project: shawl in a ball



One my recent trip home to America I did a Bad Thing. I bought new yarn.

This doesn't seem like a huge deal. I'm a knitter, it's my number one hobby, passion, and salvation. Plus it was only one little ball of yarn! But it's the principle of it that matters.

You see, I've made a promise to myself recently not to buy any new yarn. I literally don't need to. While my yarn stash isn't huge, and it's mostly full of hand-me-down yarn balls and leftovers from finished projects, it's still there and taking up space in my house.

So a few weeks ago, I dug out every bit of scrap yarn in my home, and wrote down projects that they could be. As long as I can make something with the scraps, it's useful. As long as there's a project in there, it's not scrap yarn - it's jut something waiting to be born. In the end, I came up with nearly 15 projects that I have just sitting there in front of me. I swore that until I made every project I could think of from my stash, I couldn't justify buying more yarn; that would be wasteful and giving into the pull of consumerism, instead of embracing my thrifty, crafty self!

And this is exactly why going back to the states and buying a glittery skein of Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball is such a shameful thing.

But it really is lovely. I'm a bit partial to Lion Brand Yarn anyway; it was the first real yarn company I could afford to buy from as a kid for real projects, and some of the most well-loved objects that dot my home (and my parents home!) are by Lion Brand... That Homespun blanket that is such a comfort on long car journeys. The cabled cardigan in Vanna's Choice that seems to flit between my mother's, my sister's and my closets, largely depending on who found it last. The amazing hooded scarf in Fisherman's Wool that is so perfect for grey English winter days...

Shawl in a Ball, though tacky in name, is just fun. In fact, it's the yarn's unbridled joy that made it so irresistible to me. It's textured, with long gradual colour shifts that make working with it exciting, even when doing simple stitchwork. I chose a colour which undulates between shades of blue and sandy reds, with a shimmering blue metallic thread throughout. I'm a serial scarf-wearer, so this seemed like a delicious treat. I gave in to the temptation of the new yarn...

I think my penance for buying something I totally didn't need though, was to have paralysing indecision about what pattern to make with it. I started out making the beautiful Saroyan Shawl, but thought that the yarn was too busy for the pretty leaf edging. Then I started to make a Mystery Medallion Shawl, and just wasn't loving it. I moved on to Jared Flood's Guernsey Wrap, was moderately confident as that was definitely a project I had wanted to remake for a long time, but then quickly scrapped it. Neither the pattern, nor the yarn was shown off in their best light.

At the moment, I'm a good chunk of the way through the Telluride Shawlette. Let's hope it's the last one! I think it's the perfect compromise of a simple design to show off the yarn, but also something that's not boring to knit, and I am partial to the triangle shawl besides.

Sometimes, when it comes to knitting you have to do Bad Things - but I'm hoping that translates to a Good Project!

Happy Stitching,
Molly x

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