Back in the (Knitted) Saddle

This past weekend it was 55 degrees outside. And I'm not talking about the middle of the night. It was 55 degrees at noon on Saturday (and Sunday). When the temperature drops 30 degrees - during what is meant to be the hottest week of summer - it's a bit of a shock to the system. I spent the majority of the day on Saturday wrapped in a blanket on the sofa, alternating between knitting, reading, and napping.

I need to make one of these
To be frank, I find it difficult to knit in the heat of summer. I do a little but it's mostly just so I can say I'm still a knitter. However, as soon as the temperature drops, I'm compelled to get some wool and pointy sticks in my hands.

On Sunday, two friends of mine and I had lunch at a local yarn shop and spent a couple of hours with like-minded folks catching up on our projects. One of these lovely ladies had never knit before taking the "beginning knitting" class that I taught a few months ago. She is my success story, having mastered knit and purl with ease and being brave enough to alter patterns to suit her fancy. Putting me to shame, she's a fast knitter as well, having cranked out two dog sweaters in the last couple of weeks - one with a hood that she "figured out" herself. I couldn't be prouder. Seriously.

And, you know she's serious because she's already building stash. LOL

My other friend was wearing a cowl that she'd knit last year. I immediately recognized it as a stitch pattern that I'd fallen in love with a few years ago. The cowl itself is fine but nothing earth-shattering so, when I learned the stitch pattern, I applied it to other things - like a hat and a scarf.

For those of you on Ravelry, you can see the project here: Democracy Gator & Hat

For those of you who aren't, the stitch pattern is super-easy. It's just:
Row 1: knit across the row
Row 2: knit one, slip one - across the row
Row 3: knit across the row
Row 4: slip one, knit one - across the row
This combination is for straight needles, knitting back and forth. If you want to do it on a circular, simply substitute a purl stitch for the knit stitch on rows 2 and 4.
I'm feeling the itch to make something new with this pattern. Could it be my first-ever sweater???

Finally, the Universe has put this pattern in front of me three times in the last few days. It's the Color Affection Shawl, available on Ravelry for about $5 US.

My friend Deidre had the pattern and some GORGEOUS yarn she's going to use for it out on her counter on Saturday morning. I immediately thought that I should make it. Then, on Saturday afternoon, while poking around on Ravelry, I stumbled on it (not remembering the name of the pattern). And, finally, on Sunday, when I went knitting with friends, the local yarn shop had a sample knitted up because they're doing a class on this pattern. So I decided not to fight the messages from beyond and I bought this lovely Italian Filatura Di Crosa super-wash wool to make it. :)

I hope the colors I picked (autumn-y red/orange/yellow/tan) do the pattern justice.

So, unless the temps go back up to 90, I think I'm back in the knitting groove. None too soon, either. It's time to start thinking about Christmas presents!

- Alex

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