An assertive yarn

Lst August I bought a skein of Gloaming from Natalie at The Yarn Yard. It’s a Merino/Silk blend offering 800m to a 100g skein.


I cast it on for Kieran Foley’s High Seas stole but frogged it after an inch and a half. It was not working. I tried it next for a Lead or Follow Scarf. That got to about 3 inches before I acknowledged that it was not going to work either.

The problem for me was not just that 800m/100g is a heavier lace weight than I have become acustomed to but that I have some innate sense that these two lace patterns required something silky and with drape. Gloaming is 20% silk content but it shows more of the Merino character. It has a lot of loft and some halo. A really springy yarn, it feels more like knitting with a sock yarn than with lace. In fact, I could really fancy some Gloaming socks!

The yarn has languished for a while.

Cue the Echo Flower Shawl.

I have had half an eye on Echo Flower for a few weeks now. I regarded it as a possible filler shawl for the Ten Shawls in 2010 project, and lined up a sock skein in case I needed to whip up a final shawl come December. As time has gone on the shawl has called louder and louder to me – but I really did not want to be knitting a 400m sock weight project at this stage. I cast my eye over the stash and spotted the Gloaming. This could be a very happy marriage.

The Echo Flower shawl is based on Estonian stitches and many examples I have seen and admired have been rich in texture – this heavier bodied yarn might just suit it. The colour certainly will. Although I like the colour, it has been difficult to envisage it in a finished item until now.

The pattern offers a 400m fingering weight version and an 800m lace weight version. I’m going to do the latter.

It is cast on. The setup chart is done and 4 repeats (of 14) of the flower chart are completed.

So, that’s another project on the needles!

What’s up? Whatever is possessing me? Who needs this many WIPs? Clearly my lace fix is no longer as effective as it was. I am bolstering my dose with both quantity and variety.

I think I am more than ready to move on to hard core lace. All over block patterns just aren’t satisfying me any longer. They feel like so much candyfloss.

The WIPs need to be consumed asap. Then a serious push towards a Shetland square perhaps. Something in gossamer weight maybe. Or I might stock up on some reading and set about becoming a proper lace geek. I could take a knitting trip around the nations, exploring stitches and constructions…

I want to be learning and pushing myself and doing something difficult. It’s the only way that I know how to be. I’m ready for the next challenge and there is a voice inside me that is calling for something momentous – a project to live with long term, to pick up now and again and to work a couple of rounds on and feel satisfied by that. In between fixes, I want to knit practical items. Garments. Sweaters, cardigans – maybe the odd pair of socks.

Given the huge number of UFOs in my basket, I think we are a year (at least) away from the desired position. I must resist all temptation to cast on further “lesser” projects and just work away on what is to hand.

Do you think I could get psychiatric help? :-}

I wonder if I dare actually catalogue my WIPs. Would I publish it if I did, or would the shame of my compulsion keep the scale of the thing a secret…