Fire knitting in Water country

We spent a lot of time near water last week. Lakes, ponds, streams, swamps, and a decent amount of rain.

I’m not sure what it means, then, that pretty much the only thing I knit was a pattern themed on fire.

Before we left, I dyed (or had dyed, since my history with green is hit-and-miss) a bunch of our Merino/Nylon Sock yarn for two projects: the Christmas mittens for the Liturgical Year series, and the Balrog Cowl, a test knit for Susan Pandorf’s Lord of the Rings collection.

My mistake was in casting on Susan’s project first. I’ve never done mosaic knitting before, so figuring it out was a fun challenge, then of course the graphical shape of the pattern kept me guessing. I think I would have enjoyed the mittens just as much, but I kept mucking up the gauge on the ribbing, and with two inches of ribbing in between me and the fun fair isle part, I just didn’t get there. Not with the Balrog’s fiery face shining up at me from the fabric, calling my name.

It turns out that hiking and exploring around don’t leave a ton of time for demanding, chart-reading knitting. But I read every night while we all read Harry Potter to each other, and during the car rides to different parks. By the time we got home, I was halfway finished. I’ve been stealing every minute I can since we’ve been back to work on it (preferably in 45-minute chunks, as I’m also finally watching the last season of Battlestar Galactica). I probably did the last third of it yesterday; I ended up staying up until 2 to finish it. I don’t even remember the last time a project had such a strong grip on me.

It’s blocking on the couch now. I keep reaching over and feeling it every few minutes, as if that will make it dry faster. I’ve no idea what it will look like to wear a piece like this, it’s so unusual. But it’s so beautiful, it doesn’t even matter; I’ll find a way.

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