WIP Notes: Tales from Frog-Land

Last November I went to the 4th Annual Vienna Yarn-Faire, and following my own rule of only buying yarn if it’s a complete set with instructions, I refrained from randomly picking up bouts of pretty yarn, no matter how much it sang to me its beckoning siren song.

(That’s because this here Crochetophile ain’t made of money – and my yarn storage ain’t no Bag of Holding +2.)

I had a deal with my friend to slap me over my grabby fingers if they’d reach for anything that was NOT a set, and so she did. Several times. And it was all good, until she and I found ourselves ooh-ing and aah-ing at the displayed knitting sets of maschenwerk, the same store I also bought the Collana di Fiori from a couple of years ago. And of course there was this:

It’s called “Saveria“, and it is made with a mixture of different qualities of merino, mohair and a merino-silk-camel hair-blend. My friend and I touched the finished thing on display… and out the window flew all rhyme and reason. Unfortunately, she had no instructions to slap me over my grabby fingers if the set I wanted to buy exceeded a certain price tag… and at this point it was not like her own sanity was any better off than mine at the sight and feel of this shawl. We wouldn’t let the steep price of 80€ (!) stop us from yanking a set each from the shelves, and even as my ATM card cried out in horror, I kept telling myself: “Chill, Crochetophile, this IS a set. You still follow the rules.”

I did, didn’t I? Ugh. You guys. It’s not like this exquisite yarn set isn’t worth its price tag. It’s just… so incredibly frivolous to spend this amount of cash on… well, this. I wouldn’t spend 80€ on ANY item of everyday clothing, let alone a shawl. But here I was… clutching the bag with the wool in my hands, feeling utterly satisfied with myself and happy that – while frivolous and rather unneccesary, indeed – I didn’t actually think twice about the purchase and offhandedly swiped my card in order to buy something luxurious and pointless for myself on a whim. This is mentionworthy, as I have spent years living from paycheck to paycheck (at best), sometimes not quite knowing how to put food on the table (at worst). Life is excellent these days, and this shawl is just another representation of that.

That said, we sat down for a coffee, and I immediately wanted to at least cast on a few stitches, nevermind the fact that the Collana di Fiori was still in the works (and in my bag) at the time. I didn’t have any needles for this on me, of course – but this was a yarn faire, after all – and 7€ later I held a brand new set of prym.ergonomics circular needles in my eager hands.

(I have recently discovered the joy that are Prym* ergonomic knitting needles – if you don’t yet know them, you should give them a try, I think. They are very smooth, yarn doesn’t get caught and slides over them beautifully, they make no clacking noise, and feel great in my hands. The cable of the circular needles doesn’t coil up at all, which is always my biggest annoyance with most circulars, but what’s best are the drop-shaped tips of the needles that make picking up stitches from the needle extremely easy, even if your stitches are quite tight.)

Appropriate needles for the occasion, I think.

A good start. This is Merino 200 by Lang Yarns in moss stitch. That’s all I did then and there, before dutifully returning to my Collana di Fiori desaster.

You know you work in the right place when you willingly spend your Saturday mornings like this with your coworkers.

Around my neck: the Nautica by Traumverlauf.

Mid-December I started working on the Saveria in earnest, after I had recovered from the shock that was the Collana di Fiori. (Ok, no. I still haven’t regained my composure over that one.) I was very excited when I got to the next step: the lace pattern with the divine Mohair Fancy (Lang Yarns)… a fluffy hint of nothing with a strand of lurex and tiny sequins worked into it.

Gorgeous, eh? But, of course – and this is where the title of this post comes into play – I fucked up the lace pattern, because apparently I am not capable of counting. I noticed the mistake way too late, but figured: it was way out on the egde of the shawl, and way at the beginning of the pattern – nobody will ever notice. (Of course, YOU will notice: look at the picture.) I was loath to frog all of what I have done so far, especially considering that frogging mohair isn’t exactly fun business for all its fluffiness. I decided to ignore the mistake and just keep on going instead. That is, until I fucked up a second time. You guys. I can’t count. Seriously. It’s not like this pattern is very hard at all.

I was a good 7 or 8 cm into the pattern already… unsure what to do now. But then – I paid 80€ for this thing, it REALLY deserves to be an impeccable piece, and not be studded with little mistakes here and there that, of course, I will always know are there… and see everytime I pick up the shawl.

And thus the frogs sang me the song of their people.

Unravelling mohair is a bitch. And of course the sequins didn’t help.

I spent a good hour, carefully pulling on the strand and picking up the moss stitches from the black merino part again. Fun times.

Alas. So far, round two is going without a glitch. By now I know the pattern by heart, and I am extremly careful to check every row after finishing it for any funny business. So far, so good. I am now further along in the pattern than I was before I had to frog it, and it’s going rather smoothly. I guess I just had to really get acquainted with the pattern first and maybe I should have practiced with cheap yarn beforehand. That said, it’s really not difficult at all, once the penny has dropped.

If you want to give it a go, you can buy the pattern here. The yarns used are also listed there, however, it’s all in German.

Next up: 2020’s Yarny New Year’s Resolution – stay tuned!


* I am not affiliated with Prym, and I don’t get any money from them. I just like their needles.

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