Whew. I just finished casting on 437 stitches and doing the set-up row for the Creatures of the Reef shawl. Obviously, this is one of those shawls that is up-front about itself. It doesn’t say, “Oh, just cast on, eh, whatever, three-four-six stitches!” and then sneakily increase itself up to 500 stitches.
It looks you in the eye and says, “Yeah, that’s right, I’m a shawl, a portable blanket for covering an entire human body! You want a shawl, you gotta pay your dues! Drop and give me 437 knitted-on stitches!”
Being highly distractible and also apparently somewhat dyslexic, I energetically cast on 473 stitches. And then when I went to pull out the extras, somehow I messed up the yarn such that instead of neatly pulling out, it tangled up into a chain and refused to come out. Then while I was putzing around with it, I broke the strand.
When you’re making your first join in the cast-on? Well. Let’s just say there are red flags already out on the course on this one.
I love the pattern on this shawl. The crabs and seahorses amuse me no end. I know that the pattern at the top is supposed to be "foamy waves", but it makes me think of fishing nets.
Of course, I love the pattern now. We'll see how I feel about it in a few weeks when I've actually been working the patterns for a while...
The designer says to place a stitch marker every 19 stitches…you know, so that you can know where you are in all those pattern repeats. At first, I scoffed. For the love of Dawg, I’ve done a few of these in my time – I think I can handle counting to nineteen a few times.
And then I reconsidered. Counting to nineteen, twenty-three times…might be a little advanced for a woman who has become so distractible that she will get in the car to go to the bank and end up at WalMart. (Stop laughing.)
Problem being, I didn’t have twenty-two stitch markers. I had, uh, well, about eight.
So, naturally, I went to the yarn store for a $5 package of stitch markers. Well. Two packages. Because after all – I had only eight to my name. I need not merely more, but more-more.
And new sewing needles.
With a Chibi .
And also some Claudia sock yarn, hand-painted in Purple Earth. The same color as the silk I used on the first Pacific Northwest shawl. Because nothing says
The needlepoint is barely even begun…but I’ve remembered why I stopped doing them. Due to the frame they don’t fold or crush or otherwise put up with being crammed down into a bag or basket. The needle is tiny and sharp – not so great with Denizens running around. Also, you have to have a pair of scissors handy at all times, since about every ten minutes it’s time to snip off the strand you were working with and start another. Denizens + Scissors = Problem. The older ones make “art” (pronounced: impressive dusting of tiny paper fragments all over the floor), and the younger ones like to run with them clutched in their grimy little paws.
So I’ll leave it out in my bedroom and when the spirit moves me, I’ll do a stitch or two.
But mostly, I’ll be knitting. Because it smooshes down into bags nicely, and uses needles that would be hard-pressed to break the skin, and only requires scissors every once in a while as opposed to every ten minutes.
Good old knitting.