Knitting on the Brink

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Fun Happy Sparkle Chuppah February 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — reichenbachfalls @ 12:59 am

Fun Happy Sparkle Chuppah

Originally uploaded by marcelory

I can’t believe my little sister is going to get married under this little piece of fabric. More proof, if proof were needed, that knitting is magic. Also proof: the sparkliness is starting to grow on me. Every woman I show the project to squeals. It’s contagious.

I had to unknit several rows yesterday, however, which was deeply demoralizing. Moral: attention must be paid to lace.

At some point I am going to have to lay it aside and finish a quick mitten for the Princess’ Ski Trip, which promises to be exhilarating. Imagine, knitting a project where the total number of stitches never tops 75. I’m at 300 already and I ain’t seen nothin’ yet, I can tell.


Sparkly Spiderweb Chuppah February 4, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,musings — reichenbachfalls @ 4:06 am

This is a story about two strong-willed sisters, a store full of yarn, and a dream.

From the moment I saw Kat Coyle’s Knitted Chuppah pattern in a recent Interweave Knits, I wanted to knit a chuppah. Not for my long-ago nuptials, of course: too late for that. But for someone’s.

Then, lo and behold, my sister got engaged last year! Excited, I showed her the pattern. She was uninterested. I cajoled, I guilt-tripped, I forced. No avail. She didn’t like it.

Inexplicably, a week ago, she asked me how the chuppah was going. I was one big sarcastic question mark.

I’m of the mind she suddenly changed her opinion after receiving a most excellent knitted cap from me. Anyhow, the point is, now Her Majesty the Dowager Princess wants a hand-knit canopy by June.

Despite my annoyance, of course, I was excited to finally be undertaking the project. Since she wasn’t fond of the original pattern, I had the happy accident of stumbling upon the Spiderweb Shawl in Victorian Lace Today, a huge shawl that would be even larger and more dramatic if knit in a worsted yarn, say, Malabrigo?

I presented her triumphantly with a Malabrigo swatch (using the last of my Stone Blue, no less). She thought it was “too fuzzy.” I had washed the swatch, and the yarn had bloomed deliciously. She didn’t like it.

I took her to Imagiknit. There we disagreed on every kind of yarn. I wanted something chunky, richly-colored, organic; she wanted white sparkly laceweight. I repeatedly explained to her that I was not going to knit a 72″ shawl in metallic laceweight. (The more I knit, the more I know my limits.) I finally caved to her request for Nashua Handknits Grand Opera, although I was still suspicious. Frankly, I like worsted yarn best (it’s DK), and the yarn was sparkly (shudder).

(One sister has black-rimmed glasses and a house full of Malabrigo, one sister wanted to be Like A Virgin-era Madonna from the moment she could walk. Guess which is which?)

I swatched it and hated it. I called and let her know I wasn’t going to use it. She seemed disappointed. I felt…guilty.

I decided to give it one more go and doubled the yarn. Suddenly, it was behaving more like the loosely-plied worsteds (Malabrigo, wah) I love. The thicker yarn shielded my fingers from the metallic thread and created a springy fabric that was fun to pet. Okay, I’m sold. I’ll do it.

Problem: doubled, this is going to be a very expensive project. I told my sister they better stay married, or else.

P.S.: I finished the first draft of my novel yesterday, along with the complete outline for the necessary changes to make it actually done. Just had to write that somewhere. No, it’s not about knitting. At all.