Fickle Knitter

January 26, 2008 at 10:49 am (FO, knitting)

I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m so driven to finish certain projects, and why I come to detest others. It’s usually some kind of roadblock that leads me to set aside a project—the need to seam or pick up stitches, or some kind or error that causes me to have to rip back. But other times, for no apparent reason I just no longer enjoy knitting something. This is why I have a growing number of projects in various states of completion. It’s fine most of the time; I figure it’s my pastime, if I don’t feel like working on something I’m not going to. But I can’t do that when I’m gift knitting. Which is probably why I’m much more likely to finish and not rip out something I’m making for someone else than a project I’m making for me. Case in point, the Swallowtail Shawl:

Swallowtail Shawl

Pattern: Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark
Source: Interweave Knits, Fall 206

Materials: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50% alpaca/ 50% silk) in Amethyst, 3 hanks; Size 6 24″ circs
Started: October 2007
Completed: December 22, 2007

This is such a beautiful shawl, I just didn’t really enjoy knitting it. But the yarn is gorgeous, as always; it is one of my favorites. And the recipient, my sister, was just blown away by it. I’ve always really enjoyed knitting Evelyn Clark shawls in the past, I couldn’t put down the Lace Leaf Shawl and the Flower Basket Shawl when I was working on them. Maybe I’m just off shawls for now. I really don’t know.

Swallowtail Shawl

I didn’t modify the pattern at all, beyond the obvious yarn and needle size substitution. It turned out much larger than I anticipated. The pattern as written creates a rather small shawlette, and while I was knitting, mine did not seem to be coming out much longer. But I forgotten the stretch factor in silk—this baby grew by almost a quarter in size when I blocked it.

Swallowtail ShawlSwallowtail Shawl

I’m working on a few other things right now, like the new 28Thirty pattern from Zephyr Style in Cascade 220, some Serpentine Mitts in Dream in Color Smooshy that appear to be coming out waaay to small, and a Quant for a co-worker in Reynolds Andean Alpaca Regal. Probably mostly due to lack of inspiration and a case of the winter blues, I’m also feeling the allure of some quick stash busters, like these lovely Noro fingerless mitts and this cute little baby cap in fingering weight sock yarn. However those unfinished projects in the bottom of my knitting basket are still calling me, so who knows, maybe I’ll have another finishing spree soon. Stranger things have happened…



  1. mick said,

    The shawl is gorgeous. Also, I must admit that I’m feeling the same slump. I’ve got a chevron scarf and Notre Dame de Grace on the needles, and I feel very stalled.

    All of those projects you posted are not only gorgeous, but would definitely be stash busters for me. Now I’m feeling the pull of new projects too….

  2. Theresa said,

    At least you can enjoy it now!

  3. Micki said,


  4. peacockchic said,

    Although you didn’t love the knit, it looks like it was lots of love in it for your friend. It looks wonderful. I love how knit emerges like a butterfly when blocked.

    Good luck on finding your next inspiration

  5. Julie said,

    The shawl is gorgeous! Congrats. But I hear you, I feel like I get so involved in WIPs, that I’m not finishing anything anymore. Maybe the new Interweave will change that! spring/summer knits are usually so much faster.

  6. Emily said,

    the shawl is just gorgeous!!

  7. jenna said,

    The finished shawl is absolutely stunning! Totally worth all the headaches or boredom or whatever it was that made it such a pain! 🙂 I actually think the size looks PERFECT.

    I can’t wait to see some of that 28Thirty cardi…this pattern has kinda been on my mind lately!

  8. gloria said,

    I wuold like to have the patter of flower basket shawl by evelyn a. clak.
    i love it. thaks. gloria

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