For one glorious night each week, I fled the confines of my home and my three beautiful, yet needy small children. While Daddy took over the ship, I drove to the library, knitting bag clutched in an exhausted hand, and found a quiet, secluded spot in which to contemplate the nuances of charted instructions and make my work mimic that of the pattern designer's. Week after week a new clue would be revealed. Over time, I found it was a beautiful lace stole, Swan Lake, by Melanie Gibbons of Pink Lemon Twist. How did I learn this? It certainly wasn't from finishing it. Alas, to this day it is languishing half-knit in one of my knitting bins. Instead I watched as others from this fabulous group of knitters proudly posted their finished objects to our YahooGroup. I just wasn't yet experienced enough to keep up. I will say that my time was definitely not wasted. It taught me valuable skills, namely chart reading, which I prefer to this day over written directions, and the ever valuable SSK (slip, slip, knit). It also taught me to love lace. But I digress...
Years, in fact probably more than a decade, has passed since that mystery shawl. Over that time I have continued refining my knitting skills. I have successfully knit, and even designed, several lace shawls. Lace is my favorite thing to work on, and I truly enjoy the challenges it throws at me. But since that time I have never done another mystery knit-along. Perhaps it was because of my first failure. Perhaps it's because I was worried I wouldn't like the end result. Perhaps (and more likely) it was because of my time constraints of homeschooling three precocious kids. At any rate, while I've signed up for countless mystery knit-along patterns, to this day I have never begun one until this week.
Laura Aylor, who designed one of my favorite yet-to-be-knit-with-my-needles shawl, Cinnamon Toast, came out with a Christmas mystery knit-along called, Just For You. I just so happened to find it offered on Ravelry, and, on a whim, signed up for it. I really didn't think too much of it, but thought that I might actually work on it for once. The planning sheet was posted and I duly went stash diving. When I found four skeins of Knit Picks Cadena sitting in my bin, I was in.
|70% Peruvian Highland Wool, 30% Superfine Alpaca, 110 yards/100 grams|
|Here I am in my hideout on day 2.|
For today's clue (Day 4- we are more than halfway done!) I woke at 6:00. I have a cold, which is never fun, but with a lightness of heart I brewed the morning's cuppa, slipped into my comfy spot, queued my book (Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman as podcast by Heather of Craftlit) and picked up my needles with the newest clue. The house was quiet except for the orange bundle of fluff purring on my lap. As I listened to the fabulous satire of Gilman, my project grew before my eyes.