Along comes a new design, and there I go. My determination to finish WIPs has gone up in smoke, fallen victim to the latest shiny thing dangled before my fiber loving eyes.
I was doing really well, finishing projects I'd long ago set aside, many with not much left to do. I put the finishing touches on a cardigan, buttons and all, completed and blocked my long-on-the-needles Across the Pond, and was nearly to the final shoulder shaping and seaming of my latest endeavor - a summer tank, Ginseng, using the Fibre Co.'s Luma (linen, cotton, merino and silk). Wouldn't you know it - just as I was on a roll, Andrea Mowry drops a new pattern. Using one of my favorite yarns - Spincycle's Dyed In the Wool. And using two brand new colors I've been ogling. The stars aligned, and I was hopelessly thwarted from my quest to become a responsible knitter (i.e. - completing what I start and not having a plethora of WIPs stashed throughout my home).
What's this captivating new design? Well, like many of Andrea's patterns, it's a tweak of her earlier released shawl, Inclinations. A stunner that uses a lot of Dream State yarn; 6 skeins to be exact. I actually have that one cast on as well, sitting on a shelf waiting for some love. This new, latest version is the Inclinations Cowl. It uses the same stitch - the Half-Fisherman's Stitch. But is knit with sport weight Dyed In the Wool, and 4 rather than 6 skeins. In the two new Spincycle colors, "Valley Girl" and "Light Years," this cowl is quite lovely. A beautiful interplay with aquas, blues, purples, and a touch of gold and pink. Of course I'm making one. But let me get into the weeds about this pattern a bit.
First, I should have known something was coming. We (For Yarn's Sake) got a shipment of DITW with a bunch of those two new colors, and immediately it started flying off the shelves. Usually that means an Andrea pattern is about to come out. But after some digging, I couldn't find anything. Hmm? "Valley Girl" was especially beautiful - maybe people just really loved the color. Spincycle does a great job marketing their yarns, too, and had a particularly stunning pile of "Valley Girl" adorning their home page. Maybe a fluke? Wrong. We sold out of "Valley Girl" the very same day the cowl pattern was released.
OK, now about the pattern. Half-Fisherman's Rib. Not full on brioche, but pretty similar. I've not had a good relationship with the brioche stitch in the past. Really, REALLY difficult to fix mistakes, and I am known to make mistakes from time to time. You know, something catches your attention on TV, and there you go, purling instead of knitting, dropping a stitch, . . . Well, tinking a brioche stitch is no small feat. In fact, I had to restart the Inclinations Shawl several times, because I couldn't figure out how to unknit the Half-Fisherman's Rib. Looked on line for a tutorial with no luck - lots of tutorials for full Fisherman's Rib, but not this half version. Probably why I set the shawl aside. So why, you ask, would I try it again? Good question. I guess I love a challenge, and to learn a new skill. This time I was smarter, though. I practiced. I deconstructed. I stopped mid stitch to see where the string was coming and going. And voila! I figured it out. Pat on the back, Anne. I now know how to tink Half-Fisherman's Rib.
I started my Inclinations Cowl on my birthday a week ago, and am happy to say I've made only a few boo boos. In every case, I successfully was able to fix things; even pulled a dropped stitch up several rows. And I'm loving this new found skill / stitch. It's so wonderfully squishy. Watching as the colors play with each other and change is a blast. Yup, a good outcome from my original distraction. I just may finish before being drawn in a new knitting direction by the next shiny object.