making something pretty: knit shawl

I decided it was time to make something again, that wasn’t a painting. Oh sure, I have a quilt top that’s been languishing for about 3 months, and I’m just not inspired to complete it. From what I read on other’s quilting blogs, this is not an uncommon occurrence. We get caught up in the beautiful fabric, in the what could this be? imagining, then buy the fabric and get it mostly put together and then decide it’s not quite all what we had imagined in our head. So we set it aside and let it rest until somehow, magically, our imagining expands to include the reality — and we are finally ready to accept what is and finish the project.

My quilt hasn’t hit that stage yet, though.

So I thought I would turn to knitting. And make a shawl. Because I used to visit this wonderful little knit shop in Saratoga, it was barely two rooms, with walls of cubbyholes filled with wonderful yarns of breathtaking colors and textures. In the window were always shawls displaying kits you could buy–wonderful artistic shawls made up of varying weight yarns and colors (combined together despite the seeming incongruity of the weights and colors) to create a work of art.

That kind of knit shop. A this ain’t your grandmother’s knitting knit shop. And keep in mind this was ten or twelve years ago.

So with this in mind, I went online to find out what kind of yarn shop I could find locally now. And I did find one. But the website was difficult for me to navigate, and I was going to town anyway, so I went to the shop and asked the person, “Where are your kits?”

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And she asked right back, “Why do you want a kit?”

Which made my heart sink a little bit, because I knew the conversation was not going to end well.

Well, I explained, I want a kit because I know what it will look like at the end and I won’t have to figure out how much yarn to buy or what kind is the right weight and really it’s all put together ready for me to just buy the components and go home and make it. –I didn’t phrase it quite that well, because I was so startled she asked. Because um–artistic kits using variable weights and colors? Maybe some fringe on the ends?

She showed me displays on the wall, but nothing like what I had in mind. Not even close. Not even close to close. Because, shh, this was your grandmother’s knit shop. Sigh.

So she showed me one display that was sort of all right, because in my mind I still wanted to knit something. She asked what color I had in mind. I thought about what I would wear that particular shawl with, and came up with the astonishingly ordinary answer of, “How about something neutral?” even though this was the complete opposite of why I had visited the store in the first place.

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There were three brands of yarn that would make the pattern I picked, so I went with the one easy to care for. Because at this point I didn’t feel so invested in the project, it was nothing what I had been hoping to find.

I picked out the color and she agreed, “That’s the most neutral one we have.” She did not say this sounding like I had made the right choice.

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Pictured is the top of the shawl, and after this point I will have to change needles and start knitting lace. When the colors changes appear, the shawl will be pretty.

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Oh, and I bought sparkly beads. And a crochet hook to insert them. I’ve never added beads to knitting, but it’s high time I did, right?

Now all I need are a bunch of movies to cozy up with and evenings to do so.

Yeah, I’m dreaming big.

 

 

 

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