My Herbivore shawl started like this:
Blue faced Leicester roving from FreckleFace Fibers in Firenze
I don’t exactly remember when I spun it (Rav says my stash page was updated on October 20, 2011, but it must have been sometime in the spring), but I felt victorious upon finishing this yarn. I wanted 400+ yards of thin 2ply and I got just that. This was also the first yarn that I spun exactly what I wanted to spin – usually my handspun is thicker or more uneven than I like. Spinning this yarn made me feel like I’m finally at the place where I can imagine a yarn and then spin it up (usually). I don’t have a picture of the finished yarn all skeined up, but trust me, it was pretty.
I cast on for Stephen West’s Herbivore shawl in the middle of a July heat wave. My thought was that since it would grow so slowly, I wouldn’t be working on the body of the shawl until after the heat had passed. And indeed I was correct.
I worked on this shawl, a row or two at a time, for the rest of the summer, autumn, and winter. It hibernated through frenzied Christmas knitting and witnessed the beginning of my foray into quilting. And yet I plowed on.
Fast forward to February 2012. Me, in my chair, in my pink gnome PJs, muttering under my breath as I unknit the hundreds of stitches in the last three rows for the second time. The first time it was because I hadn’t realized I’d come to the end of the yarn. I thought, “I’ll unknit this present row and then cast off,” forgetting that the pattern called for a garter stitch edge (which wouldn’t roll). Also, I didn’t realize that the little ball of yarn was way too small for casting off.
The second time I unknit those hundreds of stitches was when I realized the two things mentioned above. I confess to sitting in disbelief for a moment, and then knitting quickly to try to outrace the end of my yarn. You know the thought. “If I just knit as fast as I can, I will finish before the ball finishes.”
And that never works.
But after everything, it is done! And this is all the yarn that is left:
Barely even a yard. I’m calling it a success.