Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Dottie Valentine...

Happy Valentine's Day! I didn't plan to post today, was just going to skip this holiday, except for eating (truffles! petit fours! bbq!) and drinking a toast (cabernet!) to the occasion. Somehow, though, when I was getting dressed this morning it dawned on me that the shawl I blocked Sunday would be appropriate for the holiday.

It's Dottie, a beautiful pattern generously provided free by Lilia Mankki. The yarn she used looks very much like Malabrigo lace weight, prompting me to choose the pattern after I impulsively bought 2 hanks in Damask Rose last summer. After struggling with the first bit, though, I put it aside. I didn't pick it up again until last month, then stuck with it until I finished, even though I had long since fallen out of love with the color.

I planned to knit the gathered sections in one of Malabrigo's hand-painted colorways, but changed that plan when I decided it was too busy. Even so, I kept the contrast garter stitch stripes I had put in as borders for the gathered sections. I had a little cherry red cashmere left from my stork's nest scarf and was determined to use it up.

The only other modification I made was to put in extra eyelets along the edge of the border. You'll find more details on my my Ravelry project page for Dottie. For non-Ravelers, the pattern is available here: Dottie Shawl pattern.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Knitting Less

As other projects increasing demand more of my time and attention, I am turning to simpler projects to knit, something I can knit when I'm distracted, when I'm tired, when I'm looking for something soothing and satisfying. Ironically, the boring parts of projects, the bits I struggled through before, are now appealing. I only just realized how much I am avoiding the difficult knitting I used to crave. Last month, I knit eight inches of 2x2 ribbing on size 3 needles for a beret, only to put the project aside after 5 rounds of the long-awaited lace pattern. Who needs a beret in the spring?, I reasoned. The day before yesterday, I began a complicated lace border for a relatively simple shawl. I was pretty excited when I found the pattern for the edging. I thought the leaves would complement the central leaf design of the shawl.

Upon finding I was a stitch short in the third row, I put it aside. Today, after three attempts, I managed to complete 14 rows correctly, but I don't like what I see. I think a simpler edging will do. I'd like to finish this one off and put it away. It's too bad, really, because the yarn is great (Malabrigo lace) and the pattern is pretty (Dottie). I clearly remember craving this color when I bought the yarn, but I can't work up any enthusiasm for it now.

On the other hand, I am really enthusiastic about a simple dish towel I completed with leftover dishcloth cotton.

All it took was one look at the stitch pattern and a rummage through my bin of cotton scraps to have me happily knitting away on it. My earlier towels all look a bit ratty, anyway. That's reason enough to send me rummaging again.

This time it's a rough copy of the Nina shawl from Mason Dixon Knitting. So, although I've got sweater ideas running around in my head, I'm swatching laceweight on size 4 needles, and I'm counting my available sock yarn (enough for 50 pairs!), all I'm knitting is dish towels.

No apologies for that, though. I've got a lot else going on and my knitting, for this year at least, will be a refuge and not a trial.