Yarn Along:: Shalom, Shalom

Playing along with Ginny from Small Things again this week:

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is a frank glimpse into the life of its author, a savvy, acerbic, intellectual who was raised in a traditional Mennonite household. It is told in a way that both points fun at and honors her upbringing, as well as her own role in some of the large setbacks in her life. It’s witty and heartfelt, and full of vocabulary that’s giving me a run for my money! I enjoy memoirs told with glaring honesty, a bit of wit, and lot of heart, and this book certainly fits the bill.


You all know about knitting fantasy lives, right? This is a place where you go when you need to saturate yourself with the wonders of wool, the possibilities of patterns, and the idea that you can knit whatever you desire with the endless amount of free time at your disposal. It’s a lovely place. I most often go there when I am nowhere near my wool and needles. I also spend a lot of time in knitting fantasy land when i am in the trenches of a project that, for one reason or another, isn’t fun any more.

Most recently, the Shalom cardigan was the object of my fantastical knitting desires. I imagined it knitting up in no time, what with the bulky yarn and chunky needles. The yarn I would knit it in would be lofty and luscious, saturated with color, and a blend of wool so as to be a great transitional piece for spring.  I spent way too much time combing through project details on Ravelry, honing the modifications I planned on making.  I spent time daydreaming about knitting and then wearing Shalom over a long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans as I played outside with PB in the damp spring air. It was all very idyllic, and I was convinced this was the sweater to knit next.

And yet, almost as soon as I started knitting it, I sensed something wasn’t measuring up to my expectations. I think it’s the yarn, but I’m a bit loathe to admit that, considering I splurged on it at my LYS mere days before going to Stitches. The yarn in question is Cascade Covington, and it’s a blend of wool and acrylic. I fell in love with the colors: rich teal with bits of amethyst and sage. It’s lovely to look at, and when you touch it you can almost convince yourself it feels like it’s made mostly of wool. (Here’s where having a rich knitting fantasy life can come in handy: denial takes the form of imagination, and you can convince yourself nearly anything is true!) Once I got it on my needles, the truth of the matter became squeaky clear: there is a lot of acrylic in this blend (47% to be exact) and I don’t love the way it feels. But I love the color, and I love the pattern, and I kept knitting. Then I messed up the increase row. Both of them.  I know I need to rip back, but this wasn’t part of my dream! Into time out this sweater went, and I have since cast on a pair of Thuja socks and started swatching my cotton blend yarns and daydreaming of the all the airy summer tops I’m going to knit up.

What are you reading or fantasizing about knitting?

11 thoughts on “Yarn Along:: Shalom, Shalom

  1. And what is that lovely bit of knitting on top of the book? It doesn’t look like socks to me….

    The book sounds really interesting, and I’ve just put a hold on it at the library.

    I recently finished a sweater for a friend that was an acrylic/wool blend. I was so glad I only had to finish on sleeve and do the band. It was not my favorite yarn, either. Too bad I have three boxes of acrylic yarn left from the days when I didn’t know any better.

    I’m trying to dream up my next project for knitting – and working on some charity things while I decide.

  2. The Shalom cardi is often in my knitting fantasies too (although possibly I would make it with long sleeves). A lot of my knitting fantasies are about making nearly everything–as in, I think I love everything and want to cast on (and more importantly, finish) everything immediately. Or I go through so many options for one yarn that in the end I can barely cast on, because what if I would have liked another pattern better?

    I keep thinking about the Premiere “Lace Scarf” Cardi from Classic Elite, but it’s not a very satisfying Fantasy Knit, as there aren’t many finished pictures in Ravelry. I’ve actually made a swatch though, so I may really knit it!

  3. Oh, I have lots of those fantasies – like the recent one where I knit the Fisherman’s Pullover with my eyes closed…and then I hit those short rows. Thanks for the tip – I’ll check it out! Hope there’s a reconciliation with Shalom soon – it is a lovely pattern.

  4. You are right, that yarn is gorgeous! Maybe God is telling you something with the need to rip back… maybe it should be a Shalom Blanket?

  5. And another book has been added to my reading list. It looks so good!

    There’s a pattern, I believe called the ballerina top? That with some madalintosh vintage? I’m sure I spelled that wrong. It’s basically yarn I dream of but cannot afford.

  6. Oh no!!

    Keep going, we can knit together and little shalom kal for the fantasy knitters in both of us!

    You have almost talked me into casting on, once I finish up the toy I’m making for my little man.

    ❤ the color is lovely and will be perfect for spring and playground play, you'll be able to wash it much easier than a 100 percent wool sweater right!

    What do you say?

    dig it out of the frog pond? 😉

  7. Well, at least your knitting fantasies don’t always hit while you’re standing in the LYS, credit card in hand. That would be truly dangerous!

    I’m just plugging along one project at a time (such a monogamous knitter). Right now it’s a sock yarn project, but not a sock, for Sock Summit.

  8. This is the second time I’m writing this and the third time I’m sending it, apparently unsuccessfully. So, hopefully, it won’t suddenly appear three times in the comments! I’m getting close to finishing the Saroyan shawl (color=green!) It was nearly finished last winter, at which point I realized that there were two errors WAY in the beginning, back as far as the second leaf! So, I put it aside for a long time, hidden in a project bag. I finally took it out again a couple of weeks ago, completely ripped it out started again. I really love it and can’t wait to finish. I might even make it again. Also, I have “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” but haven’t started it yet. If only there were more hours in the day! Can’t wait to see what becomes of your “Shalom”! There probably is something to easy care…maybe just work a little at a time?

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