twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Keep calm and carry on August 27, 2010

Words to live by...

That was my creed over the last couple of days. Yup.

Decided to finally dig in and finish my Shetland Triangle Shawl, even though the temperature flirted with 102 degrees on Tuesday and I probably won’t even need anything like it for at least a month or more. Probably more.

It’s just that with this being a new year and all (you guys must remember I told you I always look at the new school year as my official new year, right? Well if you don’t, that was a heads up), I really want to make a good dent in my stash. That’ll be a tall order considering the fact that I might be the slowest knitter I know and my stash could be featured on a special episode of “Hoarders.” Okay, well I’m pretty fast, and I’m planning on making a few new sweaters so that should ease up some space in the stash bins. It’s just that I think I get distracted from my knitting fairly easily which really slows me down. Cleaning, and making dinner, and putting some new jewelry designs together, and doing stuff/errands with the Bug are just a few of the big time-takers. This bit of technology beneath my fingers right now is especially distracting.

Of course I mean my computer…sheesh. Where are your minds, people?!

Another problem has been that usually I end up knitting at the end of the day. After I finally finish the dinner dishes, put the leftovers away, and get the Bug off to bed as well as get the 2 of us ready to hit the ground running the next day, I knit a few rows only to find myself falling asleep. Anyway, this shawl was like the rest of my projects; let me tell you, trying to knit on the plane was nearly useless. On the other hand, what I did work on moved quickly as this was a super easy to memorize pattern.

Yep, that's the shawl in question.

So I concentrated on finishing this week; what a ride. Aside from the fact that I really enjoyed not planning to do anything else but knit (except for a little laundry, grocery-shopping, and cleaning—gads, doesn’t my life sound glamorous?), this rather simple lace shawl made for all kinds of excitement. Who could’ve guessed that 450 yards of Malabrigo Silky Merino could’ve been so exciting. Okay, well you might know it’s great to knit with, but this turned out literally to be a cliff-hanger of a project.

You see I was intent (you might even say childishly so) on getting as many repeats of the lace pattern as I possibly could because I hate nothing more than leftovers—yarn, food. You name it, I like to use it up. Although I do have a plan to make a blanket like Ron Weasley has: a kind of crazy quilt sort of thing made up of squares of presumably leftover yarn. I saw this very cool blanket last year at The Museum of Science and Industry’s Harry Potter exhibit and nearly swooned over it, much to the embarrassment of my peeps.

But I digress.

Anyway, after two days of really keepin’ on, I managed to squeeze 13 repeats from this yarn, but because I did, finishing it all up proved a nail-biter…right to the very last stitch. As I started the bind off, a golf ball sized ball of yarn beside me, I faltered a little wondering if I should rip back to be certain I had enough to finish, or if the yarn would kind of do that “loaves and fishes” thing. But instead of worrying, I decided to “Keep calm and carry on,” use positive mental attitude, and picture myself happily finishing the bind off with yarn to spare. And you know, I believe I would’ve had enough yarn, however, because the bind off was a special elasticy one, it ate up more yarn. Reminded me of CR consuming Oreos.

Yes, as expected. With 26 stitches left to bind off, I ran out of yarn. Even though I skipped rows 13 and 14 of the edging chart, I used every inch of the Malabrigo.

So late last night I again focused on my lovely red souvenir coaster, brought home from London’s Imperial War Museum, took a deep breath, and chanted, “Keep calm and carry on.”

Let me say here that sometimes, chanting is best augmented by a little liquid calm… 🙂

Now I could’ve sworn I had (and still do believe I have) a teensy ball of this yarn hanging around here somewhere. But even turning the house upside down and waking everyone and the cat up,  it stayed hidden. I cried uncle and went to bed.

And this morning I resorted to spit-splicing (ah, coffee-flavored, no less. But let me tell you, the silk in the yarn does resist the splicing…what a pain in the tookus) using the ends that were hanging off the back of the shawl and the bits that tied up the skeins before winding. But rats, I still didn’t have enough. “H” “E” Double fishsticks.

In the end, my stash bailed me out. With 16 stitches left to bind off, and no yarn left, I recalled that I had 2 skeins of Mal Silky Merino in “London Sky” put away for a shawl for my MIL. Luckily, the lavender of the London Sky colorway is exactly the same as the lavender in the Indecita colorway! Wish I would’ve realized that before all the spit-splicing.

God save the Stash!

She’s done, beautiful, and blocking. Photo shoot scheduled for tomorrow.

Here’s some pics of Lucy, our fuzzy baby, taken by Bug.


2 Responses to “Keep calm and carry on”

  1. Darling Cuz Says:

    Hate when that happens! But sounds like you saved the day. See? There’s nothing wrong with having a stash. “Keep Calm and Carry On” became my favorite poster when I saw it and my mantra (Embarrassingly, I have an aqua version — like the red so much better) If you have to face a war or life, they’re words to live by.


  2. Meg Says:

    Whoa, this post was a real nail-biter! I see you enjoy living dangerously when it comes to EXACTLY using up all your yarn. 🙂 Clever you for splicing together enough to get through the end of the project. Can’t wait to see the blocked finished shawl! I think I need one of those Keep Calm and Carry One coasters as a daily reminder of how to get through each day. A shot of some liquid calm obviously couldn’t hurt either.


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