Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the Needles, On the Hook

Let's get something straight now: in knitting circles (which can be round, but aren't always), "OTN" means "on-the-needles", used to refer to WIPs (works-in-progress). Knitters and crocheters in blog-land rarely wait for a FO (finished object) to tell you about it. After all, once it is done, (and usually before) our minds are excitedly thinking about the next project, and burning with creativity. The FOs? They are old news, either pressed into use, mailed off to a giftee, or awaiting the tedium of loose ends or blocking, the last un-interesting steps between OTN and FO.

So what have I got OTN? Well, let me start by saying if you are an active knitter/crocheter, you may already have a Ravelry account. If you don't, I recommend it (with the usual reservations: it is addictive, in the way any good hobby community website is). If you do, you can see my projects, by seeking out WendyBee.

Right now, OTN, I am using a vintage pattern to make my grandmother the Country Club shawl. It's kind of silly to use a pattern, since it is really just a knitted rectangle. But the pattern has served as the inspiration anyway. And since there is a certain amount of adjusting for gauge.. I loooooove vintage patterns! But sometimes their utility is limited to inspiration only. For one thing, most patterns are published by yarn companies, specifically for the yarns they carry. Well, need I say that virtually none of the yarns used in vintage patterns are currently available, and substitutions can be very tricky. Nonetheless, I find the photographs very inspiring.

Now, the Country Club shawl calls for American Thread Company“Dawn” Permanent “Crimp Set” Nylon or “Dawn” Pompadour or “Dawn” Infants Wool or “Dawn” Baby Yarn, but I happened to have on hand a lovely russet red synthetic yarn (Red Heart Value Textured Yarn). I looked on the Red Heart website, and can't find it , so it must be discontinued, and on its way to becoming vintage. That's probably why I ended up with it: it was marked down to a ridiculously low clearance price, and I can't resist a bargain yarn, expecially when it is as soft and cushy as this one is. The low price helps me to forgive it for not being a natural luxury fiber. Because it is textured (i.e. fluffy), the yarn puffs out in the stitch, and so it doesn't have the lacy look illustrated in the picture, nor does it drape the same way. But, it is lush and cushy and cuddly, so it's perfect for living in a cold climate. The funny part is that my grandmother, who is 89 years old, may not even own a shawl. I hope she'll use it and feel like I'm giving her a warm hug. But I picture her thinking that shawls are for old ladies. She always has cared about fashion and adopted the latest styles. While shawls are quite fashionable now, she may not know it--I hope I can convince her.........

I'll quit here for I'll bore you ad nauseum about the kitchen dishcloths and dishtowels I have OTH and OTN.

1 comment:

Mainah said...

Good morning! Through a scrapbooking endeavor and search for family info, I found you here! I love that we are both on Ravelry and both embracing the routes of our heritage and enjoying the fiber arts! Gram will certainly react just as you have written to the receipt of a shawl! I chuckle! Yet, inside her heart will warm, and she will most certainly let it hug her because she'll be so proud of her granddaughter for making it for her! This all despite what she says! Happy stitching!