When I started this shawl, I thought it would be a lazy diversion. I never imagined that it would take me more than a year to complete, and that I would be diverted from this half a dozen times.
The journey of Autumn Meadow started in February 2010 at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas. I popped in for some advise on Rogue, my first cable project. The shimmer of the Wagtail kid mohair caught my attention from across the room. It gleamed and glittered, warm and silky as sunlight on water. I couldn’t put it down. Ah, those tedious cables in obese worsted, the garish red – I wanted a break. This little skein of pure heaven seemed like the perfect distraction. Serendipitously, hanging on display was one of the most lovely lace patterns I had ever seen. I wanted THAT shawl in THIS mohair.
I thought it would be good to go back and forth, knit some of this, knit some of that; and, it was for a time. Until the lace started growing, I started missing stitches and frogging as much as I was knitting. Frustrated, I set it down and vowed to steam through Rogue. And I did – to utter failure, but that’s another story.
Months later, I picked A.M. back up and this time I used markers. Brilliant! What was I thinking to attempt lace without markers? I was grooving, it felt good. Until . . . I was distracted by a “weekend project” (is there really such a thing) for a month. Ok, back on track . . . Then came Christmas, and the obligatory presents. Spring came and I realized the babies whose quilt tops hung in my office were about to have their 1st birthdays! Yikes! I quilted like mad woman for months. Phew.
When I returned to knitting, I decided I couldn’t abide the failure of Rogue and I must re-knit it from scratch. Quickly. Again, the vulgar red, the scratchy worsted wool and those pesky cables bored me. Back to Autumn! Until . . . I ran out of yarn. No biggy, I could order more. Wrong! 6 weeks of calling every yarn store in America that ever carried Wagtail, repeated emails to the company headquarters in Australia, whining and bemoaning on Ravelry boards, begging fellow Ravelry-ers whose stashes where not for sale to sell their stashes. . . . But success at last! After four weeks of dogged persistence, I had my skein of Wagtail Copper . . . Worth every penny!
Towards the end of the edging chart I stayed up late into the night – determined to finish! “I’m done! Now just have to do the bind off. Where are those bind off instructions? Wait a minute, what is this? Edging Chart 2!?” Groan.
Oh, I have to laugh in retrospect. Just when I thought I was making real progress, or getting close to finishing, I would realize I was actually very far from my goal. Absolutely spread too thing.
Hum, does underestimating the time, effort (not to mention the freaking yardage!) have anything to do with why I constantly find that I’ve over committed and overestimated myself? Of course, I always believe that it will be fine and that I can handle it and that it’s a good idea. It’s not until I’m waist deep in a jumble of mohair lace, worsted wool cables and 2 1/2″ quilt strips that I realize I might have bitten off more than I one can chew. Seriously: working simultaneously on three quilts, a sweater, a cowl, a scarf, a pair of fingerless gloves and a shawl all at once. How do I expect to finish anything?
Now, you might think that I would learn from this shawl. And I have. I just spontaneously committed to doing a Steven West mystery KAL. But this time my shawl is in rough and tough merino fingering in snazzy contrasting colors – nothing at all like the dreamy kid mohair lace of Autumn! This will be a breeze 😉
August Update: Finally done, done, done! Blocked, photographed – TA DA! Loving it. I think this is the single most beautiful thing I have ever created (besides my kid).
Always happy for some love – here’s the Ravelry Project Page.