Dangerous, part I

You know the time and space between completing a number of lingering projects and casting-on several new ones? It doesn’t happen very often, at least to me. Usually I start new projects as old ones are done, a casual and informal replacement; a staggered process. A pair of socks off to grandma = a new pair on the needles; a finished hat = next, let’s do a scarf; something more substantial like a shawl completed = follow that up with a baby blanket. That’s the typical scenario.

It’s very infrequent that I complete several things, all at once, and then am faced with a whole world of possibilities. I feel anticipation, excitement, a bit of anxiety! There’s a lot of pressure – with nothing on the needles, what am I going to knit tomorrow on the train? Must be small and portable and on par with 8 a.m.-brain. What am I going to knit this weekend? Can be more extensive, and require reference books, since I’m here at home – perhaps crochet? And what about that 10 hour flight a few weeks from now? It can be big, but shouldn’t require anything special, since I’ll only have what I bring in my luggage at my disposal. But better get started on that now, since the last thing I want is to be stranded with the wrong yarn-pattern-needle combo, thousands of miles away from home.

And just like that, this special moment becomes so very, very complicated! Several new patterns, a number of new yarns, and gauges to work out with a bunch of different needles… my head is spinning! Busta said it best:

This is serious

We could make you delirious

You should have a healthy fear of us

‘Cause too much of us is dangerous

I can tell you from experience, that these situations have never ended well for me. I’m too hasty, there’s too much pressure to start something (anything!) right now. I don’t fully process my decisions, and things just go bad.

And so, I turn to you. For better or worse, I don’t queue things in Ravelry. My brain just doesn’t work that way. But I have a mental queue, m-hmm, and want to share with you some of the projects that have been bouncing around in there. Bonus: this will allow me to show you some of the great yarns I’ve recently purchased!

It will certainly take me a few days to tell you about the dozen or so projects I’ve placed in the category of “immediate cast-on”. No scheduling promises, but I hope to reveal them in rather quick succession. (I know that if I take too long, I’ll just start casting on with wild abandon and things will go bad.)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop me if you think I’m making bad choices. Or share your wisdom if it’s a project you’ve knit in the past, or a yarn you’ve used. Simple enough! I thank you in advance ;).

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1. Crown Prince Square Shawl, Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace


The first project I’m going to showcase is entirely predictable. Just skip ahead if you feel your eyes starting to roll ;).

I loved Knitted Lace of Estonia from the moment I opened it, and my review did not conceal my excitement. As you can imagine, it’s only a matter of time before I actually put my needles where my review is and knit something from this amazing book.

My dear grandma, purveyor of all manner of fine handknit socks, is turning 80 this June. She saw KLE when she visited me last month (Grandma! All the way in Boston! It happened!), and loved pretty much everything in it. She’s a woman with fine taste. She loves her periwinkle, but since she already has one shawl in that colorway, I turned to another favorite color of hers – burgundy.

In consultation with my mom, we agreed that Lorna’s Laces Helen Lace in cranberry would be the prefect color choice. Those who caught my Eye Candy Saturday a few days ago noticed that I had something big in mind. Indeed, the shawl gracing the cover of the book, the Crown Prince Square Shawl, measuring in at a whopping 52″ square, is the one. Before I proceed, I would only like to point out that on page 118, we are asked to make two lace edgings, beginning each one by casting on 409 stitches. Now, who’s with me?!?

2. St. Nick Christmas Stocking, Raumagarn 3-ply wool yarn


In order for me to maintain some steam for the projects I plan to show you in the coming days, I have to wrap up this already-too-lengthy post. So, let’s look at something simple and straightforward – a kit!

Some of you may remember the Judy’s Colors Red Velvet “Christmas” stocking I knit for my husband last February. It was my intent all along to knit a matching stocking for myself in the St. Nick flavor. I had it all picked out eons ago! The kit was ordered in time to go with us on our honeymoon, almost a year ago! (Wouldn’t you know it, in sunny Belize knitting with cotton proved much more effective than knitting with this Raumagarn, the wooliest of all wools, haha.)

And it’s been gracing my stash ever since. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but seeing all the stockings this time of year sure is a great reminder of my “promise” and “commitment”, mhmm.

