I recall seeing this pattern (“Celestarium“) published in an online knitting magazine a year or two ago, and though I thought it was a neat idea to capture the constellations in a knit to sweep across one’s shoulders, I honestly wasn’t moved enough by the pattern itself to want to knit it.
However, when a certain knitter made some excellent modifications to the pattern (lose the yarn-overs, swap out the edging for something a little fancier) I certainly took notice. This was a shawl worth knitting, I thought.
I won’t say this was a light-hearted, mindless knit (though it is a great deal of monotonous stockinette); it certainly gave me an issue here or there. First with the really fiddly cast-on: a circular cast on is tricky enough, but when you add beads in to the mix it becomes twice as challenging. My circular cast on is pretty flawed, as you can see, but I can’t be bothered with absolute perfection. I like a little bit of wabi-sabi in my knits.
Up until now I had left the beads off all of my knitted projects – I was much too intimidated to give it a try. And after finishing Celestarium, I realize it is really quite simple! I think there are a few ways to do this, but I place each bead on the yarn as I knit along, using a tiny crochet hook. There are a few videos on youtube that do a pretty good job of showing the way.
I had been knitting steadily on this, a bit every day (whilst binge-watching Hannibal…oh what a lovely, baroque, grotesque show!) and in time I finally reached the bit of the pattern where the edging is begun. It slowly dawned on me that I am 2/3 through my last skein of yarn…and there may not be enough to complete the project. At this point I am prey to the most dangerous kind of wishful thinking, “oh yes, yes, I am going to make it, there is enough yarn& etc.”…and as a friend perfectly summed up…watching the yarn run down as the project grows is like playing the *slowest* game of chicken. And you will always lose.
Of course, I am a terribly loosey-goosey knitter and never knit to gauge (gauge swatches? pffft!!) and it was inevitable that I did indeed run out of yarn. If you are the same sort of …hm…freespirited(!) knitter, and you are knitting with modifications, I might suggest ponying up for an extra skein of whatever yarn you are using. Luckily, it was easy enough to find more of what I needed and though I know it was a different dye lot, I can’t tell the difference at all.
And so, with very little fanfare I finished Celestarium after watching a movie about moon Nazis last evening, around midnight. This morning I woke with the sun, gave her a soak and pinned her out, and that is that.
To what far reaches will this starry space babe travel? I wonder….
Pattern: Celestarium, by Audrey Nicklin
Yarn: 3 (and very little of a 4th) skeins of Madelinetosh merino light in “dirty panther”
Needles: I switched back & forth so many times, I cannot remember. Sizes 2-4
Started: March 28, 2014
Finished: June 7, 2014.