I have now said goodbye to one of my favorite classes, and one of the nicest groups of students I’ve ever had the pleasure to teach. Nine really good knitters felt adventuresome and joined me on a journey to make Selma Miriam’s Kousa Dogwood Shawl from Knitting in America aka America Knits . For those of you keeping score at home, Selma very generously gave me her permission to reproduce and copy the pattern to teach it. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
I actually made Version 1 of this shawl about five years ago. It was my first lace project, I did it on my own straight from the book, and I didn’t think it was too hard. From the mouths of babes, apparently. Funny thing is, every time I’ve worn it, I get more compliments than on any other piece I’ve knitted. I even had someone from the KR Retreat copy it, all the way down to the yarn and colorway.
So I figured I ought to just make another, to be knitting just ahead of the class and be able to show them each next thing OTN.
I try to use new yarns to help them move from the shop. In this case, I chose Queensland Sugar Rush, a new viscose made from sugar cane. It’s the same color my mom wore to my New Year’s Eve wedding, so I thought it would be a perfect summer piece to go with all the white and taupe she wears in the summer. Love the color.
Hate – no, despise – the yarn. It splits like the devil, even using Addi Lace needles. It’s very slippery – which is no big deal, but takes more concentration to knit with because it’s so slippery. And I’m afraid it’s not going to do much blocking because it is, after all, a form of viscose. Pal Peggy wisely suggested a drop of FrayCheck here and there, which I may look into if my weaving and darning don’t keep the (million and seven) ends in.
Did I mention the knots? One skein had FOUR. Most of them had at least one. I’ve been a longtime fan of Queensland yarns. Uruguay Chunky, Uruguay DK, Kathmandu Aran and from my personal Top Ten list, Kathmandu DK, are all a pleasure to work with. NOT SO for this stuff. Blech.
The most time-consuming part of this whole project is the ruffle that seems to go on forever. Knit 4 rows to pick up one live edge stitch. It’s a lot of knitting – in fact, more knitting than the rest of the shawl. I do remember that from the first go-round, but these days, my limited knitting time and forced monogamy to try to finish this for Mom’s visit next week made me feel it all the more.
So the knitting is done. Darning and weaving to go tonight. Blocking. And prayers that it doesn’t just all fall apart.
On to the next project(s). Time to start Get Ziggy for upcoming birth of nephew, and Ilga Leja’s lovely In the Courtyard vest for Mom in Maggi’s Linen. I’ve already discovered a monkey wrench in that plan, but more on that later. After all those ruffles, I can’t wait to work with something else!