Brain high

There is a theory that suggests  that one’s perception of the passing of time is influenced by the levels of dopamine in your brain. (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers).  It makes sense.  Remember the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”?

Yesterday, time flew.  I had a heavy morning, completing a task that I enjoyed, but also found challenging.  In the afternoon, an hour before I had to pick the young man up from school, I decided to give the brain a rest and do something relaxing.

Nothing currently on my needles was doing it for me.  Gemma is lovely, but the yarn is very smooth, the needles are slippery, and I’m finding it hard to cope with the excessive slippage that is occurring.  I think I’m going to have to change to less slick needles to make this project a bit more enjoyable.  I’m actually only about 15 rows from completing the body, so it’s time to get a grip.  In more ways that one!

The yarn of my current sock project is annoying me by being splitty.  I don’t remember it being this way before.  It might just be the way I’m knitting at the moment.

The baby cardi’s second sleeve is now at the point where I must concentrate and calculate pattern changes every four rows… not what I fancied for my tired brain.

The Sidelines Top is in cotton.  My wrists feel “ouchy” just thinking about it.

I’ve also been trying (very unsuccessfully) to design a shawl with a small amount of lace in it.  After hours of fruitless swatching, I’ve decided I’m not ready to design in lace yet, nor am I familiar enough with the construction of a shawl to be comfortable.  I admit defeat.  For now.

However, the desire to become more familiar with the basic construction of a shawl was strong.

Hehe!  Yes, I am very naughty.  I knitted a shawlette.  Time flew by.  Seriously, this shawl is a very fast knit.  It’s the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, a free pattern from Orange Flower.  As pictured in the pattern, the knitter only needs 200yds or so to complete this (that’s about one 100g skein of yarn), but I did one more repeat because I had a gigantic 200g hank, and a hankering for a larger shawl.

This shawl was the medicine that the doctor ordered.  It’s the whole package.  Instant gratification: 100%, cushiony, wonderful light worsted weight wool,  5mm (US8) needles, a fast, simple, easily memorised pattern.  And pretty, pretty colours to admire!

I think 100% wool of the non-machine washable variety has to be my favourite medium.  This is Perendale yarn from The Wool Company in the Autumn colourway.  It’s the NZ equivalent to Cascade, and I’ve just fallen in love with it all over again.  It feels so wholesome to knit, so comfortable in the hands.

My ultimate fantasy would be to buy a gorgeous 200g hank or two of each colour available, and bury myself in the pile.  That sheepy scent, bouncy softness, the cosy warmth of wool…  Aaaaah!!!!

A few notes:  I misread the pattern, and thought it said 24 stitches to 10cm.  No worries, I said, it will be fine.  I figured my gauge would be about 20 stitches, and I wanted a bigger shawl anyway.  But when I measured the shawl after blocking, it was only just to specs (I got 50″ wide, 18″ deep against 53″ wide and 15″ deep in the pattern).  What happened there?  Go back to pattern:  Ah… the usual order of stating stitch & row count was reversed.  It is supposed to be 18 stitches x 24 rows.  This makes a bit of a difference.  I should have knitted an extra two or even three repeats to make the shawl as large as I wanted it.  Ah well.

I don’t really care.  It will still be wearable, and the purpose of this shawl was a quick process knit – to decompress after an intense two-day period of concentration.  It did the job.  My brain is happy now.  🙂

18 thoughts on “Brain high

  1. That must’ve been a fast knit indeed! I’ll have to admit though, by brain probably would’ve oozed out of my ears if I had that much active knitting that needed focused on prior to the shawl. I’m glad you found something to make that you enjoyed and refreshed you 🙂

  2. So exciting – I am not having any love for my projects right now, but I have 2 gorgeous hanks upstairs from The Wool Co (drove like stink to get there before closing when we were driving down that way on Christmas Eve Day) and I didn’t want to knit them up only to give them away! Thank you for posting this – I’m going to start it right now! 🙂

    1. I’ll have to show this to my kids – see! I’m not the only one who times their drive to pass the Wool Co. when it’s open… ;-D Glad I gave you some inspiration. Have fun knitting it! I had about 40g – 50g left over of my hank (I haven’t weighed it, but it looks about that) so if you wanted to have a slightly larger shawl you’ll have plenty in one hank.

      1. Fantastic! I’ve just read that out loud to my husband, so he’ll (hopefully) forgive me for nearly sprinting out of the car and into the shop and leaving him to his own devices. 🙂 Thank you for all your fantastic posts! I really do enjoy reading them. 🙂

  3. I made that shawl in Noro Silk Garden. My first attempt at a shawl. I am very happy with it.I’m getting there with my lace one now I’m going 4 rows forward and one row back so am creeping towards the end. I’m knitting it in 100% bamboo but with all the unpicking I feel its loosing its sheen and looking rather stringy! Happy knitting towards your goal.

    1. My very first lace project was a bamboo scarf. I nearly went mad – just had no idea what I was doing! Bamboo is so slippery too. It put me off lace for a very long time after that. I think you’ll be very proud of your shawl when it’s done.

  4. I’m certain you’ll be designing lace in the not too distant future. I think that knitting something to understand the construction is a great way to learn. I find myself doing that all the time. And that shawl looks lovely to boot.

  5. The shawl looks fab! The yarn is beautiful.
    I wonder what is going on with your sock yarn – how do you think your knitting has changed to make it split?

    1. I think it was the angle of the needles going into the stitches. I knitted almost the entire foot this evening without mishap, so I suspect I was just being weird with the needles!

  6. Somethimes it just time to knit rather than knit to spec.
    Thank goodness ‘it’s only yarn’
    we can accept what we’ve knit or frog it ! ! !
    I’m going to download this one for my next ‘car knitting project’


  7. Okay, this is utterly amazing … yes, your shawl, but also the fact that I just put that pattern in my Rav library!! I’ve been itching to cast this lovely little shawl on my needles but I already have too many WIPs at the moment. But soon, very soon! Yours is gorgeous.

  8. I try to just read about knitting just to give my wrists a break, but that only makes me want to buy more yarn and knit more stuff!

  9. I have day’s when I desperately feel the need to make something, but finding something to fit the bill and suit my mood is sometimes nigh impossible………………… I go and eat cake! The shawl looks so cosy, the colour is perfect………I shall go and see if I have enough yarn for such a delightful creation. x

  10. I love those kinds of simple, therapeutic quick knits. It gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the act of knitting and just enjoy the process and the yarn. And that yarn is gorgeous! I’m not usually into variegated yarns, but those colours are beautiful. It sounds like an absolute treat to work with too.

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