Monday, May 23, 2016


During the first three months of this year, I felt like I was plodding through my knitting, but not getting much done. I did finish a few small projects, and one larger one that had been hanging around since 2014, but for the most part, everything else was in progress.

Once I turned the calendar to April, all of a sudden I was finishing projects! That is such a great feeling, and it re-energized my knitting mojo, too. Below is a photo showing almost all of my April finishes. Missing is a cowl that was mostly knit in March and a charity project that had already been donated when I took this photo.

The dark blue item you see underneath is Sally Melville's design, L'Enveloppe, which I call "That Thing". On the left are my Hydrangea Monkeys, which are the no-purl version of the classic Monkey socks. In the upper right is a Click for Babies hat (look for more on Click for Babies and other charity projects in an upcoming post). Finally, the shawl is my Traveling Zoo, Stephen West's Zoolandia shawl. (All links are to my Ravelry project pages.)

I know you can't tell much about L'Enveloppe when it is serving as display background for other projects, so here is a photo of me wearing it. As you can see, it's sort of a poncho. I cast it on right before the Big Road Trip of 2015 last September, and actually knit most of it on the road. Once I was home, it sat for a few months until I was ready to finish it. Now, of course, it's a bit too warm to wear it, but it will be perfect next fall.

There is a tale to tell about the Zoolandia shawl. This is the project that I mentioned in my annual goals post back in January. I cast it on to take with me to the Knitajourney retreat, since I had purchased the yarn at Yarn Harbor in Duluth the first time I attended that retreat, back in 2012. The pattern calls for 438 yards of fingering weight yarn, and I had 430 yards, which I figured would be close enough. After all, what's 8 yards? Big mistake! I hadn't even got to the final pattern retreat and I knew I wasn't going to have enough yarn to finish. So I left out some rows in that final repeat and there was still not enough yarn. Then I decided to look through my stash of partial balls of yarn to see if I could find something that would match one of the colors in the shawl yarn. I came up with about 80 yards of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Violeta colorway, an almost perfect match for the purple bits in the yarn.

So guess what? About halfway through the picot bind off, I started to get nervous—what if I don't have enough yarn to finish? Thankfully, I did, but you can see how much was left in the photo below: that little purple blob of yarn measured less than a yard!

Despite this harrowing finish, the shawl blocked beautifully, and the purple edging looks like a planned design feature, so it ended up a win-win.

There is a lesson in this tale: always read project notes from other knitters. I didn't, but if I had, I would have known that the yardage amount in the pattern was way off. Of course, then I might not have knitted this pattern and I would have missed out on having this pretty shawl.