Shortly after I finished my first Mara Shawl (blogged about here), I picked out more Madelinetosh DK/Light Worsted (Thunderstorm) to make another one. My favorite thing about this shawl? Well first of all, it’s easy as pie. It’s one of those knits that you like to do when you have other things going on around you and can’t be watching charts or multiple-line patterns as you work. I might start a third one and keep it on hand for times like that. The other thing I like about it is the design. The pleated edging on the bottom is my favorite part. And last of all, it looks so darned cute when you put it on. (Thus the need for a few different colors in my wardrobe.)
Specs: I used a size 7 (US) needle on 32″ circulars. The pattern doesn’t specify exactly how many stitches to work up to, before starting in on the edging. It says “continue working rows 2 and 3 until shawl measures desired width across.” I hate directions like that. I want the designer to tell me exactly what they did, so that I can have mine turn out like the photo. (Or at least tell me what they did so that I can work to that point and then decide if I like the result, or need to keep knitting.) To make it easy, I just knit the body until I’ve used up the first skein of yarn. That’s about the right width. (One skein of Madtosh DK is 225 yds.) You’ll use the second and third skeins for the edging. Actually, I end up only using about half of the third skein, which leaves you enough leftover yarn to make a pair of Mom’s Cabled Mitts, if you were so inclined. (Note – Aurora Shawl pin by Annie Adams. Looks great on there, doesn’t it?)
Speaking of mindless knitting (like the Mara Shawl), I changed my mind about Olympic knitting. I watched people pick intricate, challenging, time-consuming projects for their Olympic knitting. I had finally decided on my First Quarter KAL project – the Hawthorne Vest from Black Water Abbey. (I’m knitting it in String Theory DK.) I thought I’d challenge myself to get it done during the Olympics. It’s not really a difficult pattern, but it has a lot of cables going on, all with seperate charts that combine together along the same row of knitting. It’s one of those projects where you really have to pay attention to what you’re doing. (Or at least I really have to pay attention to what I’m doing.) Why do people pick challenging projects for Olympic knitting? I’d rather be knitting a Mara Shawl, because I want to watch what’s going on on the television. It’s not like a movie, where you can listen and look up now and then, and get the gist of things. The Olympic events are ones that I want to really WATCH. So, I’m back to some fairly mindless knitting (socks) and am postponing the vest until after the Olympics, when I can knit and pay more attention.
Did you commit to an Olympic project? And do you find that knitting a challenging design is completely do-able for you? (And did you notice the great hats that the US team is wearing in many of the photos? Laura from PA alerted me to the fact that there is a free pattern on Ravelry for this hat. Helena Bristow decided that she’d rather figure up the pattern than shell out $65 to Ralph Lauren for the hat. Now you can make one, too!)