A Series of Unfortunate Events

It started well.  I agreed to knit an item for someone, we had a fun and exciting discussion about patterns and yarn, and I was eager for the challenge this scarf would be.  It kind of went downhill from there.

First, I had to cast on, knit a while, and frog everything back no less than 3 times. That’s never on my fun list.

Second, it was my first big girl experience with lace knitting on a large scale. I’m very familiar and comfortable with the kind of lace that has extreme complexity on the right side, and “rest rows” of plain stitching on the back.  Until this project, I was pretty wet behind the ears with huge sections of knitting complexity on both sides. It was a very good learning experience, and I would have no problem doing it again, but the learning curve had to be steep for this. I learned a lot about reading my knitting in lace construction, and that’s a valuable skill.

Third, through nobody’s fault, it happened to be one of those seasons of life when quiet, solitary blocks of time were few and far between, and there was some hard stuff going on. Such is life.  Sometimes knitting can be a therapeutic and productive escape from life stresses, and sometimes I do an altogether too good a job of bringing the stress into the knitting time and ruminating and stewing over it rather than relaxing. I’m thankful the tension is nice and even, because goodness knows there’d be excuse for some very tight knitting in there.

Fourth, this project “outed” a sensitivity that had remained secret until now. I’ve learned that sensitivity to alpaca yarn isn’t that uncommon, and it appears I’ve joined that club. Folks aren’t sure whether it’s the fiber itself or the chemicals used in the processing of it that are the troublemakers, but the effects to my skin, eyes, and breathing parts are enough to convince me to put this particular yarn in the “avoid” pile and to be very careful about considering another alpaca project, at least for a long while.  It’s too bad, because I love the softness and lightness of it…it’s a wonderful fiber, and the animals are so cool.

Fifth, all of the above conspired to make this a project that I didn’t work on as diligently as I should have, and I hate being a slacker.

So, through a series of unfortunate events (my kids love those books), this turned out to be one of  the least happy projects I’ve done in a long time.  The magic of blocking and the discovery of what was being created under all those circumstances let it all end on a positive note, though…I like how it turned out.


7 thoughts on “A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. Mama Mentor

    So sorry alpaca is a problem for you. I prefer it greatly because I have a sensitivity to wool–not an all-out allergy, but it definitely makes me feel itchy and out of sorts. So I use alpaca a lot. Not sure how to deal with the stretchiness issue though. I find that large things knitted out of alpaca tend to sag . . .

    1. Kiersten Post author

      I love how alpaca feels…I’ve not met its match for softness and lightness. Maybe it will be a weird freakish thing, and I can pick up some alpaca again after a while.

  2. Jeanne

    Absolutely gorgeous! It sounds like this was a challenge all the way around – but it must make you feel even better when you look at it and realized everything you had to get through to finish it. Great job!

  3. TheBon

    Alpaca cloud is one of two alpaca yarns I’ve found that doesn’t bother me. I know my issue is the chemical processing because I have no issues with raw unprocessed alpaca fleece.


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