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?