Shawl of doom

Shawl of doom in progress

Shawl of doom in progress

I bought this yarn (Rowan Summerspun: shade: Victoria) with some of our wedding vouchers we had left over from 8 years ago. I think the guilt I feel about this has subconciously affected my ability to knit, because everything I’ve tried to knit with it so far has been a disaster (not really, this is hyperbole) and I’ve actually lost count of the number of attempted scarves and shawls I’ve frogged. I think part of the problem is actually the shade of the yarn (although the photo makes it look worse than it is) – it’s quite easy to make it into something that closely resembles a dishcloth, and then if you go trying to put lace into it as well it just looks like a holey discloth! But mainly I think I’ve just lost my knitting mojo a bit.

I started trying to knit with this yarn in January (or maybe even December?), and then Babymouse arrived in February, so I haven’t had a lot of time for knitting recently. However, I’ve recently been able to attend the knitting group again, so I decided to try knitting a shawl. The pattern is Skipping Stones Simple Shawlette, which, you’ll note, has the word ‘simple’ in the title, so I thought it would be OK…but I didn’t reckon on the joys of a garter tab cast on. Here is a video about how to do it, which I found very useful:

The cast on is actually not as bad as it sounds or looks, but of course I got into a pickle even after looking at the video (several times) and decided to seek advice from the lovely G, an expert knitter in our church. She was very helpful so I started off with the shawl. Then I managed to get into even more mess because the pattern involves yarn overs and counting! I’ve done more complicated things before (e.g. the leafy blanket), but somehow I just couldn’t get my head round this one. So, again, I sought help from friendly fellow knitters, and the very patient A finally got me on the right track – see above picture for progress. It still looks like a mess, but I’m hoping it will look better when it’s finished…

I also found out that I’ve been knitting ‘back to front’ all this time, and wondering why my stitches are always so tight!

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5 thoughts on “Shawl of doom

  1. Trish says:

    I see what you mean about the shawl. I have to admit I burst out laughing when I saw it. Yes, I think it could be something to do with the shade of the yarn. It looks kind of creepy somehow. I think I would be a bit scared to pick it up with my bare hands :)

    But it sounds as if you are making progress with learning new stitches and it will be easier now that you have discovered you were knitting back to front. I’m sure you’ll get your knitting mojo back soon :)

    • I’m glad it made you laugh! :) I’ve done some more of it now and it looks a bit better, I’m glad to say – I almost unpicked it and started again, again!

  2. Well, I like that shade a lot, but I’ve always loved the purple and mauve palette. I don’t knit much any more as I find that I have to conserve the amount of things that my hands do every day. But every once in a while I feel the need to do some knitting. I am feeling the need a lot right now since I want to make a Christmas stocking for my grandson that matches the ones I made for his parents. And it appears that I will have a further stocking to do in a year as my daughter in law is pregnant again.

    Anyway, I learned to knit when I was 4. My older sister was a Bluebird (part of the Camp Fire Girls) and my mother was the troop leader. I was too young to be an official part of the troop, but I wanted desperately to belong, so my mother made me my very own uniform just like the big girls. My hat and pocket flap had a little blue egg rather than the official blue bird, since I was not yet a hatchling. When the troop started working on their knitting bead projects, I stat right there and learned to knit with them.

    When I was in college I had a German room mate, and she and I knitted sweaters during our off hours, she for her boyfriend, and I for myself. She opined that I was doing it all wrong and taught me the European style of knitting, wherein you pick up the thread for your stitch with the needle rather than throwing the thread around the needle with your right hand. It is very efficient. And having that facility make working with more than one color a piece of cake, because I hold the main color in my left hand and the secondary color in my right hand, picking up the main color with the needle and throwing the secondary color with my right hand.

    Oh dear. I hope this does not sound like bragging. I just really do enjoy knitting when I do get around to doing it. Perhaps if you start immersing yourself in the joy of the creative act, relax, and soak in the rhythm and the color you will get your mojo back.

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