Practicing, or, Intro to projects 14

I don’t really have something I particularly want to talk about today, but since one of my goals has been the practice of writing, I am attempting to implement one of the pieces of advice that professional writers give to aspiring writers — write. Even when you think you don’t have anything in particular to say, sit down and put words on paper.

So, I guess I might as well start on another project description, even though it’s one I don’t particularly feel inspired about. That is, after all, one of the reasons I want to blog.

So, #14, the cable scarf. The goals behind this project are two: 1) learn how to do basic cables, and 2) make myself a better, nicer, longer scarf that is made of wool and equally warm as my previous one. So I bought some Cascade Ecological wool in a creamy, undyed white. I went browsing through one of Alice Starmore’s books with cables in it — the Celtic collection, I think — and found a pattern with a smaller cable pattern that is used in one of the panels of the sweater or on the arm, I forget which. Eventually, I’d like to do the entire sweater, but one thing at a time. I always prefer to start small.

So far, I’ve done a gauge swatch. That took me a while, because I started it, and found following charts that change direction to be frustrating. My first comfortable experience with charts was in the Irish diamond shawl that I’ve already described, and since every other row is purl only, those rows are not shown on the chart, and so the chart is only read from right to left. Having to do it differently on the cable chart is — annoying. For some reason my brain doesn’t want to do it. I also had a problem with reading one of the stitch descriptions. It’s one where one stitch is increased to three. I read it and read it and read it. It wasn’t until I took a rest from it, emailed Wendy of for a little help in clarification, and took another whack at it that I finally figured it out. After I finally got that stitch clear, I made the swatch and washed it. Since then I haven’t picked it up.

The question, of course, is why not? Something about it, maybe the yarn, maybe the lack of skill in my cables, but something about it doesn’t sing for me. And since we’re hitting spring, I probably won’t touch it again until fall. Hmmm… I’ll have to consider this problem — maybe another yarn? Maybe one of own handspun? Now that has possibilities.

In the meantime, it just hit me — it’s April! Time to pick up the shawl again. I’ve rested from it long enough!


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