shawl be coming’ round the mountain
In our podcast recording today, we were chatting about how it doesn’t feel like Christmas if you are sitting around in your jeans and a jumper. The festive season is all about the smell of fresh air and mangos and sunscreen, of doors thrown open early to catch the cool then closed up against the heat, of cicadas calling in the evening and the rumble of a late storm. It has been an unseasonably cool spring, to the point we needed puffer jackets against the freezing wind at touch this week. Puffer jackets. In the middle of November.
As I came into the tail end of Say! Little Hen’s** knitalong, I felt the pressing need to get it done, blocked and ready to wear. The unseasonable chill won’t hold, and I desperately wanted to wear my shawl at least once this year. The past weekend, only a week after the end of the knitalong, I managed to get it cast off.
If I had thought finding the motivation to get it finished, after having to fix a dropped stitch, was the hardest part of the last stretch, I was wrong. The cat would like a word.
First, she scratched madly at my mats. Thankfully, they aren’t proper blocking mats, only cheap rubber camping mats from SuperCheap. Then, she thought the nice tub of warm water looked ideal for a swim. To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement.
Aren’t cats supposed to be water-averse? Clearly, our cat missed the memo and needs a firmware update. With the cat removed and the water emptied and refilled, I was able to soak the shawl. Then came the laying out and pinning. My tighwadness came to bite me on the backside – the mats are an inch too narrow, and three inches too short. I fudged it slightly, though I feel I will need to block it again. I’m hoping to enter it in our local show next year, so need the edges and tips perfect. A proper blocking set is the next toy on my list, I think!
Then came the next cat adventure – trying to keep the little wench off my drying shawl. There were multiple uncomplementary and creative ways I threatened to dispose of her if she didn’t stay off; she had zero bothers to give and my threats rolled off her. Thankfully, it was slightly warmer on Sunday, and by bedtime, my shawl was dry.
“It’s ready!” I exclaimed to my friends, “it will be perfect to wear tomorrow”.
“You are going to wear a shawl. Tomorrow. Are you mad?”
To be fair, the Queenslander has been living her best tank-top-wearing spring life. I, on the other hand, had to go to one of the coldest places in the north west, with 40kmh winds predicted. You bet your buttons I was wearing that sucker.
I wore the shawl. And no, I was not too warm in the slightest. I did, however, feel a bit ridiculous wearing such a wintery outfit in the middle of November. To be able to wear it though, before packing it away, was an absolute joy.
Part of the knitalong was a read along! Hence the name, Bookish Knitters Society. I used a bonus Audible voucher to get a copy of The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton to listen to as I knitted.
I’ve read a couple of her books previously, and this was of a similar vibe. Overall, I quite enjoyed the book. I picked one twist reasonably early, though there was another I felt was being set up, and kind of fizzled out to nothing. That plot point felt unresolved and unsatisfying to me, after a build up. The characters were fun, and the story interesting. As a family saga, it was a good read (listen?), and I enjoyed the narrator. I would give it 3.7 stars. A little bit slow in parts but if drama with a twinkle of romance is your bag, it’s worth a listen.
I loved this knitabookalong! I will definitely participate again when the project is one that feels like a good fit for me. The kit I feel was good value for money (I had the Original Kit with yarn, pattern, tea, note card & recipe card), and the tea. Oh my gosh. The tea was amazing, so much so I ordered a tin for myself…and one for my dad for fathers day. I have 1.5 balls left of the amazingly soft Onion nettle yarn, so I’m thinking I’m going to cast on some socks. The balls are only 50g, so I don’t have a lot of length to work with, but I should be able to get some shortie socks out of it. I have some natural undid wool I might dig out for the ribbing, heel and toe to make my yarn go further. I also probably should make a new project pouch for it, shouldn’t it? My maker tote is too large for “just socks”, and isn’t handbag friendly, so clearly I can’t use it. Yeah, I think I need a new bag. Someone pass the sewing machine?
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