Casting On and On

Ordinarily, I love startitis.  I love the mania I feel when I’m in the final planning stages of a project, and finally go from dreaming about it to casting on.  I love how absorbed I become in the swatching, the calculations, the final decision making (Which needle should I use?  Is the finished size really going to work?).  Ordinarily, that is.

I was overdue for a case of startitis.  I finished my winter knitting and placed my one winter’s holdover into estivation for the summer.  I finished the Travelling Woman shawl (photos to follow, once I block it).  The only project on my needles was a dishcloth for my mom.  High time to get going on the summer projects, for sure.

Startitis for me tends to happen in slow waves.  I’ll do the calculations for one project, get it on the needles, and then move on to one or two more over the span of a week or two or three.

The challenge?  I’m getting ready for our family vacation, which will be a road trip to several national parks in Utah and Arizona.  That’s right — a week of scenic drives and day hikes and finally having the chance to explore some places we’ve only driven through in years past.  And with the boys growing up, it could well be our last summer family road trip.  At any rate, I don’t take them for granted anymore.

Naturally, as a knitter, the moment someone says “road trip,” I immediately think “knitting opportunity.” Few occasions afford me the knitting time that a road trip provides.  While the rest of my family isn’t particularly excited about a day-long drive across Wyoming, I see it as a chance to make some headway on my black Shetland crepe shawl.  An eight-hour drive?  Bring it on!

For any type of travel, I tend to bring an insane amount of yarn.  Our last family trip was to Sacramento, for my nephew’s baptism.  I was reasonable on that trip, bringing only my Travelling Woman shawl in progress.  By the end of the trip, I was just about done with the shawl, and was worried I’d be underyarned.  Which means, of course, that for this trip, I’m overcompensating.

This weekend, I’ve cast on or made the final calculations for no fewer than five new projects.  That’s right — five.  I can’t possibly knit them all in a week-long road trip.  Not even if I forego every hiking opportunity.  Not even if I forego sleep.   But at least I won’t be underyarned.  Here’s the lineup:

I’m going to make Sharon Miller’s Cobweb Crepe Shawl (it’s Project 5 in her book, Heirloom Knitting), in black.  I’ve had to wait until summer to cast this on, as it’s going to require summer’s strong light and long days to knit.  I have to have this done before the days grow shorter, so it’s top priority.  That, alone, will probably take me the whole week and then some.

As if that weren’t enough, I’m designing some colorwork mittens that will be part of a series for eventual publication.  I’d like to have the pattern proved out so that I can base the rest of the series on this one, so it’s also a priority.

Those two projects can’t be the be-all, end-all of my trip knitting, however.  There will be times when the light is too low or I can’t deal with complicated knitting, so I need other projects to work on.  Therefore, I’ve cast on another of Carina Spencer’s Seamless Baby Kimonos.  This one will be for my next niece or nephew-to-be, who will be about six months of age come winter, and will need the warm sweater when he or she goes to the family cabin in the Sierras this winter.  I also set aside needles and pattern for a feather-and-fan baby hat, if I have any yarn left over from the sweater.

I also cast on a Palindrome Reversible Cable Scarf, which I’ll do in Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, colorway Lollipop.  This is a very simple project that will either end up as a gift to my tween niece or as a donation to our office’s silent auction for charity at Christmas.

And finally (finally!), I re-worked the Yarn Harlot’s Encompass cowl pattern to use some Cascade 220 handpainted yarn.  I plan to make two, and those are destined for Christmas presents.   More on how and why I re-worked it in a future blog post.

There’s no way that I’ll complete all of these projects while we’re on our road trip.  That’s not the point, really.  These projects represent most of what I plan to accomplish over the whole summer, and whatever jump start I can give them while we’re away is a bonus.

Internet access is going to be sketchy in the places we’re visiting, so I may not be able to post a blog for several weekends.  When I do, I’ll have (I hope!) lots of photos to show how these projects are coming along.

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1 Response to Casting On and On

  1. Connie Specht says:

    Your trip sounds wonderful…hope you get a chance to check out some yarn stores on your journey 🙂


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