Yesterday afternoon, I finished my Print o' the Wave stole and put it on the blocking wires. This morning I set it free and spent a happy hour just playing with it: throwing it up in the air to watch it float, draping it over things, wrapping it seductively around my head while singing the Habanera from Carmen. You know, the usual.
I cast on in November 2008 at O'Hare Airport, waiting for a flight to London. I knit it in the air, I knit it (just a little bit) in England, I knit it on the sea voyage home. It went to Maine, Montana, Florida. It had layovers in New York and Minnesota. It has been on the subway and the bus, to restaurants and bars, to hotels, to the gym, to the library, to the homes of friends. It has been worked in moments of great happiness, of quiet reflection, of depression and frustration. It has been cooed over and it has been sworn at. (Mostly sworn at.)
I knit it specifically to show students who take my Introduction to Lace class what they'll be able to do with basic skills. It isn't a complicated project, really–just an endurance test.
Not that I didn't learn stuff. It's a rare and sad project that teaches you nothing new, right?
My great eureka moment came at (you should forgive the expression) the tail end, during the weaving-in. I remembered from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting that the Shetland knitters (when working square shawls from the edging inwards) often sewed the four trapezoidal borders together while the piece was pinned out on a blocking frame. So I decided to weave my loose ends after the stole was dry, but still on the wires. Much more efficient, and the results were extremely satisfactory–a great improvement on my past performances. I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out, but as I can't remember reading the tip online anywhere I pass it along.
I knit this stole to show the students in my Introduction to Lace classes what they'll be able to do with their basic skills. I didn't have any large-scale inspirational pieces to hand since all my previous ventures in lace have been given away. (It's hard, sometimes, being a boy.)
The pattern is clear, it's free, and provided you take care at the transition points (i.e., picking up stitches for the border and grafting the ends of the edging) success is well within a beginner's grasp.
And it's so pretty. I am totally wearing this the next time I go to a monster truck rally.
I was invited to knit last night with a group of librarians from the Music Library Association (they're in town for a conference) and had a marvelous time. Thanks, y'all–especially Lisa, Laura Gayle and Cheryl. (I told them to check out Loopy's Knit Night tonight. Wish I could be there.)
Another Shout Out
To everybody who left encouraging comments for the creators of Redress. They've read them, they appreciate them, and they've promised to keep us posted about future incarnations. Thank you!
The Knitter Who Came in from the Cold
All systems go for this weekend's events in North Carolina. The photography class on Sunday morning is full, and a nice crowd has already signed up for the talk/reception on Saturday evening. (If you're interested in hearing my squeaky voice, more information is here).
A very nice North Carolinian wrote to warn me that the weather there is nippy and to bring sweaters. Honey, we in Chicago would sell our grandmothers for a day or two of "nippy." We rejoice in "nippy." We run naked in the garden when it's "nippy." I'm sitting here looking out the window at sheets of ice the size of Madison Square Garden bobbing on the lake. Still, you are kind to worry about my comfort, and I promise to reciprocate with a weather advisory should you ever visit our fair city in winter. (Our version of your "nippy" is "bone-crushing.")