People who know me know that I sit still badly. I have to have something in hand to do when waiting, watching TV (or listening to music), or while on planes or trains. Or on vacation. Nothing says vacation to me like sitting somewhere beautiful and taking in the scenery, abetted by needlework.
The past several weeks have been quite a rush, tumbling together major triage on our Pune apartment, pre-packing, relocating back to the US from India (sans The Resident Male, who follows next week); then having only a couple of days home to set things to partial rights, before heading out with the kids and a kid-friend for our annual week on Cape Cod. Now it’s pulling up the reins on our primary residence and getting it back under saddle, fixing two years of little annoyances, putting the cars back into full health and legal compliance, and the mother of all spring cleanings to dispatch the carnivorous dust bunnies now lurking in every corner.
So who has time for knitting? Well… I do. It’s mindless knitting, but it’s a comfort none the less.
I present Swirly – my own off-kilter take on the standard 10-stitch modular concept. Except that instead of one color, endlessly spiraling around itself in 10-stitch wide strips laid out in a base square, I’ve made some changes.
First, I’m using two yarns, one multicolor (Poems Sock), plus one variegated green (Zauberball), using a US #5 needle to make a light and airy garter stitch throw – a perfect “small something” to have on one’s lap while reading. For the record, both are machine washable/dry flat wool/nylon blend yarns, so laundering will be easy.
I started with the multi, working a 10-stitch wide strip, eyeballed for length. Then, leaving my active multicolor stitches on a holder, I worked a four-stitch wide strip of green around three sides of the multi. Then I put the green on the holder and switched back to the multicolor, working a short-rowed mitered corner, then two rows of plain garter, and another short-rowed mitered corner to establish one end of my center area. Then it was marching down the length of the green-outlined strip to the other end, working across the end (with mitered corners where appropriate). When I caught up to myself, I resumed the green, also mitering its mini-corners where needed. And I’ve kept going ever since.
What you see here is almost two balls of the Poems Sock, plus almost one Zauberball – all I had left in India, the last of the sock yarn stash I brought with me. When we got back to the US I managed to order more of each (lucky me – three more balls of multi, one more of the green!), so the blanket will continue to grow. As is, at this point, the thing is plenty big enough to be a baby blanket, so if anyone is looking for an unusual shower gift for parents who are not enamored of traditional pastels or sex-assigned color sets, 200 grams of multicolor sock yarn plus 100 grams of solid color are sufficient, provided no edging or supplemental finish is desired.
I’m not sure how big it will become. It will be done when I think it’s big enough. And I’m not sure how I will finish it off. The slip stitch selvedge edge stitches are a bit flabby to leave all on their own. I’ll either do I-cord all the way around, or invent (or find) a nice, simple edging to give it a more polished final appearance.
So far I’ve enjoyed this mindless bit of knitting immensely. I worked on it in the evenings while I was packing. I knit more on our flights back home. It was already large enough to cover my lap when we were stranded in Heathrow and spent the night perched on chairs in the main International ticketing hall. I kept going with it on the Cape, watching the tide march in and out, measuring the time intervals by garter stitch production. And I’m still working on it, relaxing with it on my favorite chair each night. (I missed that chair while we were away).
There’s no moral to the story here, other than suggesting that in uncertain and confused times, an anchor – even a soft fuzzy one – can keep one from drifting.