In search of Serenity

This ought to look familiar if you’ve been following along lately:




Yes, that is the Serenity Shawl. And yes, it is STILL the Serenity shawl, despite its first appearance way back when.

Author’s Note: It is 5:28 PM Monday night, and I am just about to publish this post. I went back in search of the first post about this shawl, which I figured ought to have been out around November 2015…only to find that, although I had written the post, I had never finished it and pushed Go. Thus, there is no previous, information-rich post to link to with things like the pattern name and What In Heck Is That Gorgeous Yarn.

I am really, really tired. I shall amend this egregious error in the next post. Promise.

Right after I fire my editor.  😉

From the looks of things, it does’t appear that I have made very much progress in the intervening weeks. This is not for lack of trying, mind you. This is one of two projects I carry with me everywhere, and work on in odd moments. It’s easy, and the pattern is pretty enough to make other folks think I am quite clever to be knitting it.

Uh, no. No cleverness here. I am not sure there has even been much Working on the Correct Side of the Piece, as lately, I have found odd holes and bits that look suspiciously like short rows in places where no short rows ought to be. And certainly, there has not been much Careful Reading and Following of the Pattern, because I sometimes wonder if I have gotten my knitting projects mixed up and am knitting the chart for my socks onto the shawl, while my socks are turning into very pretty lace floral accessories.


Unfortunately, I have been rather mindlessly repeating my lack of clever over the past bit of time: pick up the project after a few days; study it for a few minutes to see where I think I might be in the pattern; figure out where I think I might go next; knit, yarn over, decrease, and purl for a while; stuff the thing back into the bag when Life or dinner intervenes; and rinse repeat. Eventually, after working a lot of promising-looking rows, I lay the shawl out on my knee to admire the pattern, only to find little or no relationship between the Real True Chart and whatever my stitches are up to.

I knew I had hit a crisis point when I finally, FINALLY thought I had my groove down, only to be brought back to earth with a most ungroovy thud. Attempting to thwart my overblown Knitting Ego  (“oh, THAT? That’s only seven rows and eleven stitches wide, I can remember that, no problem.”), I made a wee copy of just the chart and pinned it to the inside of my project bag, thereby, I hoped, putting said Knitting Ego in her place.

To my credit, I actually did manage to set aside Le Ego long enough to check the wee chart copy now and then. However.

I found, after one particularly curse-filled inspection session, that I had been looking at the wee chart copy Upside Down.

It might not have mattered. I badly wanted it not to matter, in fact. Except that, of course, in this case, it did matter.

K2tog upside down? Is an ssk.

Rippity rip rip rip.

I have not yet found my serenity. There is still hope, however. I redid the little chart for my project bag, this time writing TOP in red ink across the appropriate side of the paper.

I will finish this shawl. Whatever, and I do mean whatever, it takes.


Author’s Note The Second: I already told you about knitting from the upside down chart, didn’t I? Well, well. Um. Sorry. I hope that I at least told the story better the second time ’round.

Here, let me distract you with photos of adorable fibre animals…

Alpacas Disguised as Chispas

It was a gorgeous sunny, if bitingly cold, day last Saturday, and Melody and I could not bear to be inside another minute. We bundled up in our adorable matching down coats (they had purple, black and brown, what colour would YOU pick?) and drove down the road to the 15th Annual Alpaca Ontario Show, which bills itself as the largest Alpaca show in Canada. Given the sheer numbers of alpacas in attendance (over 200), whose owners brought them from places as far away as Vancouver and Alberta, it would seem the billing may have been a tad modest, perhaps.


This little one looks just like my Ravelry ravatar!

What I did not get were photos of the alpacas being shown in the arena. I’d never watched alpaca judging before, so I sat for a while and quickly became fascinated, pulled in by the personalities of the people as well as the animals. I rooted (quietly) for my favorites, and was glad when one of them won first prize in one of the categories.


While trying to take a photo of this young lady…


…it appeared someone else wanted their photo taken, too.


Here’s your own solo portrait, my friend. Smile for the camera!

One of the folks showing an alpaca was a small lad of about five. His alpaca, a small juvenile, towered over him, despite Young Lad’s swanky, too-large cowboy hat and authentically dusty boots. I do wish I had gotten a picture at the end, when the top judge asked everyone to give the little fellow a special round of applause for his showmanship and accomplishment at this, his very first show!


The Spice flows strongly through this one…

I am so glad my iPhone cannot talk. If it could, it would be mocking me: “Enough alpacas already! You’ve filled up the entire cloud with pictures of the beasties, and they all look the same! C’mon, admit it: You’ve taken at least two photos of every single alpaca in the barn.”

I can neither confirm nor deny this remark.


There is one in EVERY crowd.


About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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3 Responses to In search of Serenity

  1. suezensea says:

    OMG!!! Such luxurious eyelashes on the last Alpaca! Cuteness!!!


  2. Anniebee says:

    It was so lovely to run into you and Melody at the alpaca show! Hope life, and kittens, are treating you well.


  3. Tamara says:

    Any chance you’ll be at Rhinebeck this year? Two of my knitting buddies and I have finally committed to going, and it would be wonderful to see you there. That reminds me, I’ll need a ‘Rhinebeck sweater’, won’t I???


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