Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Night With Ishbel--Creative Burnthrough

Night before last, I did something which really helps me when I'm overloaded with stress, or my sleep cycle is messed up, or really if there's anything wrong that I don't know how to cope with. A cure all, my "creative burnthough" is something that I turn to when I need to purge excess negativity. Instead of letting it stress me, and keep me awake at night, I stop everything and focus on an unfinished craft, until nothing else matters. I work until it is finished (no matter how long it takes) and then collapse, exhausted, into a deep and perfect sleep. I have never done this intentionally before, but I realized the other night that it was really what I needed. So, I sat down with Ishbel, only halfway through the first repeat of the A section of lace, at 11pm. I watched (listened to) V for Vendetta, Fight Club, Memoirs of a Geisha, Only You, and Pride and Prejudice.

By then, my little triangle of stockinette had turned from this:

Into this:

I wasn't quite exhausted yet, so I decided to block her. But then, I found a dropped stitch, which I will assume happened one of the four times that binding off turned into nodding off. I had already blocked the shawl when I found the error, so I had to wait for her to dry. So, I took a 45 minute nap--which was interrupted by at least three phone calls. When she was dry, I took her down, dug out the ends (my least favorite part) and then tinked the bind-off to the mistake (this part happened in an IHOP, while my boyfriend and three male friends had a cheery time. I was a little stormcloud sitting in the middle of the booth, grumpily tinking the bind-off, then growing angrier still when, in my exhaustion, I forgot to stop tinking after I fixed the mistake, and tinked way more than I needed to. Then, I finally got the bind-off done correctly (although I bound off the repaired half with a different sized needle than I bound off the other half with, which I was concerned would be a problem. It wasn't.) After all this, I reblocked my Ishbel last night, before finally lying down for a long, uninterrupted night of solid and blissful sleep.

I woke up to this:

I'd say that a single dropped stitch was getting off easy, considering I pulled an all nighter to knit lace.

The Details:
Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague (rav link)
Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca/Merino 4ply in the Limited Edition Ysolda colorway, purchased at Old Maiden Aunt
Needles: 4.0 mm Harmony Circulars
The Commentary:
This shawl is fantastic. Now I know why it's so popular! Ysolda has written this pattern that is so easy to read, and the shawl just grows and grows so quickly! It was clear enough for me to understand easily, even at 4am. I love the finished product, and I know that I will wear it often. I can't wait to make a bigger version, hopefully with the lovely pink laceweight that Ysolda used! I knew that I had more than enough yarn to do the small version, but not enough to do the large version, so I have a bit of this yarn left, which I intend to use in conjunction with more of Lilith's beautiful yarn. I will be shopping at Old Maiden Aunt again.
What a wonderful project, all around! I'm very satisfied with it, and the 'creative burnthrough' that produced it. Some things always work.

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