I always have a relaxing project ready for the times when I am in between designing or gift making, or for when I am unable to give an intricate project my full attention. Summertime is the perfect time to indulge in this kind of knitting. The name Plan B is not meant to downgrade its status—in fact, it is usually one of my favorite projects to work on. I almost always design my own knitting and needlework projects, but sometimes it is so nice to be able to enjoy another designer's good pattern, and to savor the knitting process, and working with wonderful yarn. I try to select a pattern that is challenging enough to capture my interest, yet rhythmic enough to not require deep concentration. It needs to be portable, so I avoid color work, or non repeating lace patterns, or bulky sweaters. I always enjoy selecting the bag that will house my Plan B project, because it will travel with me everywhere, and I am delighted by bags that are the ideal mix of form and function.
My current Plan B project is another lovely Something Borrowed Shawl by Kathy Lang I prefer to call it a wrap, because of its rectangular shape. I love to work on triangular and arc shaped lace shawls and have knit a number of them, but I have realized that I rarely wear them, but I always reach for the rectangular shawls, and keep one in my summer handbag for summer evenings, or air conditioned restaurants. I find the lure of lightweight yarns irresistible, and as Elizabeth Zimmermann famously put forth in A Knitters Almanac, a shawl is perfect vacation knitting— not heavy to carry, and it affords you so much relaxing and rewarding knitting time.
I have knit Something Borrowed once before ( pictured above), and I left off the nupps, as at the time I wanted something more contemporary, but this time I am including all of the nupps except for the ones at the very outermost edges of the shawl. I have made the shawl wider by adding repeats of the lace pattern. It is a well written and charted pattern. I am knitting this wrap in a neutral creamy white that I can foresee wearing over my shoulders as a shawl year round , or as a scarf with my dress coat in the winter. The yarn that I used for both versions is the amazing Forest Hills by Cascade Yarns— a wonderful mix of 51% Silk/49% Merino Wool yarn. I started the white wrap in April, and have it ready to bring with me to every destination, from a lunch break to weekend trips. I work on it sporadically, and is often the case with my “travel knitting” I often knit happily while conversing, only to have to rip some of it out when I go home.
It is a pleasure to work leisurely, with no deadline in sight, and, once again, I am enjoying this pattern tremendously. I have my project and yarn in a Ziploc bag for protection, and carry a crochet hook and small double pointed needles (for mistakes), locking markers, and the pattern. I also carry Post It notes or highlighter tape to highlight the row I am working on. Even if I am busy, and can't make much progress, I always look forward to completing a row or two.
Confidentially, most Plan A projects are work knitting designs, but I always look forward to discovering a Plan A project that tempts me, whether I am on vacation or just travelling out of town, when I stroll into an unfamiliar LYS, and find a "souvenir" design that I just can't resist. And then my Plan A project wins, and I put my Plan B project aside, knowing I will have plenty of opportunities to pick it up again very soon! Do you have a Plan B project?