Yeas, Nays, and Nope!

I went to the grocery store without a mask yesterday (I’ve had both my COVaccinations), and it felt weird to be out and about without a mask, especially when the grocery store employees are required to wear them. Happily, many of the customers were wearing them, too. Not all the folk with naked faces were oldies but moldies like me, unfortunately. Guess this is the “new normal.”

Trouble is, the old normal was nice. I liked it. Unfortunately, the world seems bent on arbitrarily and inopportunely replacing it at random intervals with a “new normal” which never seems to be as good as, nor quite the same as what was just fine to begin with. I find it disgruntling. In fact, it’s getting to the point where I’ve been disgruntled for so long I’ve forgotten what gruntled feels like anymore, which is sad, really. Sigh.

I mentioned that Mohonk yarn that was begging to be a shawl. After a false start (above left) and a pattern rethink/rewrite (middle) it is well on its way (above right). It’s sock yarn, and I’m using a US 3 (3.25 mm) needle so this will be a WIP for awhile. Its pattern reminded me of the rune* which at various times and places was used for “Z” (Algiz, “elk”), “K” (Kalc, “chalice”) and “Y” (Huyri), and which symbolizes protection from enemies and defense of that which one loves. Protection and defense. I like that in a shawl.

Then, I was innocently working on the Huyri Shawl and watching Episode 34 of the “Needles at the Ready” podcast (I’m looking at you, Kevin), and saw this.

At first I thought I’d use this Premier Serenity Sock yarn (above left), but I struggled and struggled and finally, I frogged it. Between the pattern and the color variegation, it was just too busy. So then I tried the Berroco Modern Cotton DK in the colorway 6685 Waterman Pond, and it was Goldilocks. I have to be vigilant about keeping my stitches “clean,” though, as this yarn can split very easily. It’s 60% Pima cotton and 40% modal Rayon, and it has a very soft hand. The pattern is written for either DK weight on a US8 (5 mm) needle, or fingering/sock weight on a US5 (3.75 mm) needle, but I’m going with a US3 (3.25 mm) because I like the fabric I get with that size needle. The DK version on a US8 calls for 750 yards (690 m), and the fingering version on a US5 calls for 900 yards (840 m). The Modern Cotton DK comes in 335 yard (306 m) skeins, and I have 7 skeins. Even on a US 3 needle, I’d be surprised if it takes more than 5 skeins.

This pattern has an interesting edge along the left side of the shawl that’s worked with the last two stitches on the right-side row as sl1 wyif, k1, and the wrong side row starts with sl1 wyif, k1. I like it. I’m already thinking about how I can use it. That’s the problem. I get a new idea and my mind wants to run with it. I want all the yarn so I can knit all the things. Sigh.

I’m kinda/sorta following the pattern, or at least the part that tells you how to do the lace and the garter bits. (Frequent readers will have noticed I have a tendency to go off piste.)

*Why, yes. I am a geek.