The next thing. Or not.

I was pretty much set with the next thing to hit these pointy things here, my needles. I mentioned it here – my mom lost her Leaf Lace Shawl about a year ago, and as soon as I found out I promised to knit her a replacement. Since then, of course, an entire cold and dreary winter has come and gone. Right…

Not that I didn’t try! While I got my act together, I gave her my Shetland Triangle, which I think she enjoys wearing very much. And I very seriously worked on the Trinity Stitch shawl for her, even finishing the main triangle, before deciding it wasn’t the right thing after all (too heavy and not drapey enough) and frogging the whole project in one panicked instant.


The yarn is now on its fourth life: (1) Leaf Lace shawl, (2) Mac & Me scarf, (3) Trinity Stitch shawl, (4) frogged too many times, worn out, sad, limp, and on its way to retirement.

But the request for a replacement shawl does not disappear when the yarn slated to become it does. So when I saw the Spirit Trail Fiberworks Paivatar at this spring’s New Hampshire Sheep & Wool festival, displayed right next to my turd-ilicious Atropos, I did not hesitate, I did not delay, I handed over my credit card and dreamed of my mom in her new gorgeous shawl.

Paivatar in “Special” (MCN 08-03-01), 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 115 grams and 250 yards per skein (I bought two).

The yarn is simply perfect. It is mysterious, gloomy, very similar in color to my mom’s first shawl (per request), and a wonderful match for the pattern I had picked out months and months earlier – Chrissy Gardiner’s Toe The Line shawl, which I had the pleasure of test knitting this winter using LL Helen’s Lace. By the way, I maintain that this is brilliant pattern (as you know, I’m not one to hand out such endorsements unless I really, truly mean them).

It would be fabulous, simply fabulous, don’t you think?!? Grandma’s latest pair of socks is basically done, the timing to knit a shawl for my mom is perfect, I have the yarn, I have the pattern, and there’s nothing to hold me back now!

… And then my dad called, and with utmost earnestness asked me to knit him a pair of knee-high socks (with further specifications than that, naturally). His health issues are causing awful muscle cramps during the night, while he sleeps, and he thinks a pair of wooly tall socks would help him tremendously.

So much for the next thing


27 thoughts on “The next thing. Or not.

  1. Bether

    I just almost did this! I am in the middle of the yoke of a short-sleeved sweater (top-down), and then the new Knitty came out, and those Baroque socks have been calling my name ever since.

    We’ll see how long I can withstand their siren song.

  2. livnletlrn

    I work for a doctor’s office and am amazed by how many patients say their leg cramps have resolved since they placed a bar of soap under the bed sheets. Nobody knows why, but this odd remedy really does seem to help. Maybe your dad could try it while his socks are in the works.

  3. Janey

    Love that shawl!

    I really wish my Dad would call and ask me to knit him some socks but alas…he shakes his head every time I even mention knitting!

  4. marie in florida

    my father used to urge me to clear a sore throat by lavishing on Vicks Vapor Rub and wraping my neck with a wool sock. i believe the sock has the power to improver our health ‘specially one made with love, don’t you?

  5. Jean

    I loved your latest socks and look forward to seeing how this new yarn knits up, the color of this yarn on my monitor recalls the old films in black and white – with all the muted shades between.

  6. Gillian

    I’ve heard about the bar of soap too from a friend who uses it. But I also wonder about your father’s calcium intake. Happy knitting!

  7. kmkat

    Poor Dad. Those nighttime leg cramps must be horrible. Bananas? Magnesium? Phosphorus? I seem to remember there is some trace element that is related to leg cramps. Gee, I’m a lot of help, aren’t I? (Never take medical advice from an accountant.)

    Anyway, Dad’s needs probably have to jump ahead of Mom’s in the knitting queue for now. But you are a fast knitter; those socks will be done in (practically) no time at all.

  8. The Knitting Archaeologist

    My mom had a bout of bad cramps related to her diabetes, and she ended up having to have fluids because she was dehydrated from using too much insulin… I’m not sure if your dad is diabetic, but if so, this would be something for him to check into.

  9. Kaiti

    Don’t have a suggestion to keep the cramps away, but my husband swears by Gatorade once they come. Less than a minute later and they’re gone. We keep a bottle in the bedroom just for this pupose. Also, ice rubbed directly on the muscle that’s cramping will help (Gatorade is faster, though).

    I’m going to have hubby try the bar of soap tonight – waking up in the middle of the night because he’s screaming in pain is NOT enjoyable!

    The shawl’s gorgeous, by the way!!! I love them, just never know what to wear them with to still look my age…

  10. yoel

    That’s too cute that your dad asked you to knit him knee-high socks. The best cure for nocturnal leg cramps is to stretch the calf muscles before going to bed. So if you make the socks tight enough so that it requires some stretching and maneuvering to get them on, they may very well work as a cure!

  11. Kristina

    It was great to see you at the Common Cod event on Friday night.

    How lucky that your parents ask you to knit for them! The yarn looks beautiful.

  12. Debbie

    Ah, well, you can whip those socks out in no time. I can’t wait to see the shawl in that yarn. I wish she had more of that colorway. Love it.

  13. Maureen

    I’ve heard of the soap treatment for RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome), too. A friend swears by it, which surprised the heck out of me, because she’s almost the skeptic I am. I tried and tried to believe in it, but the soap could tell I had no faith in it. But, another friend said her doctor recommended vitamin E for leg cramps.

  14. =Tamar

    I’m with kmkat on the trace elements; I take magnesium just at bedtime (earlier doesn’t help) and it prevents RLS for me. Magnesium is said to be plentiful in things like nuts, if you want the food-source option. Other people swear by iron or zinc. I think there’s one mineral that binds another one, so it’s probably a matter of balanced diet and finding what works for you. (Isn’t almost everything?)

    If the poor old worn-out yarn needs a home, I think I have some space. πŸ˜‰

  15. Janie

    And exactly what health ailment could not be suitably addressed with a pair of knee high socks?

    I await some more spectacular sock blogging from you

  16. cathy goldman

    I was about to tell you that a piece of soap under the sheets helps leg cramps. When someone already told you this mysterious fact. It does work. why, how who knows who cares… works…..tell your Dad to give it a try…..

  17. cathy goldman

    I was about to tell you that a piece of soap under the sheets helps leg cramps. When someone already told you this mysterious fact. It does work. why, how who knows who cares… works…..tell your Dad to give it a try…..

  18. Seanna Lea

    That shawl is stunning. If your commute is long like mine, maybe you can work on the socks on your way around town and save the shawl for a quiet hour or so at night. It looks like a perfect pattern and color for contemplation.

  19. Nicole

    The shawl is gorgeous πŸ™‚ I know what you mean about a project you really really want (or should do) being superseded by those “little” projects that just sneak in…

  20. Sarah

    Gorgeous shawl. I love the color.

    Night leg cramps…I have really bad ones, not just in the calf either. I’m very pregnant and I also have a “bad leg” from a major injury. Supplements don’t help me at all, stretching only minimally. For me the only things that have helped are proper positioning of my leg (with pillows) and…yes…WOOL SOCKS. The ones made with love work better, of course.

Comments are closed.