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Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life

Hey, long time no see. I've been busy knitting! (And putting on our Spring musical, and recovering from putting on our Spring musical, and planning our December musical, and taking a short vacation, not that that's any excuse).

What's that? What have I been knitting? Hmm. Well, that's a bit difficult to answer. You see, I have no idea. (That's a lie. I have some idea, but I'm really not exactly certain). I had some yarn that I wanted to do something with, and I was reveling in my Signature circular needles from a prior project, so I simply went to Ravelry, popped in my parameters (yarn size, needle size, English, photos, knitting, etc.), and it came up with a few suggestions for patterns, and I picked the Stephen West since I'd enjoyed knitting his Cowlyoke so much.

I read the pattern just to be sure it didn't mention anything like "k1, purl through the back loop, repeat" (I'll purl through the back loop once per lifetime, no more, I have limits!), and there was none of that nonsense, so I was good to go. I cast on, and began knitting.

"Well, Uncle Stashley," you're thinking to yourself, "By now you must know what you're knitting. It's not a KAL, for Pete's sake, there's a pattern, there's a picture, I mean, you're knitting that thing."

Note: KAL = Knit Along, and sometimes people sponsor Mystery Knit Alongs where for some reason knitters shell out hundreds of dollars on yarn and begin knitting a project for which they have Absolutely No Guarantee they will like once completed ... I don't get it. Except I'm sort of doing it now, accidentally.

Sure, there's a picture, but the picture is of a knitted item flung around the model's shoulders. It could be a scarf, a shawl, a sweater, or some other knitted shape suitably for flinging around people's top bits (e.g. trousers, or a cape, or a throw). Honestly, I don't know. There may even be a better picture later in the pattern, and I wouldn't know, because haven't looked at the last page yet.

Why? Because it doesn't matter. I'm enjoying the knitting. They say most knitters can be divided into two camps: Product vs Process. The product knitter revels in the finished item and wants to complete as many as possible. The process knitter is happy to knit, and if nothing ever gets done, oh well, no harm no foul. I'm apparently a process knitter. Sure, I like finishing something, but it's the enjoyable experience of knitting itself that exerts its pull over me, not the promise of an eventual hat (or wrist warmer, or tea cosy, or sweater vest).

Here's my project, still relatively near the beginning, I suppose. In real life I'm a week or so past these photos and am further in Section 3: these are early Section 3, before the contrast colour enters the picture. The pattern is called "Cafe Knitting," so even its name is no hint (sometimes they throw you a bone, like "The Slouchy Hat," or "Teenager-Approved Sweater," but instead this one suggests the process: comforting and easy enough to do in public, but with no clues whatsoever as to its ultimate purpose):

Travelling left to right, it's composed (so far) of 5 sets of 5 knits or purls, creating a very wide rib (you can't even see the purls, but they're there, underneath):

Followed by an increasingly large garter section:

Followed by a 1x1 rib section:

Section 3 introduces a growing bit of stockinette + slipped stitches, and eventually the patterns established become striped. The yarn I'm using for Colour A is the Fleece Artist's National Parks Collection, in the Aulavik colourway (plus, in Section 3, some mystery brown yarn for contrast whose provenance has entirely escaped me.)

And I'm having a terrific time. In the last few weeks I've morphed from a polygamous product knitter (or so I thought) to a monogamous process knitter. I'm perfectly happy to just keep working on my Whatever-It-Is until I get sleepy. (That said, I promised my nephew some socks. Must find time to finish the socks, sigh).

When I finish it and find out what it is (presumably a weird shawl? It's heading that way) I will let you know.

On the Needles (and actively being worked on):

  • Cafe Knitting (2 repeats into Section 3)

  • Sling Heel Socks (2 inches past the toe)

  • Buster (my first stuffie, I only have finishing to do)

  • Itineris Shawl (I'll pretend it's a scarf. I'm 4/5 through the fourth repeat)

On the Backburner:

  • Another 1898 hat (it's just such good airplane knitting, I had to do it again. I've finished the band)

  • The second Sophie's Universe blanket (Round 50)

  • A swatch of stockinette in white worsted (third of three needle sizes) for my Master Knitting Course

  • Caldwell Vest (halfway through armhole shaping on the back)

  • Persian Dreams Blanket (round 6 of Hexagon 9)

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