Let me start by saying, August is always the best month because you typically have the most freedom when it comes to meeting the challenge. As I write this post, my August project is sitting in my bathtub. Admittedly, I was up until late last night working the final rows despite having five more days to finish it. The challenge was as follows:
1. Your project must use 800 or more yards in one single project, singly knit. (Singly knit means an 800 yard project as opposed to a 400 yard project with the yarn held double to use up 800 yards.)
2. To celebrate our science theme, your project needs to fit into one of the following categories of science: Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences, or Life Sciences. It can fit in there by pattern name, pattern design, pattern designer, yarn name, or yarn color.
3. Yarn for your project (800 yards) needs to be purchased from The Loopy Ewe, July 10, 2020 or later. If you purchase during Camp Store Week (July 10-17), you can request a 15% discount on the yarn for your project. You’ll need to leave us an order note with the name of the yarn that you’re using for your project, so we know where to apply your discount.
4. The project needs to be started August 1, 2020 or later, and finished no later than August 31, 2020, with a photo of the finished project uploaded to our Camp Loopy Photo Gallery on our website by midnight on September 1st. You upload the photo on your Loopy account page.
Usually, I read through the prompt and spend HOURS trying to decide what to make. Hemming and hawing about how I want to spend the last month because the yardage requirement is typically the largest. This year, however, I hoped that the final prompt would have something Geology related because I’ve had my project picked out since May.
Normally, I’m intimidated by Stephen West’s designs. They contain so many different colors and I have a hard enough time selecting colors for stripes. I’m not sure what happened this year, but suddenly I’ve been drawn to his shawls. Striped Esjan, Skystorm, and Mosaic Musings hit my queue one right after the other as they popped up in my instagram feed (West has put together some new kits over the last few months). When Lava Lake was released, I fell in love with it and was itching to cast on.
Camp got in the way of a speedy cast on. Between Precamp, June and July, my yarn budget, and knitting time, was focused. That and the hope that August would pose a challenge that Lava Lake would fit nicely into. 1647 yards later, it’s done.
As I mentioned before, I have a hard time choosing colors to put together. This isn’t because I’m bad with color, I love color. Blending it, making it pop, etc etc. The problem I run into is I have a hard time making a choice. This problem is worse when I shop online, and since I’m not local to The Loopy Ewe I had to bite the bullet and ask for help.
This is the part where I tell you that I love local(ish) yarn shops. Their attention to detail and their enthusiasm for what they do is truly remarkable. Not only did they politely point out why the colors wouldn’t work as well as I thought, to my credit it’s hard when you can’t put them next to each other, they took the time to find colors that did (thank you Sarah!). Sure, maybe that’s their job (after all I worked for a yarn store and it is what we did), but I still think it’s going above and beyond. Finding colors that suit someone else’s vision is a skill and I really appreciate(d) it.
So what’s the vote on Lava Lake now that it’s done? Honestly, I can’t really believe that it’s done. Lava lake provided me with a simple yet interesting project. The repeat was easy to remember, but the color changes and the shaping were engaging. Admittedly, last night I entered the knitter zen of “this is getting finished tonight” and this comes with “how many more rows do I have to do?”, but I was almost sad to finish casting off.
When I started this project, I kept thinking about how it might be fun to knit it all in one color. Now that it’s done, and I’m left trying to figure out what to knit next, I still think that might be a good idea.
We’re in the middle of fixing up our fixer upper, which is a fancy way of saying that my yarn budget and ability to take on complex projects, is small. I’m not sure what I’ll knit next, but at least there’s some beautiful yarn in my stash to help me get started.
Edit: Because I just laid the shawl out and am in love with how HUGE it is.