martedì 1 novembre 2011

Don't you just love a good MYSTERY??

When I was about eleven years old, my passion was the Nancy Drew Mystery series!! Back then I lived in Florissant, Missouri. I loved the summer I was eleven.. Saturday would come and I would hop on my bike after lunch and ride the mile or so to the Public Library for my weekly appointment with Nancy! I would carefully scan the shelf, looking for the books in the series that I hadn't read yet, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase (one of my all time favorites, I must have read it 5 times!), The Bungalow Mystery.. and finally The Mystery of the 99 steps published in 1966 the year I turned 12! I would take the books I had chosen to the "library lady", proudly hand her my library card (remember the ones in stiff cardboard with a little metal plate on it that they would use to mark the card in the book?) and hop back on my bike, already thinking about what Nancy was up to now!
Well.. more than 45 years have passed since that summer in Florissant.. but my penchant for a good Mystery has remained! Now, you may ask: "what does knitting have to do with a good Mystery?" HA!
They call them Mystery KALs.. for the uninitiated a KAL is a Knit A-Long. The name is a take off on the Mitch Miller Sing-a-long on television back in the sixties, and it is easy to understand why: a KAL is nothing more than a bunch of crazy yarnies who decide to knit the same pattern all at the same time. They share hints and ask questions on a dedicated thread in a yarnie forum (the most widespread is probably www.ravelry.com) and as their work progresses they proudly share photos of their work and, finally, when the last in the group has finished her project the KAL is officially closed and everyone waits for the next.
Well a Mystery KAL takes this whole concert knitting experience one step further... some kind designer who is willing to satiate the yarnies' desire to take knitting to a higher plane, designs a garment (usually a shawl - no sizes, lots of room for imagination and patterns and stitches and colorful yarn in every weight suited to every needle size) and then the Mystery KAL begins. The designer gives the group one hint at a time - maybe 30 or 40 rows of knitting, with full instructions but with no photographs. Basically you really don't know what your are knitting, what it is supposed to look like or how it will turn out until the very last clue is given. And the yarnies all start knitting away...posting pictures, comments, helps.. along the way.
Well, being a victim of my passion... I got sucked into one of these Mystery KALs organised by knit designer Emma Fassio on www.ravelry.com in the group KAL from Italy.
The name of the KAL is "La Donna Misteriosa! - The Mysterious Woman - Who could resist! Before I had a chance to buy into this KAL (for the modest price of 3 euro), the pattern was gifted to me by Azzuknits (yes, we yarnies have strange names) in a yarn SWAP (but that is another story for another post) and along with the pattern she also gifted me some great hand dyed yarn to knit it up with!
Well, yesterday I embarked upon my mystery! Let me tell you it was no easy trick!! I fought with these 30 rows all day yesterday! First with Zauberball lace weight yarn and size 3.5mm needles.. I knitted the first 10 rows.. something went wrong, frogged it (that would be ripped out the knitting in yarnie lingo!) and started over again. This went on for most of the afternoon...I must have cast on and ripped out about 5 times; but I persevered, this time with the yarn that Azzuknits had suggested in the first place! I  should have followed her suggestion and used it from the start! By the time I went to bed last night (at 3am!! No, I do not give up easily!) I had about 10 perfect rows knit..
Today I picked it up again and it seemed as though I had solved the Mystery... until the stitch count at the end of the last row in the clue... mystery of mysteries I was 3 stitches short!!!
Now......... I could have frogged and started over.. but even Nancy Drew cheated every once in a while and asked help from her dashing boyfriend, Ned Nickerson!!
So I figured out the section in which the stitches were missing and... shhhhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone... I picked up the 3 mysteriously missing stitches!! Now there are 148 almost perfectly knit stitches on my needles and I am anxiously awaiting the next clue for the Mysterious Woman Shawl!

2 commenti:

startare ha detto...

Lovely choice of yarn, it looks like "dyed-in-the wool autumn"!

Donna Lynne ha detto...

thanks! I stupidly threw away the label! But it is a sock yarn (merinos with a bit of nylon), hand-dyed, from the states (I stupidly threw away the label, but it was Cherry Tree Hill from Vermont in autumn jewel tones)