Life has been a little crazy on the farm lately, at least on my end of the farm. For many months of the year, I rarely venture outside, and the ground is hard, solid, and tucked under a bed of fluffy snow. For a few even shorter months, the ground wakes up and produces life (food, flowers, animals) that comes at you faster than a Mentos in Diet Coke. I can’t catch all the life thrown my way during these intensely colorful months, but we do pretty well.
My knitting got put on hold, not because I never had time to sit down and do it, though. I got to the edging portion, with over 700 stitches on the needles now for this shawl. The edging was a ribbing pattern I wasn’t quite familiar with, and increases that needed focus to accomplish. Fundamentally it isn’t a difficult pattern. It’s actually quite simple. It’s just I needed to concentrate without interruption for over 700 stitches in a row. That kind of pocket of time just doesn’t exist in my life right now.
So knitting stopped, and I was not happy about it. Finally, yesterday, I locked myself in the women’s locker room of the YMCA, away from my kids and in the corner so no friends could see me. I got the majority of this “set up” row done, and once I recognized the rhythm of it, I was able to finish it up after the kids went to bed last night.
So now I’m in the clear to finish up this lovely shawl. I honestly think I did it wrong. I think I increased on one side way too much. Since this is a massive project using lace-weight yarn with tiny needles and I’m just finishing up the edging there are only 2 things I could do about my thoughts that it might be much more curved than the pattern shows:
1) Rip out 2 months of work, grumbling, and start over, grumbling.
2) Call it a “modification,” take fabulous pictures of it, and hope to make it to a “Modification Monday” post by Knitted Bliss. One can dream. It doesn’t look bad. It actually could be pretty cool. I’ve decided it will be pretty cool and I am determined to block it to my will once it’s off the needles. We shall see. All bunched up on my circular right now, it’s tough to tell how it will all turn out. Talk about a mystery knit!
I have been focusing so much on my garden, and doing so little knitting that my muscles were so after knitting 2 rows of the edging. I realized that my little callus on the inside edge of my middle finger on my right hand (a callus that is a constant when I’m knitting hard) needs to be reformed. I feel like an athlete out of shape when it comes to my knitting muscle memory. It’s a real thing.
For reading, I’m going over a history book. My kids love, love, love Susan Wise Bauer’s history books Story of the World and we are about to study the middle ages this next school year. Someone told me that Susan Wise Bauer also wrote parallel history books that go into much greater detail that is aimed at adults instead of children. So I took the bait, and started reading The History of the Medieval World, a few pages a night a few weeks ago.
I love history. There are several history buffs in this house. Not only do Knut and I LOVE history books, we’ve managed to pass that love onto both Silje and David which is kind of miraculous as they rarely like the same thing. The younger kids haven’t caught the bug yet. So this has been a fun read, though I’m not sure I will be able to finish it. It’s just so much.
My favorite story so far in this book is the coronation story of Shapur II who was king of Persia around 325 AD. He became king a month before he was born. His father died when his mother was 8 months pregnant and the Persian noblemen and priests actually crowned the queen’s belly king.
I cannot get that picture out of my mind.
Ginny saysJuly 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm
That shawl is huge! I am so glad you are going the “call it a modification” route. Ripping back that far would be brutal. I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful!
Gretchen saysJuly 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Thank you so much Ginny, for stopping by! I’m really looking forward to seeing this one finished.
Wendi saysJuly 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm
I wonder how they could be so confident that she was pregnant with a boy?
Or we’re they OK, with a female leader?
Gretchen saysJuly 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm
I asked the same question! It pushed me to do some research and I found out that women frequently were persian monarchs as they had near-godlike status as they were seen as holy for their ability to have children. Women were often military leaders as well, which was a huge distinction between Persia and other empires of that time. History books have mentioned the shock Roman soldiers got facing women mixed in with the men in battle. “Sura” was a famous female general near the same time in history. Who knew? I haven’t been able to find out if sons were given priority to the throne over daughters, which I still doubt. But taking a brief look, it seems as though the Persians had little issues putting a woman on the throne.
Mary saysJuly 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm
Love that bit about the belly king!! History can be so crazy like that sometimes! I’m always looking for a new history book, so I’m going to see if I can find some of Bauer’s books around here. Thanks 🙂
Gretchen saysJuly 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm
Glad I could help! Bauer has a very balanced perspective, I think.
Sarah saysJuly 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm
The mental picture of crowning a pregnant belly made me smile! Haha! That is a really beautiful pattern – I added to my favorites awhile back (probably when you first started working on it, come to think of it) but it is so HUGE! Gorgeous, I can’t wait to see yours when it’s done, and I agree that you should just consider it modified!
Elizabeth saysJuly 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm
wow… neat image! I concur and think you should just go with it! it’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL shawl! and that colour is lovely. excited to see it here when it is done! 🙂
Bekah saysJuly 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm
I’m currently knitting some socks and crocheting a few blankets… And reading Longbourn – a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants. It’s very good – only started it this morning and already a decent way through!!
Lucy Bowen saysJuly 3, 2015 at 8:41 pm
It is huge but gorgeous – I would not rip it back but call it a mod.