While the blog has been silent for two weeks, the blogger has been knitting. Knitting like a woman possessed some would say.
I’ve been wearing my silk Aeolian a lot lately and have been eager to finish the green silk Laminaria that I cast on in mid-March. The joys of knitting with silk lace yarn are many. It has a luster and sheen that beads and light play upon beautifully. The way it moves gently across my Knit Picks Harmony Wood needles is smooth and soothing. And those are just the highlights of knitting with silk – wearing silk is even a more heady experience!
With all of this in mind last week I began devoting as much time as possible to the Laminaria Shawl. It’s not a terribly difficult pattern and I’ve knit one before but it’s not a project I can work on our booth at fiber festivals or in social settings. It is, however, perfect for knitting in the van as we travel.
As Christopher drove our van, loaded with yarn, south to the Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta, I knit. For hours. And hours.
I employed the tricks many knitters use when working on an epic project such as “If I knit two rows I can reward myself with a few minutes on Ravelry or Facebook”. This tactic worked nicely while I finished up the six repeats of the Blossom Chart. But once I began the first Border Chart I knew I had to really buckle down.
Although I couldn’t work on the Laminaria during the festival because it required concentration, I did manage a few rows in the evenings at the hotel. By this time I was timing how long it took me to knit a row. I was putting in about 25-28 minutes per wrong side rest rows, slightly more on the right side patterned rows. Of course, this kind of obsessive knowledge starts knitting math to whirl around in my brain. I began calculating the remaining hours that must be devoted to finish the project. I’m never quite accurate when I start that kind of crazypants thinking but it’s unavoidable. I can’t stop myself.
As soon as we loaded the van and left the Coliseum in Seguin, TX I picked up the project bag and started on the Laminaria again. In my deluded mindset I imagined that I could finish the shawl by the time we reached home the next day. I’d done the math, right? I could do this. Of course, I hadn’t factored in bathroom stops, meals, dropped stitches or any other type of delay.
So when we hit the highway I had a goal in mind. But along with that goal as I knit a barrage of other thoughts tumbled around in my noggin as I kept my head bent to my task and ignored the scenery whizzing past. Well, I assume it whizzed past. I didn’t really take note.
Which dark chocolate is better? Ghiradelli or Godiva?
Good grief, will I run out of yarn?
Why has my right eyelid been twitching for a week straight?
I hope Hillarey is eating right in New York.
I wonder if I can find more tuberroses to plant?
What inspired Jack White to write the lyrics, “ I want love to walk right up and bite me, grab a hold of me and fight me, leave me dying on the ground?”
Maybe I should have used beads with this shawl, they would have looked great.
When we get home will the farm dogs pout and ignore us to show they missed us?
Chris is a really good sport considering how much time we devote to yarn.
Should I knit my next big shawl in the silk colorway Rumplestilskin or Cerrillos? Or maybe Santa Fe Sky?
There is not a single song on Bruce Springsteen’s new Wrecking Ball CD that I don’t love.
A big raw spinach salad sounds good about now.
Are we still in Texas or have we entered Oklahoma?
This shawl is going to be fabulous.
I miss my little girl. I should stop thinking of Hillarey as my little girl since she’s 27 and taller than I am.
Why in the world did I start a 900 page book with all this knitting to do?
I wonder if the Baggalini purse I ordered has arrived yet?
Boulevard Chocolate Ale is really good. I wish I could find a case to buy.
When is my next knitting group night?
Maybe I should buy a pair of girlie shoes.
I’m a very lucky person.
Am I crazy to think I can finish this shawl by the time we get home?
Those are just a few of the thoughts that whipped into and out of my mind as I knit on the way home. Turns out I was crazy to think I could finish. As we pulled off Highway 51 onto the first of three blacktop roads to our farm I completed row four of the final border chart. Eight rows and the bind off remained. If I hadn’t become obsessed with the crazy math that had me imagining I could finish I probably wouldn’t have gotten this far in the project.
I spent most of Wednesday knitting and finished the Laminaria. Off the needles it looks like a big puddle of green seaweed. Not terribly impressive for countless hours of work and approximately 800 yards of gorgeous silk. But as an experienced lace knitter I know the next step is when the real magic happens. Blocking a shawl is the type of transformation that can make a puddle of yarn into a stunning garment. Seeing a project stretched out on blocking wires is almost as exhilarating as wearing it the very first time.
The puddle is currently soaking. The foam boards, blocking wires and T-pins are ready for magic.
So am I.