I have been struggling with what to knit next after completing the Fearless Masterpiece Jacaranda. I thought I needed to find something even more fearless and exciting but that wasn’t what I needed at all. On Friday, November 1, I got a text from Viv, one my my Myrtle Beach knitting buddies, sharing a health issue with me. You know how helpless you feel when you are far away from a friend in need. You can’t run food over, you can’t run errands, you can’t share a glass of wine. That weekend was spent finishing Jacaranda and sharing Jacaranda on Knitting: A Love Story. As I worked, I had two things on my mind: 1) What fearless knitting would be next and 2) How could I comfort Viv? All of a sudden I realized it wasn’t fearless knitting that I was searching for. It was “Let Me Hug You” knitting for Viv and my quest went in a whole new direction. I had a Bachi Ball Shawl kit in the queue that seemed to fit all criteria. Here it is.
My sister Kathy led me in the direction of Bachi Ball Shawl from Yarn Scout. It was the first time I ever heard of Yarn Scout but it won’t be my last purchase.
“Using one ball each of Noro Bachi (and you thought I’d misspelled Bocce) and Kanzashi this oversized, asymmetrical triangle shawl works up quickly on US size 13 needles. Garter stitch ridges of boucle-like Kanzashi contrast with the smooth stockinette of Bachi creating both a color and textural feast for the senses, while wrapping you in pure warmth. Since the colors of Bachi and Kanzashi are consistent, each kit pairs the identical color of each yarn.” That told me all I needed to know. It sounded like a great big, colorful, warm hug to me. I started and my experience was amazing. Every stitch I thought abut Viv, I told jokes, I pictured a hug. Every color change I thought about Viv’s laugh and her funny way. Before I knew it, I had a completed shawl with thoughts, prayers, wishes, hugs and appeals knit right in. Tomorrow I will ship it to Viv. Well, here is my version of Bachi Ball Shawl.
Now last but certainly not least, Lydia modeling Bachi Ball Shawl.
OMG! WOW! I’d forgotten how great it feels to do “Thankful Knitting” for someone. I liked feeling that way again that I decided to do a little “Thankful Knitting” for my friend Kristin. Kristin just did a huge favor for me; she let me borrow her house! It’s a long story but suffice it to say, she was a life saver. Kristin is an artsy person. She always has the best earrings, scarves and things always complement each other. (Notice how I didn’t say match. I think match is boring and Kristin is definitely not boring.) I thought of a scarf I had on the needles in a tub in the Stash Studio. The hard part was going to be finding the tub. I FOUND IT! Here it is.
I am overwhelmed by thankful feelings. I am thankful that Viv is doing well, thankful that Kristin is my friend, thankful that I rediscovered “Thankful Knitting” and thankful that I have friends who let me wrap them in hugs.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written but you can blame it on the Jacaranda. One thing I have learned about Fearless Knitting is it takes a very long time. I am often so busy knitting and learning that I don’t have as much to write about it. But when I write, it is about something spectacular. That’s what Jacaranda is. On August 11, I decided that this was what I wanted to knit.
I immediately fell in love. I knew this was my next fearless journey. I also thought I could start Jacaranda with a quick trip to the Stash Studio. I picked out what I thought was the perfect yarn. It was color, it was black, it was spectacular! WOW! I couldn’t wait to get started. But before I could get started, I had to make a slight alteration to the pattern. The pattern was written landscape instead of portrait so it looked kind of like this:
Row 1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 2. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 3. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX. Row 4. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Row 5.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Well, you get the idea. Impossible for me to work from. So, I rewrote the pattern in a more traditional way that was much easier for me.
Row 1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Row 2. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Row 3. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I thought I was ready to rumble. Then I found another snag. There was a piece of the pattern which absolutely didn’t work for me. I knit, frogged, knit, frogged, knit, frogged. Finally, I emailed Kieran Foley, the designer. She was an absolute angel. I explained I was stuck on CDD4 on row 5, she sent instructions and I was on my way. I love knitwear designers. They really want knitters to love their pattern and be successful. Well, I wasn’t exactly on my way. I tried 7 different yarns and colorways before I found the perfect one. The one I originally thought was perfect had black in it (of course) and the black hid the pattern. If the color change was too long, the pattern didn’t show. If the color change was too small, the pattern didn’t show. (Is this a 3 bears moment, or what?!?!?). Finally I found one that was just right. It was Trekking XXL a German yarn in colorway J1 383-7. Are you ready? On August 15 it looked like this.
I was excited! I just couldn’t wait to knit it all day every day. It was like finding that perfect book. For me it was the Poisonwood Bible or Where The Crawdads Sing. I just couldn’t stop reading. With Jacaranda, I just couldn’t stop knitting. This became this.
Which became this.
I love this so much and found ways to make it easier. I (of course) put a marker between each pattern repeat. I also counted between the markers at the end of every row. All of a sudden, I realized I wasn’t counting at the end of each row and I was doing fine. All of a sudden I realized, I was knitting Jacaranda while I was watching TV. I was becoming confident. That is what fearless knitting is all about. Tackling hard things and becoming confident.
I learned so much from Jacaranda. Not only did I learn new stitches (1-9 and CDD4 and CDD 2), I learned that the designers of today are mind-blowing. How do they think of these things!?!?!?! In the beginning, I was intimidated and flummoxed by Jacaranda. Gradually, I became more comfortable and then confident. I just got back from a quick trip to the Coastal Condo with 3 lady friends. On the way home, I KNIT JACARANDA IN THE CAR!!!!!! I didn’t think that would ever happen. I started out knitting in quiet, moved to knitting with the TV and finally knitting in the car. Amazing! I finished on our trip home. I was a little nervous because the pattern is 18 rows. You end on the 18th row with 4 rows of garter and a bind off. People would asked, “How long are you going to make it?” I would say, “When I run out of yarn, I am finished.” Well, this is how much yarn I had left after the bind off.
No yarn was wasted! I spent the afternoon steaming, the ultimate step to make any knitted piece look professional. This is what I got.
Isn’t it amazingly beautiful? I think it may be the most spectacular thing I’ve ever done. It was challenging and it became breathtaking. Does it get any better than that?!?!?! You know how I end every reveal. A visit to Lydia.
This blog is dedicated to Mary Helen Growt my first knitting teacher and the woman who changed my life. The mission of Knitting: A Love Story is to preserve, share and promote the love of knitting.