Thursday, May 12, 2011

Waiting for Blue Skies

If you've ever read the Betsy-Tacy stories by Maud Hart Lovelace, you know that the Ray family was dedicated to their traditions. Sunday Night Lunch, where Mr. Ray does the cooking, comes to mind, as does scrambling around in the dark to fill each other's Christmas stockings.  When any member of the Ray family travelled, they brought home souvenirs to the poor benighted souls left behind (remember how Betsy meets Joe at the Willard's store? Good things come from souvenir buying.).

The Princess went to San Diego in March.  The the Pirate, the Lord Protector and Their Father got t-shirts.  I got yarn.

This is Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in 554/Fern Rainbow.  I note that Crystal Palace is based in California, so my souvenir also adheres to the buy-local-products-for-souvenirs-otherwise-what's-the-point rule.

Something happens to me in late winter.  I need to herald Spring.  I need to know that someday, April will come "like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers,"*  In a word (or six) I need to knit something green.   The need was exacerbated this year by the eternal, cold, wet, greyness. The Princess, apparently mindful of this odd seasonal mindset of mine, provided. 

The object is the Scalloped Soft Coral Scarf (it's free!) from the Crystal Palace website. It was fast.  It was fun. It's not very big. A clear case of the pay-off that can be had by using a pattern designed for the yarn.

Let's admit right here that I did not swatch.  This is an extremely soft, slightly fuzzy, single ply merino-nylon mix.  I didn't think it would take well to frogging and I only had three skeins. I just decided to go up a needle size (how many times do I have to admit I'm a tight knitter?).  This may or may not have been the cause of the one glitch I ran into. I ran out of yarn.  At step 11, the pattern says to knit 6 rows of garter stitch.  The yarn was running short so I stopped at 5 and still didn't have enough to bind-off.  This was during that whole looking for a happy ending period, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. All in all, I decided it was fortuitous, though, since the scarf starts with 4 rows of garter stitch and this way the two sides match.

I now have one skein left, and am thinking of revisiting the fingerless mitts from Weekend Knitting. That, and buying more Mochi Plus and knitting another scarf or several.  I could see this in 557/Autumn Rainbow.  Or maybe 566/Feldspar.  And maybe 607/Storm Clouds.

I don't know if knitting something green in March actually helped bring Spring to the Midwest.  It's been unseasonably warm the past few days, but still intermittently grey, and the forecast calls for falling temperatures while the greyness stays. Maybe I won't knit the next scarf in 607/Storm Clouds, after all.  Maybe 572/Jenny Lake would be a better choice.

* "Spring," by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Actually a quite terribly sad poem, but I love the line.

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