I’ve spent most of my spare time the last few months working toward publishing, plus the last seven years learning the craft—a never-ending experience. And now, as a rebound from the computer, I’ve pulled out my knitting bag, dusted it off, and I’m really loving it. I’m not a very experienced knitter, so once in a while I take a class at the local knit shop. This collar cowl is the latest class I took. (Shawl Collard Cowl by Alana Dakos at nevernotknitting.com) I really like it, it's warm and comfortable, but I wish it covered more of the back and shoulders. So I tried modifying the pattern. That didn’t really work... now I have a really bulky knit collar cowl as the part that was supposed cover the shoulders and back just bunches up around the neck.
The first one was made in 100% alpaca wool making that the most expensive neck warmer in the universe after adding the cost of the two skeins of alpaca yarn, the class, the pattern and the buttons. The second neck warmer I made is 20% alpaca and about 1/5 the cost.
I found a knitting forum online and while perusing the pictures of what others have made (OMG, some are so beautiful and complicated!) I found a shawl called Wingspan. It’s so different, and because it uses a stitch I learned in the collar cowl class, I figured I could do it. For this I used a yarn I had bought a couple of weeks ago with no project in mind, a 30% alpaca. I had two 100gm balls and the pattern called for 1-100gm ball. But I know so little about yarns and gauge and all that, I can now see that with this yarn and the needle size I am using (9), this pattern is going to take about 4.5 balls. I bought another ball, but it was the last at the store. Hopefully, it will be in stock next week so I can finish this before winter ends. I need to knit 2-1/2 more triangles to finish it. It drapes very nicely over the shoulders and fastens with a shawl pin.
It’s very relaxing to sit with my mom as we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, then HGTV, History, or the Travel Channel together. After being isolated in my office every evening pulling my hair out and saying bad words to my computer as I navigate the indie publishing world, knitting is a comforting pastime. But my number one de-stressed is still reading romance. And reading in a hot bubble bath is my favorite winter de-stressor.
What is your favorite de-stressor?