Friday, August 19, 2011


Today's soundtrack:
"DaDaDa" by J.J. Ipsen
"Fragile Bird" by City and Colour
"Happy New Year" by We Are The City

In the midst of packing and preparing to move to Scotland, I started knitting Herbivore. I figured it would be a quick, mindless knit. The twisted stitch patterns should have been a clue. A few days before our flight, with emotions very high, I was 1/3 into the pattern and realized I'd missed twisting a stitch. Tinking wasn't an option (beer may have been a factor) so I frogged it and put the whole project in an extended time-out.

And that's how I flew across the Atlantic with nothing on my needles. Longest flight ever.

After arriving and settling in Cellardyke, I went through the few skeins I'd brought in my luggage (the rest of my stash didn't arrive for another 2 months) and decided that perhaps Herbivore had learned its lesson.

Incredibly, when the stress of moving, packing, and traveling to a new country is removed, the pattern was surprisingly simple and a relatively mindless knit. But even after I'd cast off, I didn't run downstairs to block it out. It wasn't because it didn't turn out lovely, because the colour was the perfect choice for the pattern and the stitch definition is gorgeous; I was hesitant because I now associated this shawl with my last days in Canada. It became something of a link to our Calgarian friends, Tim Hortons, and silverfish the size of a small country. So the shawl stayed in the "to be blocked" pile for nearly 2 months until it was impossible to ignore.

After a few days on the blocking mats (with the humidity, everything takes longer to block here than in Calgary), my Herbivore was finished. And it's beautiful.

Stephen West's "Herbivore". Used Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in "Fliederbusch" on US 6/4mm needles. Details on Ravelry.

Still, when I slipped the last of the lace blocking wires out, I was sad. It's a beautiful piece with a lovely drape, and I can't wait to take it out for a bike ride this afternoon, but just for those few moments after the wires came out, I was sad. Not upset or homesick. Just a little sad. All the events surrounding this shawl had been emotionally heightened (to an almost ridiculous degree) that finally finishing it presents me with a mild catharsis and a new sort of lightness*.

Yeah, I live in Scotland now.

*could be the morning's coffee.

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