Want to knit along with me? I've put together yarn kits in ALTERNATE COLOR COMBINATIONS
March 31 -- At the moment, I'm knitting the Beeline Shawl designed by Amanda Scheuzger. I'm using the Ensemble Six Pack Collection and Toasted Almond for the main color. As you can see, I've nearly made it through the second of four sections (the first section is really small and is plain garter stitch in the main color) and have used the first three colors from the Ensemble six pack.
Section 3 will contain cables that are then slipped stitches and uses the remaining three colors of the six pack. The last section is once again lace but the lace is larger in area and is comprised of the accent colors broken with narrow stripes of the main color.
April 1-- I've only just begun section 3 with the fourth color in the six pack...but I have a photo I'm uploading of the first couple of cable twists (it's really sweet)...stay tuned...I'll have it up in a couple hours. Actually, while taking the photo for today, I saw that I had done the slipped stitch cables in section 3 incorrectly! No photos today since I figured there was no point in showing you giant puddles of yarn where I ripped back to section 2. Hokey Pokey knitting...sigh.
April 2 -- Back on track! I really hate ripping back projects (I know you guys can relate!). I try to embrace the zen of knitting and I know in my head this is just a part of the 'zen', but my heart just really doesn't accept it very well. But...now that I'm back on track after ripping back and re-knitting a dozen rows, I have pretty little slipped stitch cables and, bonus!, they're correct this time! I've started using the fourth color of the six pack a caramel gold color and I think it's really perfect for the Beeline theme of the shawl!
April 4-- Yesterday got away from me!! It was the first time I've used this website to set up a timed release and so between hovering to make sure everything went off without a hitch before the Dallas Fort Worth color debut and then packing orders afterwards (thank you everyone for your support - you are amazing!!), the whole day seemed to melt away so quickly. The Beeline shawl is now into it's 5th color and I'm making progress in the third section. It's a fabulous design and I'm enjoying watching the slipped cables progress, but I keep forgetting to slip the cable stitches so I'm tinking back about every 4th row so it's a bit of a slow haul for me...I'm afraid you all may find the next couple of days the knitters' equivalent to watching paint dry!
April 6 -- I finally got my act together on section 3 and paid attention to when I needed to slip stitches so I didn't need to tink back every 4th row. It's amazing how much more progress you can make on your knitting this way! I started the last section, section 4, which will (eventurally) contain all 6 of the contrast colors. You can't really tell from this photo, but the cables flow beautifully into the lace design. Once I get a bit more of the lace done, I will show you a close up photo so you can see what I mean. I'm still loving this shawl and working on it each evening has been one of my touch points to sanity and calm during these unprecedented times.
April 7 -- Here's your closeup photo of how the slipped stitch cables flow into the lace design. Pretty huh? I think so too! So...I messed up again! Can you see it? The lace repeat doesn't line up correctly. I slid sideways when I should have stayed the course! The entire lace section is charted over 2 charts. Somehow between the first and second charts, my lace pattern shifted by 1 stitch. It's really odd though because I started and ended with the correct number of stitches. So now I'm trying to decide how noticeable the shift is and whether to tink back 12 rows of lace to correct it. I confess, I'm probably going to leave it. I know that's going to make some of the perfectionists out there squirrel-y, but I firmly believe that each hand crafted piece should contain a 'design element' or two so long as it doesn't violate the design of the piece. It all gets back to why I knit. I knit for the enjoyment and peace the process gives me. When I first started knitting, I was all about the finished item. The excitement of casting on, followed by the anticipation of the finished piece...until the new infatuation of the project wore off...then it would seem like endless tedium until I could get my 'reward' of the finished item. Fast forward many years and now I find my favorite part of a project is the middle where you are comfortable with the project and can pick it up and relax with it for an hour or so without having to work at it. My least favorite part? Ironically, it's casting on! That newness that is so exilarating is often also very frustrating...am I understanding the directions correctly? Is my gauge correct? Do my colors work well together? A million issues all rolled into the first couple of hours of knitting. I'm leaning towards leaving the shift in the lace design. I enjoyed knitting those lace rows therefore I'm calling the project a success. As creator of the finished shawl, I'm allowing it to be perfectly imperfect...kind of like life.
