We have not been idle here in the Through the Back Loop laboratories. Our hands have been busily knitting away, finishing off some projects lingering in the WIP pile (okay, maybe just one, but it's finished and that's what counts) and starting some new ones (yay! New ones!).
This is the completed pair of Hedgerow socks that I started ages ago in a fingering weight yarn by Nature's Palette. I must start out by saying that I really liked the picture accompanying the pattern. It looked liked nice in the lovely green yarn. It made me think of hedges and green leaves in the sun and rolling pastures. Then I started to knit. I finished one sock and realized that I really liked the colour of the yarn and not so much the pattern. It's a well written pattern - clear and easy to follow, a good knit for watching tv, nothing unpredictable about it. Usually these are things I enjoy in a sock pattern. Not so much this time. I began to resent the sock. I hated the sock. I cast on for the second sock because I refuse to knit a single. It did not help that my knitting friend declared that the yarn looked "fleshy" or that the completed sock looked sort of "you know, like a lumpy flesh sock." That's a motivation killer right there. And so it sat in it's little ziploc bag, unfinished, for months.
I intensely dislike knowing that I have unfinished projects, "WIPs," sitting around. It makes me anxious. I like to start things and see them through to completion, a smooth linear progression. So, I dug it out of the basket, unzipped the bag and got to work. I am not unhappy with my flesh socks [and for the record, I like the peachy-ness of the yarn and would recommend NP as a sock yarn, it's soft, knits up nicely and is a good value for the money], but I wouldn't knit another pair. There was something missing for me and for that I give it a rating of meh.
Following my meh experience, I needed a new project, something different that would use a yarn in the stash. I had one skein of Fleece Artist Sea Silk (coincidentally in the same colourway displayed on the website) mellowing in the stash since I purchased it last summer. Knitting Daily offered up Evelyn A. Clark's Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits as a limited time free download and I took advantage. My criteria was that I wanted to knit something pretty that I could wear during the summer and I wanted to use up that single skein of Sea Silk. Done and done. I now know why just about every knitter on earth has knit this shawl. I looked it up on Ravelry (there are tonnes) and I did not find a single ugly version. Not one. I took this as a good sign. I enjoyed the experience, learned some things (nupps!) and actually got the crotchet cast-on to work (miraculous!). It is a very clear, intuitive and easy to follow pattern, and the end result is lovely. I will definitely knit another one of these in the future. I was worried that I would knit it and that it wouldn't get worn, but I've worn it a few times now (all wrapped around my neck) and it feels very luxurious against the skin. This dangerous of course, because now I want more of it and as yarn is to me what kryptonite is to Superman, I will probably rupture my yarn budget in order to get some. Good stuff.
And on that note gentle reader, I will sign off for now. I have more to say about a variety of things - the new project (two, actually) that I hinted about in the intro, why I don't blog as often as I intend to and some fabulous new yarn that I would consider mortgaging my soul for, but I'm out for now. Below are two detail shots of my version of the Swallowtail. If anyone has arrived here from the Coast, thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment (it's pretty exciting when that happens. Seriously, it makes my day). Happy knitting!