Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Knit In Progress: Drachenfels
I realized the other day that I've been knitting away on a new shawl project for the past month without saying a single word about it on the blog. I've posted several photos of it in various stages of progress on Instagram, maybe Tweeted about it a few times, but have not made one peep about it here. Oops! Totally not intentional. You know how I am: all about the knitting and kind of lacking in the blogging.
Anyhoo, just as I was in the midst of finishing up my Match & Move shawl, another fantastic shawl designer, Melanie Berg (aka Mairlynd on all social media), announced that she was having a pattern sale. I've been eyeing up her patterns for quite a while now and had a hard time deciding between The Joker and the Thief, January Skies, and Ashburn, but was always drawn back to her Drachenfels design. Obviously that last one was the one that I bought. Once I purchased it and had it in my library I couldn't get the shawl off my mind. There was only one thing to do about this: I had to knit it up.
At first I had no idea what colour scheme I wanted to go with. At the time I was on a major "I need a neutral black and grey shawl" mood and honestly thought I would go that route, but after some deep consideration of stash possibilities I realized that I actually didn't have much in the way of black or grey in fingering weight that wasn't part of a sweater quantity or didn't already have a project planned for it. Back to the drawing board...er, stash. Then one day as I was going into my closet a bag of Plucky Knitter yarn came tumbling out. Seriously, it's like the Universe was trying to tell me that It wanted me to knit Drachenfels too! The Plucky Knitter yarn was a Color Affection kit that I had purchased eons ago when that pattern first came out. I bought a few kits but had only used one to knit the pattern that it was intended for. This particular kit was so pretty that I stashed it in my bedroom closet and had always kept it in view as a reminder of not only that I had it, but also as inspiration, just in case another project came to mind for it as I honestly couldn't see myself knitting another Color Affection any time soon or even in the near feature - there are just way too many other shawls that I really want to knit before I can even think about re-knitting a pattern!
The kit included a deep raspberry (the now retired En Vogue), a light ballet pink (appropriately named Bashful), and a light beige (Bisque) but after some deliberation I decided that the beige was too close in colour to the light pink and would most likely get lost within the whole colour scheme. I was going to have to switch it out. It was by pure luck that a single skein of Plucky Primo Fingering in a beautiful medium grey (Snap Out of It, acquired from the Plucky Classics club) was stashed right next to the kit. Perfecto!! Knitting Drachenfels using this Plucky trio? Totally meant to be!
So far this project has been pretty straight forward and quite mindless. Well, mindless only after I had made myself a little spreadsheet to keep track of my stripes and increases/decreases. I kept getting absorbed in the relaxing garter stitches and would constantly forget to decrease. After having to knit, tink, and then re-knit every few rows I decided that I had to make a chart simply for the sake of my sanity. Otherwise, this pattern is easy to knit, and if you know the most basic way to do a "make one" (in this case, it was a super simple knit in the front and back of the stitch) and know how to knit two stitches together, then even a beginner can knit this beautiful shawl up.
This shawl is so easy that it was the only project that I took with me when I went camping early in July and when I went to Vancouver for the weekend with the Munchkin. Before it got too big to stuff into my handbag, it was even my car knitting (obviously when I was the passenger). This pattern is such a relaxing knit that I found myself choosing this project over the others when I had the energy (and the will) to knit during the height of my sickness. And talk about potato chip knitting! Throughout the striping section I kept telling myself "just one more stripe"...yeah, I didn't get much accomplished in terms of housework or sleep during this section. Definitely the most productive procrastination project I currently have on the needles! It'll be a sad day when I'm finally able to bind off this beauty.
Although I'm sure I'll recover with the next shawl project I cast on. Which, by the way, is already planned out. Ha! How fickle of a knitter am I? Here I am praising and voicing my appreciation for this shawl project but in the back of my mind I'm plotting away and dreaming of a new knit. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Even I'm shaking my head at myself.
Well, before I get too ahead of myself and start winding the yarn for the next shawl (I'm not that fickle!!) I'm going to enjoy knitting the last section before moving onto the much anticipated border because I'm absolutely loving this raspberry colour! And while I'm excited to be nearing the end of this project and the possibility of being able to wear it soon, I do have to wonder how long it will take me to buckle down and weave in all the ends and get this baby blocked. I'll freely admit that my track record for doing the finishings on FOs isn't that great, as I've mentioned in the last post. You'd think I would want to take advantage of this warm weather in which wet knits would dry a million times faster and I wouldn't have to pester my family by bombarding the entire house, taking up every free inch of floor space, with wet wool. Maybe I should promise myself a reward of new yarn for every handful of FOs I block and blog? Or better yet, for every project I block and blog. That last one is way more enticing (and less work?), don't you think? I say this as I shudder at the thought of the projects that have a ton of ends (BlueSand cardigan, I'm looking at you!).
Oooh, here's an even better idea: make a pitcher of sangria and spend an entire evening weaving in ends. Yeah...I like the sounds of that!