Finished at last

I have finished my improvised version of Martina Behm’s Match & Move Shawl, and I think it turned out pretty fabulous.

This shawl came about through some deep stash-busting and far too much thinking. I originally ordered yarn from Plucky Knitter way back in 2011 to make a Color Affection Shawl. It contained three skeins of Plucky Primo Fingering. Believe it or not, I was already writing this blog back then; here is the post (with the great title, “Holy Distraction, Batman!”) where I talked about receiving the yarn in the post. A few years later, in 2013, I wrote about trying to find a different pattern for this yarn.

Eventually, in 2019, when I was searching for a project to take on a business trip to South Africa, I decided to make the Match & Move Shawl, but with stripes in three colours instead of two. This turned out beautifully, until I ran out of yarn (by not following the instructions properly, as blogged here). I eventually ordered another skein of Plucky (the dark purple) to match up with the other three colours, then misplaced the scarf for half a year, and finally got back on track. Whew! This shawl has been through some stuff, which makes it appropriate that it ends up being a product of 2020. (It has survived, so will we!)

I have talked many times on this blog about how I dislike triangular shawls. I knitted this despite that, and I have to say that I adore it! The colours are so rich and work so well together. Depending on how you wrap it, different colours come to the fore, the deep pink in the photo above, and the grey in the photo below.

I started the shawl by following the pattern: bold stripes of colour, alternating green, grey, pink. Then, I realised I would run out of yarn and started smaller blocks of colour, before buying the deep purple and adding it in near the end. So one half of the shawl is very orderly and the other half is very haphazard. Sort of like me! No wonder I like it. It makes me think I need to improvise more often.

The yarn is completely luscious. It is an expensive option for me, especially here in England (when I ordered the kit all of those years ago, I was charged a customs fee for it when it arrived in the country – a very large fee). Adding on the expense of the fourth skein (luckily purchased in London from Loop) means this is a fairly pricey shawl. But I must admit that it is gorgeous, and feels so great to wear. Even Buddha think so:

Unfortunately for Buddha (and me!), Doug thinks so too:

Sorry Buddha, but I think Doug may have dibs!

Lost or stolen or strayed!

Do you remember this?

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I started this shawl in March 2019 while in South Africa on a business trip.  It is the Match & Move shawl by Martina Behm.  It took me only a few weeks to realise that I had sadly miscalculated the yarn weights (due in part to having no scale with me on the trip and in part to being delusional – documented in the aptly titled post Numbers don’t lie).

I ended that post by noting that it was time to start ripping.  In fact, I put the project in a bag and tucked it away.  The yarn is from The Plucky Knitter, repurposed from a kit I purchased eons ago to make the Colour Affection shawl.  This same yarn is carried by Loop in London, but they had a limited selection and it was near impossible to determine from the computer screen whether any of the shades might fit.  The best approach, I determined, was to take the project with me to Loop and try out combinations in person.  This never happened.

Eventually, I noticed that Loop had gotten more stock, and there was one colour which I thought might be interesting with the others.  I decided that I was never going to get into town (this was well before Covid-19, so was very prescient).  I purchased it on-line with the thought that I would make a pair of mitts with it if it didn’t work for the shawl.

Here is the yarn:

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Does it work?

I don’t know.  I can’t find the project.

It is GONE.  LOST.  NOT TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE.

One of the things about being in lockdown is that I have actually sort-of organised my stash.  (Stash organisation does not count as housecleaning and is therefore still an acceptable behaviour.)  Here it is:

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In the process of stacking it all here, I looked in every box.  The shawl is not there.  I have decided that the only thing which might make the project show up will be the act of posting that I have lost it.  Wish me luck!

(Extra points for getting the reference in the title.)

Sunshine and knitting are restorative

I’ve been working hard since I arrived in Johannesburg and haven’t had much of a chance to get any knitting done.  Truth be told, I am quite worn out. But today is Sunday and I am not teaching, and after a cloudy start the sun came out.  I cast on for the Match & Move shawl by Martina Behm.  I’m still not convinced that I like triangular shawls, but I am sure enjoying knitting this:

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I sat out on a lounger by the pool, put my head phones in and an audio book on (a re-read of Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold) and had a restorative afternoon.  I am using yarn from a kit I bought many years ago from The Plucky Knitter.  It has three skeins of Primo Fingering (75% wool, 20% cashmere, and 5% nylon) in the colours En Vogue, Faded Grandeur and Elegant Elephant.  The colours are beautiful and rich:

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The photos don’t really do them justice, especially when taken in the bright African light.  I have very little bandwidth here (I have tried to crop the top photo at least five times unsuccessfully) so I am going to go back to my knitting and book and eke out a bit more sunshine while I can.  I hope that you enjoy some time to knit this weekend, in the sun or not.