Coco, Designing, Knitting

Just knitting around……

This morning, coffee in hand, I surveyed my dining room table covered in knitting – knitting books, knitting yarn, knitting tools, knitting notebooks – and thought that all was right with the world. (And yes, my placemats are wrinkled – such is life.) This is the result of swatching with the Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn for a new shawl design. Over the last few days, I pulled out a few stitch dictionaries and other resources to flip through, I pulled out a crochet hook and waste yarn for a possible provisional cast on, and I pulled out my design notebook to write down Every. Single. Thing. That. I. Do. I’m not sure if this is a foible unique to a new designer, or an expression of my Type-A tendencies, but I just sleep better at night knowing that I had an idea and I. Wrote. It. Down. (I also write in pencil, but I know that’s just a holdover from my days in engineering school, where the math always changes…..) I’m not sure why those scissors are lying there – perhaps in the case of a swatching emergency?

Anyway, the great irony in all of this creative mess is that I’m thinking of using a clean and simple stockinette fabric with lots of strategically placed yarnovers to make the most of the color and the drape of the yarn!

After trying a couple of different cast ons and yarnover positions (and playing with the rate at which those yarnovers appear – the rate of increasing? Calculus in knitting? First Derivatives, anyone? chuckle chuckle), I think I’ve settled on the above as a good place to start. This colorway remains notoriously difficult to capture on film, even on a bright sunny day like today – only with the flash could I capture the color changes and the texture of the swatch. I’m more than 50% sure that this swatch will be ripped back too, as I revise and edit my idea, and in some ways, I think that’s the hardest lesson to learn: don’t be afraid to rip it all out, especially once you get that feeling that your idea isn’t working. It’s like software – sometimes version 1.0 is filled with bugs, and you need to work through versions 1.1 and 1.2 before you’re into smooth sailing.

We’ve got a busy weekend chez Chalson, including a vet’s appointment for Coco (for suspected seasonal allergies, poor thing!), a birthday dinner for my husband Andrew at El Paso Taqueria, a gem of a Mexican restaurant uptown in Manhattan, and for me… all day sock class tomorrow at Lion Brand Yarn Studio with Melissa Morgan-Oakes to learn her technique of knitting socks two at a time from the toe up! I’ve been looking forward to this workshop for months, and I can’t wait to come away having learned a bunch of new tricks. Happy weekend!

3 thoughts on “Just knitting around……”

  1. I am ABSOLUTELY GREEN ( though I know that “it’s not easy being green”…Kermit the Frog…!) with envy over your sock class tomorrow…have a WONDERFUL time!! The road of creativity is littered with roadblocks, but keep persevering, for when you least expect it, you will see something or think of something off hand that will inspire another thought or approach, literally your next “Aha moment…!!”

  2. OMG, you lucky dog you…………I would drool if I ever had the cance to even walk inside of the Lion Brand studio in NYC, let alone take a sock class there. I hope you have a wonderful time, and I’m sure you will. I knit my socks with a singular circular needle, and love doing them that way, toe up or cuff down. But it’s always fun learning new methods, and ideas.


    1. Hi Sandie! The studio was amazing! I really loved it – i can’t believe I’ve never been there, but I’ll definitely go back. All that learning was a little tiring today, but we made a lot of progress and the teacher was great. All in all, a great experience 🙂

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