I go through phases with knitting - or maybe, since my love affair with knitting is constant, it is more properly stated that knitting goes through phases with me - phases where it all seems to go really well- and the reverse. We're all familiar with the flip side, where nothing works, everything sucks, all the patterns have errors (and if they don't, you interpret them that way) all the yarn doesn't do what we want it to or - (and I hate this one) you have the horrible realization that even though you are a functioning adult who's seeming to do pretty well in the world, you apparently can't count to six five times in a row to save your life.
At least in my life, the two phases are like the two sides of a coin, and it's mathematically impossible to be in one and see the other. Either everything works and all I knit is a wonder, or it's all a reeking slagheap of guano and I wonder how it's possible that I was able to dress myself considering my obvious incompetence. I was there a while ago. I screwed everything up and switching projects did nothing to cure it. It was like having a cold. You can change where you are in the house but you're still going to need a tissue.
My reward for having endured that phase, is this one. This side of it is glorious, and it seems to me that knits are flying off the needles. I'm making steady progress, I've made no terrible mistakes that mean I'm ripping back hours of work... instead I knit, things get knit, and there's a wonderful parade of lovely things turning up just as I had hoped they would, and that's where I am today.
The Eventide scarf is all done, and it's all I'd hoped it would be and more.
Eventide by Laura Nelkin, Yarn: Schaefer Audrey in Almond. $2 worth of #8 Japanese seed beads.
This yarn is 50% wool and 50% silk, and a single. (That means it's just one ply of yarn...not several twisted together like most yarns.) Usually I'm not a fan of singles, especially not for beadwork, because the lack of twist and plies means that it's not very strong, but with this yarn the silk gives it strength, and you can have your cake and eat it too. It's shiny and straight, the perfect yarn for the elongated crossed stitches in this stitch pattern, but still strong enough to take the weight of the beads and the abrasion of sliding a whole whack of them along the strand.
The beads are only on the ends of this scarf, and they give the whole thing a charming weight and heft - it lies beautifully and feels satisfying. (It also meant that I didn't have to put that many beads on... comparatively speaking, which was totally fine with me because as much as it's worth it for the effect, I find stringing beads onto yarn as much fun as scraping dried tomato sauce off of the kitchen backsplash. (That - by the way, explains the dried tomato sauce on my backsplash.)
I love how this ended up. I think it's elegant and interesting, the crossed stiches were fun to work, and it all happened rather quickly, thanks to the big chunks of elongated work. (It's like a magic trick. Knit one row - get the length of three!)
The hardest part of the whole thing, once I sucked up the bead stringing, was the graft in the middle, and even that worked out beautifully. I can't even find where I did it unless I really, really look. It's perfect.
I know it makes for boring blog reading, but man. This knitting thing is all going so well right now.
(I know. Don't stand too close. You wouldn't want the lightning strike headed my way to scorch you.)