It occurred to me that, while I’m pretty proficient in knitting lace, I’ve never actually knitted with laceweight. Well, I did try to knit a shawl with Anzula Breeze, but I got bored with the pattern, and I’d consider that yarn more of a light fingering than a laceweight anyway.

I wanted to knit something else for my husband’s grandmother, since she always compliments me on the Kleio I gave her (and also out of gratitude for the minor fact that she and her husband put him through college), so I thought I’d knit her another shawl. I’ve had plenty of actual lace marinating in the stash, as well as a set of lace-tip needles that has been little-used lately in my pursuit to knit all the socks. So I cast on the Easy As Pie shawl.

It’s a very enjoyable knit so far, except for the minor problem I had with my inability to count. I didn’t think far enough ahead to realize that, to increase the size of the shawl, you must add a multiple of 3 body pattern repeats in order for the edge pattern to work. It was easy enough to fix once I figured it out, but feeling like a total noob does tend to put one in a bit of a funk. I suppose technically I am a noob when it comes to laceweight. But it makes me wonder if that’s part of the fear of trying new things when it comes to fiber: not wanting to feel like a beginner again. I’m just speculating, because I’ve never let fear of looking stupid hold me back from anything, to the point where I’m actually very good at making a fool of myself.

Now that I’ve ironed that out, the only problem is that I’m using a deep purple yarn on deep green needles, so this project is strictly daytime knitting. Since I am a creature of the night, it’s made me itchy to cast on other things. But the other things I’ve been wanting to cast on were for knitalongs beginning in July, so in the past week or so I’ve worked up quite a list of things to knit. I’ve actually been using my queue like normal people do.

Of course, I’ve got three patterns lined up for the July SKA challenge. Usually I only do two, but I figured I can add another one since August is an off month. Carolina, Exotic Whirlpool, and Outside In are all lined up for that, and for all three I’m trying to use up my caked yarn. (Most of my stash is stored in plastic bins, in whatever put-up it came in. But I used to wind all my yarn as soon as I bought it, until I realized it was messier and not great for the yarn. I’ve worked through most of the cakes, but I still have a small cardboard box with a dozen or so.)

I’m also participating in the Podcast-Along Knitalong (PAL KAL), which is an idea from the ACTually Knitting podcast. I’m fairly surprised I’m as interested as I am, given that I’m a little burned out lately on knitting podcasts. I don’t feel this way about the non-knitting podcasts I listen to, and I think it’s because they don’t seem as cliquish – the Sawbones folks plug the other shows on their network, but they don’t spend five minutes talking about how amazing John Hodgman is before they get to their topic. (And I already listen to Judge John Hodgman, so it’d be especially annoying if they did.) The Stuff You Should Know guys might give a shout out to the Stuff Mom Never Told You ladies every now and then, and vice versa, but it doesn’t feel like an advertisement, and they don’t ever cover the same topics. (And when they do advertise, even as hammy as it can be, it’s definitely clearly delineated that it is sponsorship.)

I don’t need half a dozen different perspectives on the same retreat; in fact, at this point, the only one I’d be interested in hearing would be from someone who isn’t selling something. (Although to be fair, I’m not entirely sure if retreats are open to people who are not involved with the fiber industry.) I don’t want to hear about the twentieth person who’s knitting the same popular pattern unless they have a unique observation about it. And as far as all things geeky, I’d rate myself a 1 out of 10 (one point for Firefly/Serenity/having knit a Jayne hat; one point for Star Wars, minus one for only caring about the original trilogy, never having seen the second two prequels, and having no interest in a geriatric Han Solo).

It’s not all of them, but I have unsubscribed from a few lately because there seems to be a lot of redundancy, and lately it’s been making me feel like I’m on the outside of an in-joke. I do realize that the PAL KAL is actually a good example of what I’m talking about. I’m nothing if not a hypocrite, although I did try to find some projects that were a little under the radar, like Featherweight (Hannah Fettig is a prolific and well-known designer who podcasts, but I rarely hear her get name-dropped) and Claudia (the designer is one half of Starjay Knits, and I’ve never heard them mentioned anywhere else).

I’m also going to knit Zigzagular, which I realize is kinda bandwagony. But I’m justifying it because Prairie Girls Knit and Spin is my favorite podcast, for several reasons: I really like the hosts and think they’re fun, and while they talk a little about their personal lives, they tend to stay pretty on-topic. (One new one I tried featured a 15-minute saga about something incredibly inane, and even worse, it was a video podcast, so it took almost that long just to download in the first place.) Also, it’s very well-produced on a technical level, which is important to me, because there are some very good podcasts I cannot listen to as they sound like they’re recording while going 70 down the freeway with all the windows down.

(These are just, like, my opinions, man. And since I don’t have an iTunes account, my opinion doesn’t matter anyway.)

I’m actually fairly excited about the Zigzagular socks, and I was thinking about knitting them up before the PAL was announced. I dyed up a sock blank just for them, and I think they’ll look really good in a self-striping yarn. I crocheted up a sock blank and dyed it to stripe, and while I think the stripes alone would be fine, I have the hardest time making myself knit vanilla socks. Even if they are for tiny feet.

The Whirlpool pattern is also looking really promising. I’m planning to use some Berroco Comfort that’s self-striped in a faux-isle pattern, which I’m not really a huge fan of, but the yarn was on clearance, and I bought it at a point in time when cost was the most important factor in my yarn buying. I’ve done a swatch, and I think it looks a lot better in biased garter, so this pattern may be exactly what I needed to actually like this yarn.

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