When I was at Sock Summit, I saw a whole lot of these super beautiful and interesting scarves- which is how I like to think of small shawls, because that's how I wear them. I've never been the sort of woman who accessorizes much or well, and while I appreciate women who can artfully perch a small shawl round their shoulders and look elegant, I am not one of them. I need something that has heft, or the ability to wrap and stay put, and this interesting knit had buttons along one diagonal side of it, and this- I thought to myself, was a rather gripping way of solving the "I want to be as well dressed as those women but I can't find my shawl pin and how do you keep your purse strap from screwing it up anyway" problem that so persistently plagues me. I admired those scarves, but I was a little busy, so I put it out of my head... besides, my head gets turned by good looking knits all the time. I've learned to let things go.
Two weeks after the Summit, I was still thinking about that scarf. Man- I loved it. I tried to find it on Ravelry, but I was knitting Jen's blanket and so I got a grip after searching for about 5 minutes and let it go again. I didn't forget about it though, and I've been waiting to finish the blanket so that lo - that knit would be mine. A few days before the blanket was done, I searched again, and still couldn't find it. It turns out that this is because I was convinced - absolutely incorrectly, that Stephen West had designed it. (I think this was a natural error. It was an interesting neck thing and he designs a lot of interesting neck things.)
I tweeted that I was looking for the cool two colour neck thing that "everyone" had been wearing at Sock Summit, and shazam and behold, two minutes later I had it. I will warn you now that if you are susceptible to interesting knitting things but are trying to resist right now because you're looking to finish a baby blanket first, it is going to take a lot of personal will if you choose to keep reading this entry. Steady on.
It was Catkin, by Carina Spencer, who I don't believe is even vaguely related to Mr. West, so you can see how I was held back in my search. This pattern was, once I found it, even more interesting than I thought. I don't have anything against working with a few colours at a time, but the cool thing about this one is that it's all done with one colour at a time- which is, even if you don't mind two colours at a time, still a neat trick. I queued it so I wouldn't lose it, and it out as a carrot for when I finished the blanket, and the minute I was done, I was ripping up the stash looking yarn. Three hours and a very big mess later, I had my choices, an hour after that, my swatch.
Pretty, yes? The reddish brown is Dream in color smooshy in Chinatown Apple, and the slightly pinkish beige is a mystery skein from the depths of the stash. (I had to go really deep to get it. That means it's old. The stash has layers like an archeological dig. The deeper you are, the longer I've had it. There's yarn in there that's older than my children. Children who vote. There's no way to know where a yarn like that came from- though for some reason I think it came from Alison, which might just be an association because she's nice and this yarn is too.)
I cast it on that afternoon, and I don't mind telling you, I'm a smidge obsessed. It's fast, fun, and oh - so much smaller than the blanket.
In short, I am charmed, I can't stop and I don't care.