Saturday, August 13, 2016

OMG, I still know how to knit!

We took a vacation-as-such in June for the first time in a lot of years; a whole entire week with the whole entire family (plus three friends) down in Los Angeles, going to theme parks, eating way too much food, and just partying as though the world were ending tomorrow.

Naturally, the first thing I said to myself when I realized that I wasn’t going to be up to my eyebrows in working / cooking / cleaning / paying-bills / etc. was OHmyGOSH…I should TOTALLY bring along a knitting project!

And it goes without saying that instead of a nice pair of socks (well, OK, in addition to), I settled on an enormous fingering-weight lace shawl with multiple individual patterns, because what says ‘relaxing activity’ more than THAT?

{beats head on desk}

{why, Me, whyyyyyy do you insist on doing that to yourself?!}

I cast it on in the hotel on a day that poor Boo Bug had to sit out the theme parks due to an upset stomach, didn’t get a whole lot done on the trip because duh, ya think?!, and then finally finished it Thursday night => got it blocking on the bed this morning.

It is so huge that it takes up literally 2/3rds of a king-sized bed, y’all. 100 inches long by 50 inches deep once I had it stretched out and pinned – I had to turn it diagonally on the bed to get the edges spread out correctly, because as I just learned this morning, the mattress is “only” 80 x 76 inches.

I had to get up on a step ladder to take a picture of it, and still couldn’t get the whole thing in the frame. Daaaaaaaaamn.

This is the Spirit of the Southwest shawl, and like all of the Evelyn Clark patterns I’ve done it was a delight to knit up. The lace patterns were tricky enough to be interesting, but not so tricky that I either never finished it, or spent more time cussing than knitting.

I used the #6 needles the pattern suggested, and a yummy skein of Lisa Souza’s Lace in the ‘Mahogany’ colorway that I had been taking out, petting, and tenderly tucking back into its air-tight storage bag for years and years – Ravelry informs me that I bought it at Stitches back 2010.

The shawl ate up a little over half of that jumbo-sized skein, so I still have plenty of yarn left to make a second, smaller shawl in the future. Woot!

{happy sigh}

I have to admit, things like knitting, reading and writing have been badly victimized by my shift from commuting every day to working from home full-time.

Other things have benefited, of course, and the benefits way outweigh the losses, but…well…that was four hours or more, every weekday, that were basically set aside for Such Things.

I couldn’t be paying bills, or washing the kitchen floor, or doing any home-related things while I was on a train, for carp’s sake – about all I could do that felt even remotely productive was read, knit, or write.

But, I’m starting to work my way back to having a bit more balance that way; it’s hard going because I am an idiot with a very poor grasp of the concept that I only have so much energy and physical stamina to put into whatever-all I’m doing all day long, and thus tend to hit the ground running and then just run and run and run until I slam face-first into an invisible wall of exhaustion every evening and end up just kind of existing until bedtime finally rolls around.

But, it is getting better…so hopefully, my poor neglected stash will start feeling loved again, and I’ll be able to enjoy this feeling of having done something cool with my “free” time instead of feeling guilty about “wasting” endless hours watching videos and otherwise farting around on the Internet in those hours between “done working” and “bedtime.”

Here’s hoping, anyway.


ccr in MA said...

That is so lovely! I'm glad you haven't forgotten how it works. It's so satisfying, isn't it?

Steph Bolinger said...

Gorgeous! Some day I'll pull up my big-girl panties and try my hand at lace knitting. Not today, though. :-)

CeltChick said...

Fabulous! And actually going somewhere for vacation just sounds so nice...Not that I want to, but I wouldn't mind if the roomies left for a week!
Steph, it ain't hard if you start with something simple. It's just increases & decreases in a pattern that makes holes. Work up a couple spa cloths, you'll be hooked.

PipneyJane said...

The shawl is beautiful, Tama.

Steph, I will second what CeltChick said. Lace is easier than it looks. What makes it even easier is to follow a charted pattern, instead of one written long-hand (that way, you can see in a quick glance where you are and what comes next). Get yourself some highlighter tape, to mark the row that you're on, and shove a stitch marker between every repeat and you will be a lace-knitting high priestess in next to no time.

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