Sunday, April 05, 2009
I seem to have succumbed to the lure of the shawl. I have found myself mostly buying shawl quantities of yarn and the sole Ravelry patterns that make my heart go humpa-pumpa are tagged with 'shawl', and 'wrap'. This is quite hilarious to me as when it comes to wearing a shawl, I have absolutely no idea how it is best done. I can't even imagine it. Sometimes when I see a pattern, I envision myself wrapped in a shawl as I lead students through a difficult yet enlightening reading of Rimbaud while grasping a hot cup of tea for warmth. This vision usually gives way to the recognition that during class I tend to be covered in chalk, many students didn't do the reading and are therefore texting and not into the whole close reading thing, and that I'm more of a vending machine coffee person anyway (DON'T JUDGE there's a secret machine on campus that makes coffee that tastes like European train coffee). Next comes the unfortunate realization that the shawl would most likely be there to cover up the lunch stains on the front shelf rather than to shield me from the draft . Alas...I still love knitting the shawl as it is the most gratifying of knits. After blocking it you find yourself marveling at it, the same way that a non-knitter would. "Gee, I really made that...". And no hand knit gift is more warmly received.
Right now I have two on the go that are at various stages of completion. I began the Leaf Lace Shawl a little over a month ago thinking that I'd wear it for Easter. Ha! Today I realized that Easter was a week from today...but won't this be great for Memorial Day? I'm doing it out of some Silky Malabrigo 'Narciso' on size 9s and I sort of wish I would have gone down a needle size as the 9s feel gigantic in my hands, but I have made it this far and am not about to rip it out. This pattern is one of the most intuitive patterns ever--at any given time, you just know right where you are, and I like that.
This weekend I was casting about for more patterns to start and thus began Icarus, i.e., the shawl that has tested the patience of many. I am attracted to it because à la Ishbel, the first 40 hours or so are spent on a giant, fairly plain almost-as-mindless-as-stockinette section. I figure once I hit the pattern section, tedium will have fried my brain and I'll be ready for something new. I chose two skeins of Jitterbug 'Whirly Fig' that had been languishing in the stash for a while. I'm not putting an end date on this one, but since my Labor Day is wide open, why not spend it blocking a shawl?
I also have my eyes on the Springtime Bandit. KG has yet to steer me wrong, and as Ashley pointed out, the model on the pattern might have found the optimum way to wear a shawl. Of course I'm afraid that I'll look like the Frito Bandito or one of those doughy people that have the 'dress like a baby in diapers and a bib' fetish, but she and the other Flickr peeps make assurances to the contrary. I inexplicably have no yarn that would fit the fill for this pattern, so maybe this can be the pretext under which I go to MDS&W this year...