When I agreed to make the "gold medal" for the Knitting Olympics, I figured that would be the extent of my participation. After the ruana, I am no fan of knitting on a deadline. I thought the idea was brilliant, just not my cup of cocoa.
Then Marilyn asked me if I might like to join her and some other knitters in working on this, the Wedding Ring Shawl from Heirloom Knitting, as a summer project.
As you may remember, knitting lace is my personal Mt. Everest. I've dabbled in it, I've taken classes with Nancy Bush and Galina Khmeleva, I've read every book on it I can lay hands on. I just haven't actually made a finished project. And there's no way I was going to pass up a chance to work on a project with experienced knitters to offer advice and encouragement.
In order to get my chops ready for the Wedding Ring Shawl, I decided to take on one of the sample shawl* patterns from Galina's book on Orenberg lace, with the goal of finishing it and blocking it in a reasonable amount of time. I cannot promise to finish by the time the torch goes out, and I'm not going to let that worry me. My goal is to work a piece of lace to the end and block it.
In spite of everything I've read and everything that's been said to me, I'm sorry, but blocking in general is scary to a newbie and blocking lace, in particular, makes me want to crawl under the bed with my teddy bear. I have no intent of launching into a Shetland showpiece without prior experience of the whole process under my belt, so a sample shawl it is.
As nothing motivates me quite like a looming deadline (I was once a writer, after all) the Knitting Olympics seemed like the very thing to make me pick up the needles and just do it.
Funny, You Don't Look Welsh
Then I got a message from Brenda Dayne of the Cast On podcast, asking if I'd like to join the Welsh Knitting Olympics Team.
One brief romance with a guy from Cardiff notwithstanding, I don't have a drop of Welsh in me. But Aidan's doing it, and one of Susan's neighbors read A Child's Christmas in Wales to us on Christmas Eve, and I like leek soup, so I figured hey, why not. I just hope they don't ask me to sing the national anthem.
Speaking of Brenda: Yes, I am at work on another piece for an upcoming episode of her show. No, Herbie the Elf will not be making a guest appearance this time. Herbie and I are not speaking at the moment, and he knows perfectly well why. Thank you so much for bringing up a very painful subject.
*Sample. Meaning miniature. Think doily. I am not going to try to knit a five-foot full-sized Orenberg in two weeks. Despite what you may have heard or any pictures you may have seen, I am not into masochism as a lifestyle.