Chadwick

I stayed up late one night last week to finish up this shawl, tucking in the ends and blocking it the next day.  I finished it with almost a week to spare before Sock Summit, and have been dying to share it with you ever since.  Timing (and styling) never quite lined up over the weekend, so we’re just now getting to it.

What a fun knit!  Chadwick is classic Stephen West, with its colorwork, assymetry, and simple stitch patterns.  It was easy to work on while chatting at knit night or watching over a busy toddler; it looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. At one point I was juggling 3 balls of yarn, which got a little tricky, but overall it was great fun.  You can see all the details on my project page.

 

During the photo shoot I played around with all of the different ways to wear this shawl.  Typically I like to wear my shawls bandit-style (with the point in the front, ends wrapped around the neck), but I think that really hides the features of this one.  I’ll have to go traditional with this decidedly untraditional shawl.

So happy to have this finished for Sock Summit!  I know that in most parts of the US having a new wool shawl for an event in July sounds ludicrous, but around here it’s necessary.  Mornings and evenings can be a bit chilly, and a small shawl over one’s shoulders is just the thing. Plus, what knitter doesn’t want to wear something hot off the needles around other knitters?

I’m heading off to the mighty summit tomorrow, picking up my bestie at the airport in the evening.  This is my first real amount of time spent away from PB, and I am filled with a mixture of emotions.  Elation, excitement, trepidation, and a touch of worry.  Everyone will be fine, I know this.  And in a sense, this time apart feels like a bit of a trial run for when I start working at the shop. Granted, I won’t be gone for a 4 day stretch very often, but it will go a long way for all of us to know that we can function outside of our normal routines.  Besides, I get yarn and she gets swimming lessons.  Win win!

Please come say hi if you see me running around in Portland, I love meeting new people.  And for those of you staying home I will have a full report and lots of photos to share upon return.

 

 

Grateful.

Wow, knitters and friends.  Thank you.  Thank you for all of your kind comments here, on Ravelry, Facebook, and in my email.  I am overwhelmed with your support and excitement!  It’s amazing how once you start sharing your dreams with the world, the path becomes more and more clear.  Slowly the whole idea starts to seem less scary and more plausible.  I remember feeling almost nauseous the first time I reached out and told someone what I was thinking of doing.  And each time I told someone, I felt a little more confident and energized until I was ready to shout it from the rooftops.  Which is effectively what I did last week, eh?!

 

It has been a busy couple of weeks, packed with family visitors, fun activities, good food, and time with friends. We took a trip to the beach on Friday, PB’s first since she’s been mobile, and it was a blast.  Cool and breezy weather didn’t stop us from setting up our chairs, walking along the beach, and playing in the sand.  Sadly, the cool and breezy weather (plus rain. lots of rain) have plagued us for a few days now, and I’m starting to feel a little stir crazy.

I did have to take an unplanned knitting break due to that telltale tingle and burn in the wrist and thumb joint after one to many marathon knitting sessions.  Fortunately, I have been able to pick up my needles again and am trying to work in 15-20 minute increments with plenty of breaks.  The hard part of that plan is that I am at the border on my Chadwick shawl, and with the end in sight I just want to keep knitting!

 

Yarn Along:: Skinny and Dirty

There’s something about knitting with skinny yarn in the summer for me; the two go together like ice cream and swimming pools, strawberries and chocolate.  Mmm….  Fingering weight yarn has a strong hold over me in general, most likely because it’s easy for me to commit to a single skein of sock yarn with seemingly infinite potential than to a sweater’s worth of a heavier yarn.  I know it’s not just about socks.  There’s a whole host of other projects to create with sock yarn: shawls, scarves, gloves, mitts, hats, baby items, and even garments.

This summer I seem to be sticking to knitting socks and shawls, and that is just fine with me.  I’m working through my stash and some patterns that have been on my knitting wish list.  The red and blue shawl is Chadwick, and it has grown quite a bit since you last saw it.  The green and purple socks are the Sunday Swing socks, my new take-anywhere autopilot knitting project.  And bringing up the rear is sock #2 of Haleakala.  I finished its mate about 2 weeks ago, and as usual am struggling to stay focused on the project.  I thought I could finish them before Sock Summit, although why I would want a new pair of wool and cashmere socks in July is beyond me.  So I decided to pay more attention to the shawl, which is much more likely to get used this summer in drafty air-conditioned rooms and on cooler evening spent outside.

On the nightstand is The Dirty Life, a book one of my lovely readers recommended recently.  Great pick!  In the author’s words:

This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming—that dirty, concupiscent art—and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer.

This is the perfect read for anyone who daydreams of chucking it all to farm full time, or even those of us backyard farmers who enjoy getting dirty then scrubbing up and going out for sushi.  I’m loving Kimball’s writing style; it’s descriptive and insightful, and it flows together so nicely that I’ve been staying up way past my bedtime reading.  It’s just as well, though, as I’m working against that 14-day library checkout deadline!

What’s on your nightstand or in your project bag this week?  How do you feel about skinny yarn and living dirty on a farm?

Thanks, as ever, to Ginny for inspiring us all to join in her weekly Yarn Alongs to share our mutual loves of reading and knitting!

Trust. Knit. Understand.

I cast on for Chadwick Sunday afternoon and spent a nice amount of time knitting on our back patio.  This is an asymmetrical shawl, and it’s taken some getting used to.  Much like the infamous Baby Surprise Jacket, the best thing is to just trust in the pattern and go with the flow.  For what you see below is not the center back of the shawl as you may have thought.  That Mr. West is a clever kniter, indeed.

It seems to be growing rather quickly, but then again these types of shawls always do in the beginning.  Talk to me when the rows have a significantly higher stitch count!

*My new stitch markers are from Plover Designs and I am loving them.  The best part? They’re hand-made from recycled aluminum in Portland.