Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


The pie shawl is gorgeous! I am with you on the fair isle. When I started knitting, I thought I would never be able to knit in many colors at once. Now that I can do it, I wish all my projects were fair isle. I always want to knit one more round of fair isle :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

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Saturday, August 01, 2009  

Sifting my stash, Indulging in dreams, Coming to conclusions

I have been out sick with severe allergies for most of this month. Now and then I've dragged myself in to work when there were things only I could do, but the rest of the time I've slumped around my house listlessly. Since I cough less when I'm upright there has been a lot of knitting going on and this down time has also given me an opportunity to have a look at (some of) my stash.

On a productivity scale, this summer has been up there. 3 pair of socks are off the needles, releasing 3 pair of Addi Turbo's from captivity. I also started a 4th pair (though there are 4 more unfinished pair lingering in zip-lock bags behind the big green chair). My first fair isle socks, photographed below. I've finished the first sock - though it shows all the rough edges of a First Timer, and am ready to start the heel flap of the second. It was while knitting that sock, though, that I realized in an even more profound way, that stranded colorwork is the type of knitting that fuels all other knitting inspiration in my fluttering little knitter heart. It was what got me knitting in the first place, lo those decades ago - it is what has brought me back to knitting time and again, and it is what totally thrills me now. I can always "Knit One More Row" if it's stranded colorwork. It doesn't have to be fair isle, or Norwegian or Estonian or any other ethnic version, just so long as there are two colors of fine yarn looped over my left index finger. It completely, totally and fully satisfies my hunger for color, pattern, texture and design.

I'm so grateful I actually finished that KipFee 2 years ago because that has given me the assurance I need to go ahead and start other fair isle projects, but what I have discovered in my stash is ....


Lots of worsted weight and even some heavy worsted weight yarn. Sweaters and sweaters' worth of it, in glorious fibers: alpaca, Blueface Leicester, silky soft merino, scrunchy bouncy new wool - each cache of yarn with a design already in my brain, waiting to be knit up swiftly on a good #7 needle or even a #9. In short - yarn I am not yet ready to sell or give away.

And have I mentioned ... I live in the south? And I am, as Alexander McCall Smith would say, "a traditionally built woman". A bulky sweater on my traditional build is not going to be the stuff of chic stylishness. Of course, I am always promising myself that This Month I Will Lose that 20 lbs and now and then, I actually do. Probably not a good thing. Had I never succeeded, perhaps I might someday quit trying. But I am sure there is a slimmer Queen waiting to wear that Happy Yarn cardigan knit of purple and orange and lime green alpaca and ready to chase away the worst winter doldrums. I think I heard her whispering to me to put down that third taco last night.

Of course, just looking at stash is enough to make me imagine, in addition to the Imam Body,

(Queen with Iman Body waiting for those bulky knit sweaters)

that I have infinite hands and endless hours and the sort of stick-to-it-iveness of an ISTJ, instead of the flighty personality of an EN- look a bird-FP. I am prepared to cast on all 20 projects stashed away and knit them all this week! ... or at least I am lusting to.

Fortunately, I am capable of overriding my natural tendencies. I have not cast on any of the sweaters waiting patiently to be knit up. I am a little tired of the endless sock knitting and since I've finished so many pair I don't feel obliged to keep on knitting them when I don't want to. I have a baby gift I want to finish this month, for a girlfriend's' October baby which I began this week. I also began some inspiring knitting for TheQueen - a cashmere shawl.

Yes. I am making myself (the lady who lives in a wood heated House-0-Dogs in the country) a cream colored lace cashmere shawl. I joined the Hunt Valley Cashmere Great American Aran Afghan Square of the (every other) Month club almost 2 years ago. I knit the first square and fell passionately in love with the yarn, but was left sort of uninspired by knitting a bunch of squares. I've tried to pick another one to knit and just haven't felt the love. Instead I decided to stockpile the yarn as it came in and when there was enough, to make a shawl.

I've cast on a Sleeves in your Pi shawl by Gayle Roehm from the winter 2000 Knitters Magazine.

Of course, that is knit in a bulky mohair and I am using a sort of dk weight on #6 needles. I'll have to either add another big section after the shawl is done or a very very deep border. I'm inclined towards the latter because it will be easier. I'll just have to wait and see how big this thing is when I've knit all the pattern.

It's a pleasure to work on because even though this is summer, the cashmere is very light and feels like nothing on my lap. The soft silky fluff of it against my fingers is a sensual delight. It requires a very light hand which makes for very relaxing knitting and the 12 segments make it easy to keep track of the stitches.

So it turns out that July has been a wonderful month for this knitter. August looks to be much busier and more social, so let us hope I can lick this allergy stuff soon. And when I am done with some of my already purchased sweaters, this is the garment I plan to cast on.

posted by Bess | 7:51 AM