1
March
2006

Let me tell you all a story…

I wanted to be able to show you this tonight and tell you that I had finished a spontaneous project.

I would have told you about how I’d seen the Danica scarf pattern at Knitty and started thinking about entrelac. And then about how I’d seen this yarn at the local yarn shop and had to buy it and thought it might be good as an entrelac scarf.

Then I would have reminded you that I took an entrelac class at Stitches West and the teacher showed us a hat that I thought was incredible. But that the pattern was by Elizabeth Zimmerman published in an old issue of Wool Gathering. And how I scoured through all her books looking for it and then happened to find the website for Schoolhouse Press, run by her daughter, Meg Swansen, who is gradually making old issues of Wool Gathering available as leaflets called Spun Out. And how I figured out that Spun Out #31 probably had the hat pattern I was thinking of and how I ordered it. And how it arrived on Monday and how I was thrilled that it was the hat I was looking for.

I would have then told you about how, even though I’m working on Mermaid, and Whirlygig, and another hat, and a secret project that no one has guessed yet, I decided that the Stripe yarn and the hat pattern were the perfect pairing and would make a nice snuggly gift for a friend having knee surgery shortly. And how I cast on and knit frantically last night and tonight. And how thrilled I was to finish the 8-pointed star on top about an hour ago.

And how I then tried it on.

So, it falls a little short. Sure, it’s supposed to have a ribbed band at the bottom, but really, in the pattern, it’s supposed to be more of a floppy beret. And somehow, I missed that in my excitement to get to the 8-pointed star.

Clearly, some re-engineering is needed. I think I know how I want to change it. I think it should start differently and I think it should work up a little differently as well. So tomorrow, I’m stopping at the yarn shop to see if I can’t get a couple more balls of the Stripe. If I really focus on it, I think I can finish the redesign in a night or two.

As an aside. This is the first time I’ve worked with a pattern written by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I’ve heard people before say that her patterns are too wordy and are better as stories than instructions for actually knitting something. I have to say, that clearly extends to this pattern. I’m somewhat adventurous in my knitting but approach it with a lot of forethought. I like to work things out in advance and I often find mistakes in patterns, or I aim to tweak things that don’t work out quite the way I was hoping (just look at my work with Mermaid or Clapotis to see that). But I know a lot of knitters are far less cavalier and really rely on concise, step-by-step instructions. You don’t find that with EZ. You have to fill in a lot of gaps yourself.

Anyway, I do get a burnished-gold/orange star for my efforts. And I just keep looking at it on the desk beside me and smiling. Isn’t it pretty?

1
March
2006

Whirlygig Update