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I have finally gotten my knitting machine “working,” well a bit better than I did last time.

knittingmachine-1

This is some lovely silk/alpaca in lace weight from Princess Farms. I wanted to make a shawl in plain stockinette — you would think that this would not be so difficult for one familiar with the ways of the fibre, such was myself (or perhaps more to the point, I would think that), but the machine had different plans:

knittingmachine-2

Yes, that is a big hole in my beautiful shawl. I waxed the yarn and everything, and now I have a huge hole (and a couple little ones). I also ran out of yarn before I bound off, so I tried my trick from before of making the knitting jump right off the machine by running the carriage over the needles without any yarn in it.

That part definately worked — I am glad that hand knitting isn’t so enthusiastic about jumping off the needles like that.

I will crochet the ends and the holes closed. In my mind, this will make a lovely rustic type garment, which I will then sew or crochet into a tube to wear around my shoulders like Teva Durham’s fade-out ribbed stole in Loop-D-Loop: More Than 40 Novel Designs for Knitters, because I think I would like that and what else will I do with it?

I am completely smitten with freeform lace crochet (see this book).

I was hesitant, as I am not really that good at crochet, but I don’t need to know what any of the names of the stitches for this, so I am fine.

(I swear the same stitches have different names in different places, and they don’t all define everything, but don’t listen to me I am just bitter)

The other exciting thing is that I am not sure I could come up with a better combination of yarn and technique than Noro kureyon sock yarn and this, and just look at it:

I am liking this so much; it is much more fun than counting and reading patterns.

I think I may like to stay in this newly discovered crafty country for a while and see where the randomness takes me.

One of the best things about a long car ride is time to knit, and driving from Saskatoon to Kansas is very far. I spent at least 6 days in the car and knit almost the whole time — and I finished the Leaves and Waves shawl from Knitty, Fall 2004 by Kat Coyle.

I am so smitten with the shawl now it is done and absolutely over the moon about the fact that the oldest work in progress from my work basket is done.

It took so long because I got bogged down in the stocking stitch section. I don’t think I would ever do another project with quite this combination of yarn, stitch pattern, and size of pattern — I kept dropping stitches, but the dropped stitches were almost invisible in the mohair. Ironically, the lace sections went faster.

I could have knit several sweaters in the time it took me to make this.

All the same it is beautiful now, and it is just sufficiently unusual to really appeal to me. I like traditional lace, but it never looks like I would really like to wear it. This on the over hand is (in my opinion) a perfect combination of traditional stitching and textures with asymmetrical design.

It is also rectangular, and for some reason I find rectangular shawls to be more wearable, and I wear a lot of shawls. I think it is because I treat them like security blankets — just call me Linus.

March 2017
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