After finishing Tom's sweater and then my colorful follow-up shawl, I've been unable to settle on my next knitting project. I mean . . . I did whip up a set of dishcloths, but that was just a palette cleanser; a little placeholder while I decided on my next project. I am being very intentional about NOT getting sucked into knitting one of those charming "nice little summer sweaters" this year . . . as I too often do. (I never wear them. And I don't like working with cotton or linen.) But I also don't want to "get a headstart on fall" by lugging a heavy wool sweater around during the hot months.
What's a knitter to do?
But then I decided to open up my project Time Out Bin instead!
I usually only work on one (sometimes two, but not very often) project at a time. If a project isn't going well, I usually just rip it out and let it go. But every once in a while, and especially if the project has some potential, I stick it away in a bin. (My version of out-of-sight-out-of-mind.) Anyway, I decided to take a peek and remind myself of what's in there. Maybe . . . I could try to work with some of those projects over the summer; y'know . . . see if any of 'em are ready to "behave" yet.
There are currently three projects in my bin: The Problem Child, The Poor Relations, and The Prodigal Son. (Sounds kind of like a dysfunctional family, non?) I'll introduce you to each of them over the next few weeks. And we'll see if they shape up by the end of the summer, shall we?
First, let's meet The Problem Child.
This is the start of a lovely little shawl by Ysolda Teague called Llawenydd. I don't do a lot of cable projects anymore, although I have in the past. I've been considering knitting a cabled Aran sweater, but I haven't settled on a pattern/design I'd like to actually wear. (While I do like the look of some cabled sweaters, I don't seem to like wearing them all that much.) Anyway. When I saw this little shawl (and it is just a small shawl), I thought it might satisfy my "craving" for cables, but not require too big a cabling-commitment. I cast on back in December, right before I made my visit to the Mayo Clinic. I thought it would be a good "traveling project."
I got to the cables and realized . . . NOT a good "traveling project."
In fact, this Problem Child - so called because I have to keep a close and mindful eye on it all the time - requires silence and total concentration. I mean, the chart is clear. The directions are clear. It's all very straightforward for a cable project. But it is . . . double cables filled with moss stitch and a decrease at one edge. (Or, as Ysolda describes it herself, "two by two ribbing flows into a bold, double cable pattern surrounding diamonds of richly textured moss stitch.") Bold, indeed! A knitter must keep her wits about her at all times! No conversation. No TV. No audiobook. No wine. And lots of talking-out-loud-to-one's-self.
I stuck that Problem Child into my Time Out bin as soon as I returned from Mayo, and that's where it has stayed. Until last week when I got it out again.
We've got progress.
I've reached the half-way point of the main cable motif. The knitting has gotten slightly more intuitive, and I'm making better progress. But, being at the half-way point also means that all the cable-backs and cable-forwards will be reversed now. And, trust me, I know myself well enough to know . . . I've got to watch this Problem Child like a hawk.
I've also reached this symbol in the chart . . .
I've lived in fear of this symbol since the beginning. Why? Oh, here's why . . .
(I've tried it. It's not bad. It sounds worse than it is.)
That's what I'm dealing with right now: The Problem Child.
(At least it's wool!)
How about you? What are you making this week?
(Stop by next week and I'll introduce you to The Poor Relations.)