Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the cutting board and on the needles

Two new projects I've been wanting to do for years:

First, a Christmas tree skirt made from our old pants and skirts.

I'm using:
  • pattern paper from a friend to design it
  • lace from my grandma's stash
  • tweedy cotton (that I thought was wool when my honey wore it)
  • velvety embroidered fabric from a skirt I wore in high school to our Argo Society activities, like attending the opera (I did not, however, wear it to the hockey game we went to)
  • corduroy and khaki fabric from both our work pants
  • new trim, yet to be determined, but almost certainly from here (ooooooh! They have free shipping for orders over $25. If can't get to the NY shop, do you want to visit their online one!)
Second, a lace shawl. This lace shawl.

It was all the online rage several years ago, but I could never convince myself to fork over the $20+ to buy the Rowan magazine it was in. Amy even kindly checked to see if she had it among her knitting library. It's just been on my brain again this fall.

Then, by a series of coincidences (begun by including yarn in the shop), I discovered the pattern is online (here!) at Rowan. FOR FREE!!! That my favorite yarn, was also on sale only sealed the deal. (Yes, several people have told me it looks like I'm knitting with hair...but it's MO-hair ladies and gentlemen!)

I'd been knitting for about a week and a half by the time I finished the first skein. I remembered reading that several people had run out of yarn with this pattern, so I thought I better check to make sure I was on track to finish with enough yarn. (There's some crazy math involved as you start with nearly 300 stitches and knit down to one.) After calculating the thousands of stitches I'd knit and the thousands yet to go, I realized I probably wasn't going to have enough. Aaaaaargh!

(Insert your own version of ensuing debate over whether to order more yarn that is now not on sale and won't qualify for free shipping that you may or may not need, depending on how the rest of your knitting goes. Or start over from the beginning, with only 10-20 fewer stitches, which will add up to thousands over the whole shawl.)

I ripped it out. The whole skein. I felt really calm while I did it, then frustrated and compulsive to get it back on the needles. Oh those first few rows of 300 stitches are soooooooooo long. But they are coming. I certainly hope my math was right!

How do you feel when you start a project? Or when you start it....again?


J.B. said...

It really does look like hair. A part of me felt sad to see your skirt neatly laid out to be cut up. I don't start projects, so I cannot answer your question. I love you. The end.

Word Verification: Proph: n - a slang term, often used by teenagers to refer to the president of the LDS church.

lieslmade said...

I love the freshness and excitement of starting a new project. It's the finishing of projects that I have trouble with. I'm getting better at it though. :)