Saturday, January 2, 2016

Casting Off 2015

As usual I did some knitting for the holidays.  I tried to keep it light, but you know sometimes I get a little too ambitious for my own good.  My friend Brooke Nico at Kirkwood Knittery is known for her lace projects.  From her needles comes some of the most gorgeous lace patterns, which for me can be daunting.  Counting beyond my 10 fingers gets complicated and many stitch markers are needed.  However, during the yarn crawl I purchased a kit from Kirkwood Knittery featuring the Chianti Cowl pattern in a luscious Black Bunny Fibers color way.  The kit color was in the red and burgundy family, hence the name, those shades do not flatter my complexion, but I knew it would look stunning on my mother.  I thought if I started knitting in August I would surely get done by Christmas.  The pattern needed my liberal arts brain to stay focused on the my stitches requiring the Chianti Cowl to stay at home.  Fortunately, I had a Blue Heron Chenille cowl I was knitting for my wife, Natalie, as a Christmas present, that cowl went anywhere she wasn't.

I knit with diligence and the chunkier Blue Heron cowl actually knitted up fairly quickly.  In fact I knit it up and sewed it together just in time to hear my wife say she did not like long cowls.  At 54 inches her cowl was going to be a long one.  I told myself she could wrap it around her neck twice, either that or I could strangle her with it (because the more you love someone the more you want to kill them).

The lacy Chianti Cowl was more of a challenge, that counting thing even with the stitch markers was slow knitting for me, but by Thanksgiving it was almost done. The frothy concoction needed to be blocked and finished with a 3 needle cast off.  Plenty of time I told myself.  Right.  There I was the week before Christmas blocking and trying to get it finished.  I spent Christmas eve casting off, but got it done.  The yarn with its merino, angora, and tencel blend turned out soft and light.  Brooke's pattern included an edging with a combination of stitches that not only blocked out flat, but stayed flat and looked stunning with the rest of the pattern.  My needlework was not perfect, but only another knitter would see, my mom not so much. 

In the end Natalie loves her new cowl with the cozy chenille yarn.  I have not heard back from my mom on the Chianti cowl.  I can only hope she loves the drape and color.  I also hope both know how much care and love went into each stitch.

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