Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Curse of Rowan

So you may or may not remember my trip to Scotland last year, where I spent my life savings on Rowan and met Ysolda Teague. Some of the Rowan that came home with me is slowly turning in to Seascape by Kieran Folly, the other (3 skeins of Colourscape) taunts me from my stash.
The thing about Rowan yarns (you could say the curse of them) is that you can't make something mediocre with Rowan. Okay. You totally CAN make something mediocre with Rowan. But your very average project will always taunt you. You knitted it into something just to knit it. You didn't wait. You didn't hunt. You didn't strive for the perfect project that will make your Rowan shine like a diamond. And so you end up with a crappy scarf that only uses a fraction of what you just bought and had to throw away clothes in the Birmingham airport to bring back with you. And not just any clothes- your very favorite Purdue Repertory Dance Company hoodie and a rugby shirt from the year your team made it to state. So this project better be flippin' awesome. But the point is, you've got a mediocre scarf out of Rowan that you bought in Scotland. The day you met Ysolda Teague. It's like giving a homeless person a squirt of Chanel number 5. It's just offensive to Rowan. So you frog crappy scarf and check Ravelry to see what everyone else is making with their Colourscape. And you look and look and look and finally say, "Seriously? You're making CAT BEDS out of ROWAN?" Now I love my kitty-babies to death, but I have a hard time buying rowan for myself, not to mention FELTING (shudders) and giving it to a cat who will never appreciate the magic of rowan or the potential the yarn had until it was kitty-pied and felted.

Crappy scarf was frogged and reskeined and put in to a dark corner where I hoped to forget about it for a while. Except it didn't work. This trick tends to work with entire sweaters' worths of Cascade 220 that you may be feeling a little buyer's remorse from (why did I need that much orange again?) but the Rowan sat there. I told it to marinade a little longer until it told me how to use each and every one of my 3 beautiful skeins, but it just taunted. It seriously and honestly stressed me out. So I bought another skein. Surely I can do something with 4? I tried a mediocre top-down cardi, but the rowan just didn't shine like I knew it could. So I bought another with the intention of making a fun turtleneck with a big cable running down the front (but not the middle). And that was only mediocre too. And so I frogged it again and let it sit in the dark corner again amongst the single skeins of this and that and that bright orange Cascade 220. And then it hit me! I have enough for a sweater, but I should totally make it a shawl! So I casted on some fan and feather and knitted. And you guessed it- BOring. Back in the dark corner. At this point I considered selling the whole lot of it for something ridiculously low so it couldn't taunt me whenever I went in to my studio looking for that phantom size 7 dpn or a tape measure. And then on Sunday morning at the butt crack of dawn, I rolled away and swatted at a kitten that was telling me she was hungry and then thought...ENTRELAC! I wrote it down on a post-it because I tend to forget seriously awesome ideas that are born out of sleep deprevation. (That being said, most of the time I wake up and read these post-its, only to find that they said totally stupid things like "carrot hat" or "un-nose jobs") But there it sat- Rowan Colourscape- Entrelac shawl. And I think (but I can't be sure yet) that I absolutely love this entrelac shawl and this will be the end of the Rowan curse. Here's the shawl with Baaaarbara McFleece, the Highland lass that I also picked up that day. At the same store, too!

****You're totally allowed to think that my entrelac is ugly and that I should have made a felted cat bed, just don't tell me. At least for a while. Let me bask in wrap-love for a little while first.
******By the way, all of the shawl pictured is after the first skein. It's a pretty generous hank, should you be wondering how far each of these five skeins will go. I'm pretty sure they will be a generous sized wrap, but I have an extra skein on hold just in case.
And for the nature/Madeline lovers out there (I know I can't be the only one!):


Jaclyn Bailey said...

If you finish that entrelac wrap and don't love it I will buy it off you. Seriously.

Also I seriously need to give entrelac another try. I loved the scarf I was making. To bad the person I was making it for didn't love it!

Paige Darling said...

Take it back! And I'm loving this way too much to sell it. It's one of those projects where you can't wait to finish and hope it never ends at the same time.

And I've never been to the Pacific NW. Not a bad idea...

musewings said...

It is absolutely breathtaking. So is the lily of the valley. Our birth flower, you know.