April 9 -- The Beeline Shawl is starting to get too big to show the entire piece in a photo and still have you all see what's currently going on so I'm just showing you all the leading edge. It's been blissfully peaceful knitting lately and I've moved onto the second (of six) colors in section 4. There are 2 charts for each color and this progress photo was taken somewhere about 1/3 of the way through the second chart. I'm pleased as punch to be able to report that the lace design for the second color all lines up and I expect that to be the case from here on out! Wahoo!!!
April 10 -- The rows are getting longer now!! I'm in the middle of color #3 of the Ensemble six pack gradient. These honey golds really remind me of summer!! I can't wait to see how it looks all finished and blocked!
April 11- A few more rows...a little knitting before bedtime to relax so I can sleep tonight. Most of today was spent with the website getting ready for the online shop undate for all the spinning fiber inventory that was originally destined for the PlyAway show next weekend. There will be somewhere between 3 and 4 dozen colorways on various fibers that will be in this update - it's the largest,by far, of any online update I've ever done which explains the significant lack of knitting progress today. The entire Spring suite of festivals were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. I've had weeks to come to terms with it, but I still can't wrap my mind around the far-reaching impacts this has and will continue to have for a while yet. In the meantime, I have my knitting to help keep me sane...well, not so crazy at least!
April 13 - I took yesterday off from work and spent a wonderful Easter celebrating with family and enjoying a few hours knitting on this Beeline Shawl. I think it's really the mark of a great project when you have this many hours invested knitting it and you still look forward to knitting on it some more! I'm now into the 5th (of six) colors in section 4. The only thing that remains after section 4 is a bit of edging in the main color and then blocking. Since I've been weaving in ends as I go, there isn't even that to do...once it's blocked then it's all set to display as a shop model!!! This is the point in a project where I begin thinking of what I'm going to knit next...I have a Throwback sweater still on the needles. It needs about 1/3 of the body and both sleeves knit. It's not a deep stash UFO, but it would be nice to finish it up before casting on something new. Then again, that siren call of a brand new project with new yarn can be rather alluring...
April 15 -- Knitting this project is getting to be a bit never-ending. I felt like it took a good three and a half lifetimes to knit this 5th color...I can only imagine that watching the progress on this e-journal must be akin to watching paint dry at this point. The shape of this beautiful Beeline shawl is an asymmetrical triangle which means that when you get close to finishing (around this point in the project), the rows get unbelievably long. If I didn't have the color changes to mark the progress in this shawl I would swear I've broken some law of quantum physics and warped the space-time continuum. I'm totally ready to cast this baby off...except there's another entire color yet that I have to knit!
April 18 -- I've been missing in action the last couple days (with emphasis on the action!). We listed nearly 500 braids of fiber in 4 dozen colorways/fiber blends on April 16th and the response was overwhelming and Mike and I have spent the last couple of days packing and shipping orders! You all are the best! Thank you so so much for your support! This morning I found a couple of hours of early morning time and worked on the sixth and last color in section 4. I'm 10 rows from casting off...not that I'm counting (if by this you understand that I have a row list on the last pattern page that I'm checking off obsessively with each row finished). With a bit of luck, I should finish it this evening, block it tomorrow and call it done.
April 19 -
And that's a wrap!! See that small amount of yarn left over in the photo? That's 28.5 inches of yarn! I would like to compliment the knitting fates on a game of yarn chicken well-played. The score was a bit closer than I'm comfortable with and I sweated the entire cast off worrying if I would make it through to the last stitch!! The designer of the Beeline, Amanda Scheuzer, recommends knitting a gauge swatch for this shawl because it's designed to use as much yarn as possible and let me tell you...man am I glad I listened!!! I normally don't pay attention to gauge when knitting a shawl...in fact it's one of my favorite reasons for knitting a shawl - that you don't have to worry about the size or fit. It's just works for everyone. But because shawls tend to be fairly large, if you are off even the slightest in your gauge, you can work through a huge amount of yarn beyond what the pattern calls for. Do the calculations and it's rather mind-boggling! If you want to make this shawl and still want to fly without the gauge swatch safety net, might I suggest you pick up an extra skein of yarn?