My knitting plans have been forcefully abandoned. I had some very interesting and specific plans for my knitting this month and within 24 hours I dumped them all by the side of a dusty road in favor of the bright lights of a new cast on. What could possibly have enough impact to pull me away from my intelligently charted path? It's a mystery. No seriously, it's a mystery Knit Along called The Doodler by Stephen West of West Knits.
Though I do love the art deco, geometrically inspired patterns like Spectra and Rockefeller, I do not pretend that I understand all of his work. Some of them are just too "out there" for me, but the same can be said of all high fashion. I strongly feel that without people pushing the boundaries of what we understand in art, technology, and science, we would not grow. So I don't feel I have to understand all of Stephen West's neon explosions of pattern to appreciate his ability as a designer.
The suspense for this mystery KAL has been building around me for weeks. Online people debated what colors to use. Even at my more conservative local knit night I was asked if I was participating as they chose colors. Still, I resisted. I had no interest in knitting something so huge, using nearly 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn, for a pattern I had not seen. I was more than happy knitting away on my lovely golden sparkle yarns, knitting a row and then stopping to admire the yarn glowing with warmth in my hand.
Slowly Instagram started filling my feed with pictures of beautiful butterfly wings of the first clue of #TheDoodler (I warn you not to look if you want to be surprised). Then a customer bought three skeins of yarn from me in a beautiful combination. I started to hope that this yarn was destined to be a Doodler and as we chatted through email she confirmed that was exactly where the yarn was headed. I started to look around my office hung with yarn and put together combination after combination of colors for this shawl. Finally I snapped. I had to cast on. I had to see how my colors would combine in this new pattern before I saw the shawls completed by others online.
I grabbed my favorite deep purple, Knight Bus Escape, the bright teal of Acid Peacock, and an impossibly bright Sun on Your Face yellow as the accent. As my own butterfly wing emerged, I was pulled further and further into the obsession to knit this shawl. The second clue came out before I was finished with the first, but I was determined to press on as fast as I could. I knit nearly 400 yards in less than a week.
As I looked over the instructions for clue 2, I was dumbfounded. What on Earth have I got myself into? Could I really put my knitting blindly in the hands of a man dancing around Amsterdam in a onsie??? I couldn't work out how this new technique would work with the beautiful wing of the first clue but as I knit, my doubts melted away. Stephen West, lead on and I shall follow prancing through the streets swinging neon yarn before you.