I recently joined a year-long knitting/fiber-related KAL hosted on Flickr called ABC 2008. Participants are to post pictures which reflect a specific letter of the alphabet during each ~2 week period. I haven't posted my photos yet since i just got accepted, but my 1st one is ready and waiting: A is for Angel scarf knit out of Alpaca yarn with Amazing beaded tassels. How cool is that?
So, now I have letters on my brain...which brings me to my next New Years goal, which is to finally finish or frog all my ufos. And so the letter is R. R is for finally coming to the Realization that I Really don't like either option for finishing the blue MS3 stole that I started last summer during the KAL. And so Really, Really late last night I had a private Ribbit party to say farewell to the half-done stole and Reclaim the really beautiful cashmerino yarn for yet another lace shawl. The Release I felt while Rewinding the yarn was Really amazing. I am a free woman.
And so I am rethinking my relationship with online KALs, especially the "mystery" KALs where you have no idea what you are going to get. Well Forrest Gump, Life may be like a box of chocolates, but when I open that box from See's or Russell Stover's I have a fairly good idea of what's under that robe of chocolaty goodness. I know if it's a caramel or a cream or a nut cluster. That's more than you know with a mystery KAL. I really enjoyed knitting the MS2 the summer of 2006 and the Scheherazade Stole is among my most favorite projects knit to date. I'm also loving the Mystic Waters Shawl I'm currently knitting, but I know what the end looks like since I wasn't able to keep up with the speedy knitters in the group. But the fiasco of the MS3 KAL left me, and many others, more wary and less confident that the mystery will turn out to have a happy ending for us. For example, I didn't cast-on the SOTs stole last fall because I was 1) too busy with other projects, and 2)I didn't like the double pointed starting edge. Tincture of time let me know that the rest of the design wasn't my style either and I was glad I didn't jump in and blindly follow along. But... at the same time I didn't start Secret of Chrysopolis either, even though I liked the 1st clue. It's an awesome design that I hope to find time to knit one of these days.
Now the spring KALS are starting up and instead of 1 or 2 lace shawl KALs there are 5! I'm feeling the pressure to decide which one or two to knit, but if I knit the KALs I won't have time to knit other lace shawls on my wanna knit list. Now the not-knowing is stressful--it's no longer fun and adventurous for me. And after a little dialogue with some knitty friends (thanks Kat!) and with myself (yeah, I talk to myself--it's healthy!) I have granted myself permission to not cast-on any of the KALs when they start. if I'm ready for a new project and I like what I see in the KAL design, then I'll have the files saved and I'll cast-on and happily knit on. Whew!
Now, having said all that, the 1st two clue for Spring Shawl Surprise are out and I've checked the photo files...it's looking really great thus far! The shawl calls for skinny lace yarn and little needles which is right up my alley so I may knit it next. There's a bunch of knitted lace in the SSS, something I need more exposure to doing, so that adds to the appeal for me.