that as a general rule, if a pattern is written about on the Yarn Harlot, it's not something I would ever want to knit. In all the years I've been reading, I don't think I've ever looked at one of her projects and thought, "Eureka! That's it!"   My response is more likely to be, "Well.  Isn't that - interesting."  All those socks.

This is not as heretical as it seems. What she does for me (besides delight, entertain and make me really, really happy that there are bloggers out there capable of writing good prose) is inspire me.  I may be underwhelmed by the particular project, but will look with new eyes at the type of project. This is what I think happened with her latest foray into lace.  I may have refused the to succumb to the herd instinct and knit Damask, but I found myself queuing up or downloading an awful lot of lace shawl and shawlette patterns.  Like Rosalynde.  And the Annis Shawl from Knitty. And the Weekend Shawl. And Seven Small Shawls by Designs by Romi. I may, perhaps, have been getting a little obsessive.

I showed these to my daughter.  She looked at me like I had two heads. I didn't let that stop me.

Then I saw an ad on Ravelry for the Soleil Shawlette by Phydeaux Designs, it can only be had as a kit with one skein of the appropriate yarn from Sunshine Yarns (scroll down about halfway, there's one posted with a dark blue yarn). I think perhaps it was that Siren Song, the one about the rare and not so easy to obtain, the one with the chorus about color and hand (silk and cashmere), the one with the harmony of greed and acquisitiveness, that did me in.  Not only did I buy the kit, I bought the only other available skein of their Cashmere Silk 2-Ply  in Night Walk.

If you thought the Princess was a little bemused before, you should have seen her face when my package arrived. I believe her comment was slightly less blunt than, "But you don't knit lace," or "Have you completely lost your mind?"  but not by much.

Truth be told, once I looked at the twisted drop stitches --they look like rays from a rising sun (hence, no doubt, Soleil) -- I found my ardor for that particular pattern cooling.  One might say it plummeted to temperatures not unlike Antarctica in July. I know I had all those other patterns, but I remembered one I hadn't acquired.  "Cladonia," I thought, "Cladonia could work."  All that nice stockinette. The demi-lune rather than the triangular shape.  Just a lace border.  That could work. That could be worth it.

Except, of course, I had the second skein of yarn.  Why this should be a deal breaker for Cladonia when I obviously had no issues with Soleil, I can't explain. We'll just go all Oscar Wilde-ean Oliver Wendall Holmesian* and say I refused to allow a foolish consistency to be the hob-goblin of my little mind.

I kept rifling my Ravelry queue. I pulled the shawl and stole books off my shelves. I flipped through pattern leaflets and stitch dictionaries. I cruised the Internet. Most of this done while my family was not around to stage an intervention. I started knitting yesterday.

It's Melody's Shawl from Morehouse Merino (kit, which I did not buy, here, pattern, which I did, here - scroll down.)  It's thousands and thousands (880 yards worth to be precise) of stockinette stitches in the round.  While it is lace-weight, the pattern has no need for a chart. No row-by-row knitting instructions. Nary a yarn-over or K2tog in sight. 

The more I think I'm capable of change, the more my daughter has the opportunity to laugh out loud. It's good to have a purpose in life.

*Edited to  add: Diane H is right.  I only know two quotes on the subject. That one is from the great Supreme Court Justice.  Wilde's quote on consistency is that it "is the last refuge of the unimaginative." 


Diane H said...

All those shawls.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in Self-Reliance. I took a quarter's class on him. Really - a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Julie McC. said...

There. All fixed.

Thank you, ma'am.

Diane H said...

Your PghCathy won the anniversary giveaway at Kristin on the farm (something) blog!

PghCathy said...

I didn't pay any attention to the comments until today.

YEP! I won Kristin Nicholas's anniversay give away. And I almost didn't enter. My thought is...what are my chances when several hundred enter? But I also thought there were 3 different prizes...increasing my odds. I couldn't believe it when they all showed up on my door!

Maybe my luck's not so bad. I won a book & yarn from you, too.

BTW...MJ was never able to find that poem. Where on earth did find it before?