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There you have it! The first two projects occupying my mind – pretty straightforward, don’t you think? Others to come are much dicier, for sure ;).


28 thoughts on “Dangerous, part I

  1. Elinor

    How exciting! What possibilities. Someday I’d like to have everything off the needles, just to feel that insanity/freedom of what-do-I-do-now?!

  2. Renee

    What a great problem to have!! If you really start to feel stressed about it I’ll gladly send you some of my WIP’s to get you throught this… lol

  3. Bo

    Er….cast on 409 stitches? AAACKKK!!!! (Actually, I’m envious of your abilities–and wish I had the fortitude for a lace-weight shawl.)

  4. Amy

    I don’t use the “queue” in ravelry for my next projects. I use it more for stuff I REALLY, REALLY liked. The Favorites are projects/FO that I REALLY liked. Thus I can puruse the combination of the two to try and decide what to start next.

  5. Amy

    I don’t use the “queue” in ravelry for my next projects. I use it more for stuff I REALLY, REALLY liked. The Favorites are projects/FO that I REALLY liked. Thus I can peruse the combination of the two to try and decide what to start next.

  6. Erica

    The “between” time is a very vulnerable period, isn’t it? I love the Crown Prince, and I’m sure Grandma will too! The color is gorgeous. If I wanted that done by June, I’d definitely start now! And, lace is good for long plane trips; plenty to keep you absorbed, takes little space, and no complicated equipment. Those 409 stitches are a huge commitment, though…

  7. ann

    I don’t think you can go wrong with either… I mostly just wanted to compliment the first use I’ve seen of Busta lyrics in a knitblog.

  8. Bullwinkle

    What a lovely place to be! Best wishes on resolving.

    Re: KLE and Crown Prince Square: Have at it. Please. (No, Really.) I’m lusting over that one and I’d love for someone (else) to knit it first and post (copiously) along the way.

    p.s. And I’d like to see the nups in colors other than white.

  9. Martha Marques

    I like to keep two things on the needles at a minimum. One is what I call “Thinking Woman’s Knitting” which in your case would obviously be the amazing shawl for Grandma. And then I like to have some “Oatmeal” knitting which is soothing and relatively mindless. Think basic wool sock. But the Noel sock would definitely qualify, being a kit with everything already planned out for you in one portable package. So those are my recommendations.

  10. Mary K. in Rockport

    With your history of knitting ONE sock, and the need for a Christmas stocking (no need to be “Christian” to indulge in holiday gift-indulgence, to my mind) to match your new husband’s, the portability of said project, and the facts that you have had the experience of those needles and yarn previously, go with the giant sock.

  11. Darinka

    Both sound like fun and great projects. Perhaps you’ve already noted on Ravelry someone posted yesterday about some omissions in the center chart for Crown Prince. I think it was in the Nancy Bush forum, but perhaps it may he been in one of the lace forums….always so much easier if someone else does the hard work, eh?

  12. blogless grace

    The cranberry will look fantastic done up in Crown Prince! The book is on my Christmas List; I hope to be starting something from it by New Year’s Eve. I also fall for kits at times. It is just so nice to have someone else put up the colors and yardage needed–knowing that everything is there and ready to start is great for emergency casting on. Power on!

  13. soxanne

    I am not wip disciplined like you … although I also have a 10 hour flight to consider this month … I’d go with the lace project … but maybe that’s just because I’m too cowardly to tackle something similar myself …

  14. kv

    for the combination of it’s beauty my love of the helen’s yarn and my idea that one shouldn’t procrastinate when it comes to grandparents, i’d have to vote for the shawl even without seeing what else is on board.

  15. Diana

    Wow, that is quite a shawl. This makes my struggle with the last rows of the icarus shawl seem easy. I like the stocking.. its the right time of year for it, even if you don’t celebrate christmas!

  16. betzig

    How I covet KLE…maybe I’ll get it for Christmas. Once I get my hands on it (and some appropriate yarn), I will happily cast on 409 stitches (twice).

  17. Judy

    Check out the Knitted Lace of Estonia group on Ravelry. There is an error in the center chart of that shawl. Lacefreak had to frog hers and start over. I agree with you about the book. Everything in it is lovely.

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