Shawl We or Shawln’t We? That is the Question…

Sorry about my absence (again) last week, but I was sick. Crazy sick. Stupid sick. I had the wickedmeankiller cold that ate Manhattan. This wasn’t just a cold, it was a Cold…dripping with icicles, frostbite, and phlegm. I do not exaggerate. I could breathe not – not through my sinuses filled with cement – not through my lungs filled lined with whatever blackish evil crud clogs bathtub drains. There was no relief, no cure. It was bad.

But I’m mostly better now, so yay! Let’s move on…

Shawls. Lacy, colorful, intricate, webby, wrappy, knitted masterpieces of loveliness. Ravelry, Instagram, and Pinterest abound with spectacular examples of prideful knitting prowess. They are a sight to behold.

Meh. Who cares?

That, folks, has been my prevailing attitude, since, well…forever. I have always eschewed shawl knitting. After all, I’m not a lacy, frilly romantic type. Nor am I an 80-year-old grandmother in a rocking chair, or a granola-munching earth-mother. Why oh why of why would I waste valuable sweater knitting time on something, although gorgeous and challenging, I would nevereverneverever be caught dead or alive wearing? Sense it made not to me (or Yoda).

HOWever…I am changing my tune. After all, there are shawls and there are shawls, yes? I can still admire the lacy, earth-mother, rocking chair-esque designs from afar and choose to knit brilliant, sophisticated, charming, wrappy accessories that flatter and speak to me. Allow me to demonstrate…

About two years ago, I broke my shawl embargo (all due to the persistent genius of Carol Feller) and knit this baby:

This is Carol Feller’s Penrose Tile. It’s a beauty, I’ll admit.

I wore it to work once or twice and received praise and admiration. I wore it to an event recently and received praise and admiration. Still, I felt mildly uncomfortable, because I was wearing, well, a shawl.

I know, I need help. Don’t fret, it’s coming.

 

 

As you know, I recently travelled to New York City for Vogue Knitting Live (oh yeah, and sightseeing and whatnot). Naturally, I needed something smallish and easy to knit on the plane. I was in a scramble in the few weeks before the trip to finish a test knit I had committed to in mid-December – a DK weight pullover with a hood (I know, I need to be certified. I’m not going to argue). I wrapped up the test knit the day before our flight and had to choose a travel project under IMMENSE pressure.

Back in November sometime, Interweave had kits for the Beacon Shawl on sale. I had admired the Beacon Shawl since its appearance in Knitscene Accessories 2015. I really liked the teal, and was feeling brave about breaking out of my comfort zone and knitting with yellow for the first time ever in my wholeentirelife, so I bought the kit. It’s modular garter stitch, and on the small side for a shawl, so it seemed like the right choice for my bring-with project. I’ve noticed that I’m often most attracted to shawls that are mostly or all garter stitch, so there was a good chance that I would at least…not…hate it.

I worked on it to and fro New York, and made myself finish it within a few days of our return. I slung it around my boring teal top, popped a snazzy shawl pin into place and… Wow! It looked great. Queue my shawl epiphany.

 

How about that? Not lacy, not grandma, not earth mother…all deco-esque me. Love.

I’m starting to see the light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, as you may recall from my last post, while at VK Live, I became enamoured with Amor Esperanza’s CoLab Shawl, and I bought pattern and yarns and all things required to knit said project. The very minute the Beacon Shawl was off my needles, I got busy:

To say I am thrilled with its progress is an underunderunderstatment. I am fully infatuated. I stare and stare and stare at it and think of all the magnificent buildings I stared and stared and stared at in New York City. It’s genius. It’s sublime. It’s my New York shawl.

Congratulate me: I am officially cured of my shawl-a-phobia.

 

In case you want to, as my friend Kim would say, “creep” my project pages, here are my Ravelry links:

Penrose Tile

Beacon Shawl

Colab Shawl

In other news, I have started an uber-adorable toddler sweater for my cousin, once-removed (apparently I can also refer to him correctly as my nephew…go figure). This is a teaser:

Crazy cute, right? Should be well into it by next post, so stay tuned.
Have a great, knitful week!

Cheers,

Knicoleknits

Feelin’ Surprisingly Chill

I’m pretty sure I should be freaking out with anxiety-itis about now, but…nope.

Believe it or not, I’ve got things under control. Never mind that I just cast on my final Xmas gift today – I’ve got it in hand (literally – it’s a pair of fingerless gloves).

Last week, however, was a different story. Hence, the missed post last Sunday. Oh wells. I feel a smidge guilty about it, but the sky didn’t fall, so…we move on.

Here’s a few things I’ve been up to in the last fortnight:

Last year, my Wicked Step-Mother (aka WSM, and not a wicked bone in her body) gave me a variation of this ornament. Actually, she gave me two.

As I placed them on the tree this year, and marveled at their kniterly perfection, I realized that I could most certainlylikelypostively figure out how to duplicate them, AND that they would make perfect gifts for my knitter students at the office – especially since I had purchased a giant box full of blank ornaments intended for the lacy ones I feebly attempted a couple posts back.  Realizing I would need the tiny needles, which, after careful inspection, I realized were merely fancy toothpicks, I called on my buddy Amazon and ordered up 360 of the little suckers.

I was set!

That is, until I dug through my stash and found…nothing worthy. I wanted sparkly. I wanted fluffy. I needed fingering weight-ish. Didn’t exist. Yes, I could have shopped, but there really wasn’t time for that. So, I dug a bit deeper and found some Xmasy colors in a box of leftovers, repurposed the ball of Kidsilk Haze I bought to make the lace ornaments, and, by way of a flash of inspiration, scavanged my cross stitch supplies and found some gold, bronze, and silver blending filament.

For about two seconds, I contemplated knitting directly on the toothpicks. Nopeity-nope: too small, too rough, too short. Sheer madness. Turns out my 2.5 mm Addi Lace circs were parfait. So, with one strand each of the color, the Haze, and the blending filament, I went to town. A couple of fumbly attempts later, I had it down. Much to my delight, the little suckers only take about 20 mins from start to finish. Whoop whoop! Four days later, I had finished 20 of them.


They were such a hit with my studientos, that I’ve made four more since for some muggles (non-knitters) who gushed over them.

I lurve them very much. I’ll crank out a few for myself, when I’ve got time.

 

 

 

The cuteness is a little overwheming, I know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND, I have something for the Cast Off department that’s been lingering in WIPPING for some while:

The Mason’s hat is Ta-Da!

I was having my doubts – it was taking forever to knit in 2×2 rib, and it seemed like it was going to be waaaaay toooo big. I just wasn’t sure I was feeling it.

Then, something magical happened…as I worked the crown shaping, it all came together and I started to like it, and like it some more, and the like it reallyreally a lot.

It’s ribby, squooshy, cabley deliciousness. However, heed this warning: THIS IS NOT A QUICK KNIT. Be certain that the recipient is worthy before committing to gifting this project.

As a bonus, the crown looks pretty cool, amiright?

Now, I just need to finish the Traverse mitts in the same yarn (this be what I cast on today) and I’m done this stellar gift! Wheee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s actually more, but I big time need to get back to my needles tonight. Tick tock and all.

Hope you all have a super duper Merry Christmas, for those who celebrate such a thing, or a peaceful, relaxing day off, for those who don’t.

Next post will be tardy, as Sunday falls on Christmas Day, but I’ll do my best to get to it Boxing Day-ish.

I hope Santa brings you yarn xo

Cheers,

Knicoleknits