Starting is… hard.

I don’t know what it is with me and my knitting. I am the queen of false starts. I am wanting to make another gift shawl. Since I am working on my own Color Affection, I knew this time I wanted to do something different. So, I opted for Taygete, a shawl by Romi Hill. It features garter stripes, with which I have become oh-so-familiar, but they will be running vertically, from side to side, across the body of the shawl. Then the bottom has this little bit of lace for elegance, which I think is pretty and doesn’t look too challenging. We shall see how it goes.

Of course the first conundrum was choosing colors. I feel like I know the recipient pretty well, or as well as she lets anyone know her, but when it came to choosing colors, I had a really hard time. I actually like the sample that the designer created, but could not find those colors online. So, I started looking on Ravelry for examples, to see what others have made. There were some stunning examples, and then there were a few that just made me scratch my head and realize, of course, that color preference is in the eye of the beholder. I bought yarn colors a total of three times before finally settling on my choice.

Originally, I thought it would be this:

Two yarn balls, one dark green and one tan

Cascade Heritage Silk and Dream in Color Smooshy

This is actually a mash-up of yarns from my first two purchases. The top yarn is Cascade Heritage Silk and the bottom yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. Originally I purchased the smooshy with an “amber” color that was actually more “mustard” than I wanted it to be, and the Cascade was purchased with a blue that was quite electric, rather than the deep blue-green I was hoping for. So, I took one color from one pile and one from the second, and it produced this:

small striped triangle of knitted fabric.

Green, really?

The only thing this made me feel was “yuck.” The green is called “Spruce,” but it must be a spruce tree photographed at twilight, because the yarn looks black in all but the very brightest light. I just wasn’t feeling it and could not imagine knitting the entire thing. So, I tried again:

two yarn balls, one medium blue and one medium brown

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock

This time with Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Worn Denim and Weathered Frame. I think I am finally happy with my color choice, but it is hard to imagine that this wonky, wee little triangle is ever going to be anything beautiful at all:

Taygete shawl beginnings

Taygete shawl beginnings

I was worried about the large loops along one side of the shawl, but I have re-read the pattern, and apparently they’re supposed to be there. Or, perhaps it is more correct to say that they happen, and I’m not supposed to worry. (I hear they’ll even come in handy in the lace section, when I have to pick up stitches.)

Then my next thing to ponder is this: which color should be the lace color, and which should be the contrast color? When I read the pattern initially, it said it took all of the yardage in the one color, so I made sure to get two balls of each because I am a loose knitter, and i haven’t for sure yet decided which color should be the lace section. Right now I’m leaning toward the blue, but I’ve heard a convincing argument for the other. Oh, well, it feels like the knitting is going a bit slow for this project so I probably have a while to decide. And maybe, since I have extra yarn, I’ll make it a wee bit bigger, too. Romi has given very clear instructions for that.

And with that, I’m putting needles down. It’s late, even for me. Goodnight!

Shawl Update

Because you needed one:

color affection shawl in progress

color affection shawl in progress

I’m about halfway through the second section of my new Color Affection shawl. I’m making friends with the green now, which I think I knew I would. I always have to second-guess myself about something. But, I think this one will work out fine.

This shawl so far seems to be going a lot faster than the last one. I am glad of that; I think it would drive me crazy to spend another 7 months with this pattern. I’ve been thinking lately that it’s been a while since I’ve done any hats. How can that be, when I’m the one constantly telling people that hats are my favorite thing to knit? Have I been lying to myself on that point?

And blankets! One thing i miss about not being able to crochet anymore is making blankets. For some reason, knitted blankets seem to take so much longer and I can’t get into them the same way my crocheted afghans used to keep me entertained. I used to have delusions that every sofa and bed in this house would be covered in handmade afghans. I can’t sew, and there are no heirloom quilts in my family. And for all the crocheting that my one grandmother did, I can’t believe that somehow, there are none of her afghans in this house. I managed to get some dish towels and a few Christmas decorations, and even a baby layette that had been mine. But no afghans. In the early 90s I made a bunch of afghans and gave them as gifts to people. But I never made one for myself. So, I think I’ll search Ravelry for some quick, but interesting afghan ideas.

I hope that me thinking so far ahead after this shawl isn’t a bad sign. It usually is. Sigh.

Shawl Progress

I don’t feel like writing a whole lot tonight, but I just wanted to show off my shawl progress:

purple shawl with green stripe

purple shawl with green stripe

I’ve been knitting like crazy this week and finally was able to start the second color. Now, I’m questioning the wisdom of my color choices. The green, when not in this light, looks a little boogery. And I’m not sure it goes all that well with the purple. I’ll keep going a while longer, and re-evaluate. The third color is a deep blue. The three yarn hanks looked nice next to each other, so I’m hoping there’s hope for the shawl. Time will tell, I suppose.

Goodnight for now…

Whole Lotta Knitting Going On…

Greetings, yarny people! I have been knitting a lot lately. Finishing Carolyn’s Shawl was good for my knitting mojo, and I have been busy since. I have started and restarted it, but I think I am on a roll now:

Color Affection Shawl

Color Affection Shawl

Mine will be dark purple, dark lime green and dark blue. For some reason I always have trouble getting started with this pattern even though it is simple garter stitch and basic increases, but I think I am on a roll now. I had hoped to be on the second color this weekend but I am a little behind. I’m hoping that will happen before the end of the week.

I’ve also been working on some colorful dishcloths:

colorful dishcloths in progress

colorful dishcloths in progress

I have some dishcloth cotton in lots of bright, solid colors, and my intention was to make a pile of solid-colored cloths to represent the rainbow. But, when I pulled out my pink one, it was faded from the sun, so I only had enough yarn in that color to make part of a dishcoth. I used some rainbow colored yarn with it. So, now, my plan is to make each cloth with a random bit of rainbow yarn mixed in somewhere. I think it will work!

I have made a pact with myself to knit every day. It felt SO good to actually finish a project that I really would like to do it more often! So I need to make sure I get at least some knitting done each day, so that I keep moving forward.

So, this will be, for me at least, the summer of knitting. A lot.