A Learning Experience
“What happened to that Q2 sweater?” I hear you ask. I could make all sorts of jokes about where good intentions may lead us, but the simple answer is that once I began I found that I didn’t like the yarn, and I wasn’t that interested in the pattern. I persisted for a while, continually letting myself be distracted by smarter patterns and tastier yarns, before admitting that I wasn’t going to finish a sweater I didn’t want to wear, in wool I didn’t like. I frogged it, donated the wool, and started another pair of socks. Hopefully, what I’ll take from this is the ability to recognise a project that just isn’t working, and move on. Life’s too short to knit things I don’t love.
A Bit of a Dither
After bailing out of the Q2 knit, I struggled to choose a Q3 project. I wanted to pick something that I knew I would finish, and ideally a short project. I find that a quick project, easily completed, can give me the motivation to keep going on a different, longer, more intricate project. I spent some time looking at shawl patterns, but settled on the Johanna Capelet, because I wanted to gift it to my mum, whose birthday was approaching and could act as a deadline.
The Johanna Capelet
Last year I started the capelet, ripped it back 2 or 3 times to fix mistakes, and then frogged the whole thing in a fit of pique.
This time I started from the assumption that I was going to screw up: I made a point of using lifelines, and counted stitches after every row of lace. I had to rip back to a lifeline once, but otherwise it was smooth sailing.
I was really happy with the final result (I forgot to take a picture after blocking), and my mum loved her birthday present. Particularly pleasing, was the realisation of how much my knitting has improved over the past year.
With that ‘win’ under my belt less than a month into Q3, I decided to fit in a few more good intentions. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I’m trying to use up yarn that I’d already wound, so I started there. An orphan skein of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply became a Worth The Fuss shawl (one of Louise Tilbrook’s relaxing one-skein garter shawl patterns). With that done, and a novel blocking solution discovered, I moved on to another of last year’s abandoned projects: the Morning Pages shawl (also Louise Tilbrook).
Since the plan was to wear it while I write my morning pages, I’d decided the second attempt called for a drapier, squooshier yarn, and bought up all the (now discontinued) Rowan Fine Art Aran in colourway Conga that I could find, with a skein of the semi-solid Squirrel for my contrast. This was another knit that showed me how I’ve gained in skill and confidence over the past year. I did have to fudge the edging a little though as I didn’t have quite enough of the Squirrel, and didn’t feel I could justify buying another skein for the sake of a few rows.
My final project was the Antirrhinum socks from A Year of Techniques, which I originally planned to make for the KAL when the pattern came out, also last year. I won’t go into detail here, as there’s a Year of Socks post coming on that front, but it turned out to be one of those ‘good enough’ FOs.
It’s very satisfying to have four projects off the list, and I feel I’ve built some nice momentum going in to Q4. I have several more sock pattern/yarn combos which could count as good intentions, though I may try to get one of the many sweaters I have lined up done instead. Decisions, decisions….