Why do I knit? It's not to make things to wear. Or to give as gifts. Nope. I just love to knit!
I have a huge pile of stuff I've knit, all of which made it through the final knitting instructions, but not the 'finishing' stage. A hat with ends to weave in. A cardigan that's been steeked and blocked, just needing the grosgrain ribbon trim to be attached and buttons sewn on. A collection of shawls waiting their turn for the blocking mat. A baby sweater needing hooks and buttons. My "finished-but-not-really" collection. Why you say? Don't I want to wear them? Show them off? I guess I'm just an odd duck. I rarely wear my knitted creations. OK, I do wear socks around home. But shawls? Nope. They either fall off my shoulders, or just hang funny. Shawl wearing girl is not on my dance card. I just enjoy the knitting part.
Besides socks, my favorite thing to knit is a shawl. There's just so much going on. Fancy, lacy stitches. Unique and novel cast-ons, bind-offs, and directional changes. Always a challenge, and so much fun to combine colors in ways you'd usually not consider. My favorite shawls to knit are mystery-alongs. Not only a lot going on, but there's the added excitement of not knowing what's coming your way. Waiting for the clues to drop each week, revealing enticing new stitches or techniques to tackle. One of my favorites is Romi's annual Mystery Shawl. I actually finished that one on time - one positive to come out of the stay at home edict. You'll not be surprised to know, though, that Romi's Mystery Shawl 2020 is on that pile of finished-but-not-really items, waiting for the ends to be woven in and a turn on the blocking mat. And I've nearly completed another - Grace Akrem's Modern Hygge Shawl MKAL. About half way through the last clue. This one was not only outside my usual fingering weight lane (called for DK), but used a fiber I tend to avoid - mohair. I know, I know - mohair is all the rage right now. But I just haven't embraced that feathery, fluffy fluff yet. Give me a grippy, sturdy wool that I can wrap my fingers around and give a healthy tug. Three colors and 6 balls of yarn in, this shawl is more of a shlanket. It is rather soft, though. I actually may curl up in this big 'ole wrap on a cool morning, furry friends at my side.
"Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself."
Wouldn't you know it. A new mystery shawl adventure has popped up on my knitting horizon. Curious Handmade's "Stillness Shawl" MKAL. Inspired by both the beauty of still-life paintings and what designer Helen Stewart coins the "study" - a chance to study one's world in precise, quiet detail. So fitting for a maker, to slow down and take one's time, observe, learn, and basque in the process. With everything swirling around us right now in our world, how could I resist the invitation to lose myself in knitting, allowing the outside to shrink away and pay attention only to that which is in front of me. Beautiful, colorful yarn and needles and knitting. Even if for only a small yet precious chunk of time each day, I'm in.
So a new finished-but-not-really creation is destined for my special pile. But that's OK - I love to knit!