Thursday, April 12, 2012

Plan B

I always have a back up project ready for the times when I am in between designs and gift knitting, or unable  to give an intricate project my full attention.

Embroidered bag and unblocked lace
 I try to select a pattern that is challenging enough to capture my interest, yet rhythmic enough to not require deep concentration.  It needs to be portable, so that it complements my peripatetic lifestyle.   I always enjoy selecting the bag that will house this project, because it will travel with me everywhere, and I am delighted by bags that are the ideal mix of form and function. 
Cotton lawn lining

 My current  back up project is the lovely Queen Silvia Shawl by Nancy Bush.  I prefer to call it a wrap, because of its rectangular shape.  I love to work on lace shawls and have knit a number of them, but I have realized that I truly never wear them.  
Queen Silvia Shawl    Interweave Press 2008

I find the lure of hand dyed yarns irresistible, and as Elizabeth Zimmermann famously put forth in A Knitters Almanac, a shawl is perfect vacation knitting.  Fetching triangular shawls do not seem to fit into my daily wardrobe so I chose this pattern based on its shape and simplicity. I am knitting this wrap in a neutral creamy white that I can foresee wearing over formal wear year round  , or as a scarf with my dress coat in the winter.  I purchased the yarn, Jaggerspun  Zephyr on a scenic New England vacation from the Elegant Ewe in Concord, NH.  I had the foresight to bring my copy of Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia book with me, as well as my compact selection of 24” inch circular Addi Turbos needles.  I started the wrap in August, and have it ready to bring with me to every destination, from  a lunch break to basketball practices to weekend trips.  I work on it sporadically, and is often the case with my “travel knitting” I often knit happily while conversing, only to have to rip some of it out when I go home. It is a pleasure to work leisurely, with no deadline in sight, and I am enjoying this pattern tremendously.  The bag is a tote I designed, sewed and embroidered years ago.  It was packed away for ages, and when I recently came across it, I realized that it was the perfect size (7.75 x 9 inches) to tuck in my pocketbook. I have my project and yarn in a Ziploc bag for protection, and carry a crochet hook and a laminated copy I have made of the pattern. I also carry Post It notes to highlight the row I am working on. Although I have not made much progress, I always look forward to completing a row or two.
Do you have a Plan B project?

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