Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comfort knitting


Well, I worked very hard on my conference paper last week, and got it done (with pie charts!), and ... and nothing. By Friday I was sick with a sore throat and was losing my voice, and on Saturday morning -- when I was supposed to present my paper -- I felt worse. So no conference, no paper. I was disappointed, plus I had this pesky stabbing pain in my throat, and if that wasn't enough, Saturday afternoon came with period cramps. So it was a rotten day. So I started knitting.

As I mentioned in my last post, I already had my eye on the Prairie Rose Shawl from A Knitter's Book of Wool, and I had the perfect yarn for it. On our holiday to the east coast last fall, I'd bought a 400-yard skein of Shetland laceweight that was from the Last Resort Farm in Malagash, NS. It's very woolly -- a little bit thick and thin, spun tight in some parts, fluffy in others. Since KBoW is a celebration of wool -- real, woolly wool -- and since Prairie Rose called for less than 400 yards, it was a perfect match.


So I knit, and I knit, and I knit. I watched TV (Kramer vs. Kramer was on, and then loads of reality shows). I cuddled with Mooky. And I knit. And then I knit on Sunday, too, between cups of tea and hankies full of ... well, I was sick. But I knit and knit, and by Monday evening, I was blocking my Prairie Rose Shawl. And I was feeling better.


Now, the pattern calls for 370 yards of "fingering" (though the shawls shown are knit in laceweight), so I thought I was safe with my 400 yards of heavy lace, but I ran out. I had to knit the final row and do the bind-off in another yarn; fortunately, I had a ball of Plymouth Baby Alpaca laceweight in the same shade of grey. And it actually worked out well. I think the Last Resort wool would have made a bit of a thick edge, while the baby alpaca is finer and made for a more delicate edge. So all’s well that ends well. (Still, be warned!) Maybe I ran out because I went up a needle size (pattern calls for 3.5 mm; I used 3.75 mm) to get a slightly larger shawl. I was cutting it pretty close.

As with all Evelyn Clark shawls, the construction is simple and logical, and the finished product is lovely. Plus, my cold is pretty much gone. Plus, I can recycle that conference paper. My pie charts will live again!

19 comments:

emileeknits said...

That's beautiful!

Melinda said...

It turned out lovely, indeed!:)

Kathleen said...

So pretty! KBoW is on my Christmas wishlist.

Big Geek Knit Blog said...

that's lovely!

I think you got me sick now. I have a scratch throat too and am home sick. YUCK.

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

It is beautiful and I love the color.

crochetgurl said...

Your shawl is gorgeous! One of these days, I must try an Evelyn Clark pattern. It was finally cold enough today for me to wear my Ishbel here in San Diego. :-D

Chris said...

Gorgeous!! I'm so looking forward to getting this book.

Seanna Lea said...

The shawl is gorgeous, and I'm glad you are feeling better!

Clara Parkes said...

Your shawl is beautiful, and I'm so glad you're feeling better. Ingenious problem-solving with that bind-off row, too. :-)

jane said...

I hate to hear of pie charts going to waste so glad to know they won't be wasted. But at least you got a fantastic shawl out of the deal.

stringplay said...

I am a huge Evelyn fan and always refer to her patterns as my comfort knitting, too, so I knew just how you felt choosing her pattern to work while ill. Hope you are feeling much better. Beautiful, beautiful shawl.

MyFairDaisy said...

What a lovely shawl! I love the grey color you chose too, simply beautiful.

tiennie said...

It's gorgeous!!

yoel said...

Lovely! You've inspired me to get that book now.

Knittripps said...

Your comfort knitting turned into a beautiful shawl. I hope feeling better and back to healthy!

Robin said...

Very beautiful! Nice to see the pattern knit up as I can see it more clearly in your photos than in the book. Glad you are feeling better!

Jodi said...

So pretty! That book's on my holiday wish list.

Running out of yarn seems to be my specialty lately. Looks like you did an excellent job of improvising.

a wren's nest said...

You knitted that in three days while being sick and on your period?? Life is so unfair. It's really beautiful.
I think I'll go sulk over the knit-two-purl-two sock band on the plain green sock I've been knitting for a month.

trikada said...

Vere bela!