Thursday, February 23, 2012

Can You Believe I'm Knitting Something?

I can tell you about this project cuz my mother only reads my blog 3 times a year, when I remind her of the address and act slightly offended.

At Xmas, just after I made the Glen Haven Shawl, she came to visit. At first quietly admiring, by the time a couple of days had gone by, she was routinely and confidently claiming her certainty that I would give the Glen Haven to her. People, I did not.

Am I a bad daughter? Well, I did knit her 2 pairs of gloves, a scarf and bought her a face potion and a variety of other gifts. I made and cleaned up after Xmas eve and day dinners. I gave her my bed.

I wanted the shawl. My body hurt, extremely, after making it. It was the last garment I knit before deciding that I needed to stop knitting for a while, in the interests of feeling less sore. I love it. I wear it daily.

Yes, she did give birth to me. So we compromised. I told her I would make her one for her bday. Which is why I'm working with this yarn:

to construct this:

I'm finished with the body portion of the shawl. I've blocked it and used wires to flatten out the reverse stockinette slightly (I'm on the fence about rolling yarn, even though that's a hallmark of the edges of this garment.) Next up: the loop and tail ribbed sections.

I discovered my insane love of chunky-weight, baby alpaca after receiving the gift of this yarn. It's like knitting a bunny. Seriously, it is SO beautiful. Furthermore, it doesn't stretch, on blocking, half as much as merino (in my brief experience) or Debbie Bliss anything. It is vaguely fuzzy. Much more so than the springy, entirely smooth Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky. I don't tend to appreciate any fuzz profile on my knitted items. It veers towards "homemade-seeming" IMO. But, in the instance of this yarn, I'm powerless to do anything but love it.

I bought it at Lettuce Knit - an LYS I value for excellent customer service. It doesn't have the best prices by a long shot. The yarn cost $90.00. But I care about this local resource. I appreciate everything it's done to help me grow as a crafter. So I support it.

Remember, you can read more about all of these objets and view additional photos on my Ravelry page.


  1. I agree with you 100% about Lettuce Knit. Yes, they are not the most affordable LYS, but Megan is a wealth of knowledge and her patience with indecisive shoppers like me has no bounds. I think your mother will be very pleased with her new shawl… it looks so soft!

  2. Thanks Gail! I loved your knitting mag pics today. So cheering.

    Andrea: Megan is the one who taught me magic loop. I came in asking for DPNs and she convinced me the loop would be much easier. She made it very comprehensive and fun.

  3. I'm surprised you find less growth in the alpaca -- generally it's way more about the drape than any merino, much less about the memory. But then it seems to me that the Debbie Bliss merino you worked with at one point was one that had been treated for washability, no? Which makes it a different product than your regular merino.
    Interesting that you equate that aura of fuzz with homemade; I've never thought of it like that, but I can see what you mean.
    I've ordered a few kits from LYS -- they're great people just from an over-the-phone speedy, helpful ordering perspective. . .
    Good to see you knitting again, but it does hurt, doesn't it?! Greetings from Knit Cafe even has a set of Yoga for Knitters exercises in it (a truly California approach to knitting, no?)

  4. I'm surprised about the less growth in alpaca as well, but anything I have ever knit with Debbie Bliss yarn stretched tremendously. I'm not familiar with the store other than having heard of it, but good yarn and good support are worth it, as is supporting local businesses.

    It is going to be beautiful.

  5. M and F: I have WAY less knowledge than either of you so I'm sure my experience with the alpaca is a fluke. I think I've been so bamboozled by the merino/microfibre blend that makes up the many weights of Debbie Bliss I've used, given that it grows in such a frightening way, that using anything else just seems manageable and shape-able.

    That Yoga for Knitters is a book I've got to take a look at. I'm sure I'm doing those poses, based on my knowledge of yoga and the situation I find my body in as a result of knitting, but very interesting! And Californian. :-)

  6. You struck a great compromise. That yarn and work is beautiful. I'm sure the finished product will be divine.