Mixology Mayhem and Two Good Books

I’ve been wanting to make a Mixology (by Casapinka) for quite a while. One night I printed out the pattern, shopped the stash, gathered up some yarn, and casted on with a sense of reckless abandon. Great yarns, great colors, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would look as I mixed them up in the shawl.

Yarns for shawl.
Look at these happy colors. Won’t these be a lot of fun in the mash-up of Mixology

Okay, I have to be honest here; I just don’t do any swatching. Ever. I’m lazy. Maybe I need instant gratification. Anyway, I like to just throw the yarn onto my needles and launch into the project. Besides, how could these colors not work out?

The knitting has a lot of colors changes at the beginning. So far, looking good! MacKenzie: cat toy!! 
As I kept knitting I began to question my choices. Gee, the pink is awfully bright and the yellow variegated yarn isn’t really pulling its weight. Where did all of that green come from and where did the blue go? What can I actually wear this thing with in my closet? I should have asked myself that sooner, but in my defense, I was seduced by the yarn…

I ripped it off the needles and recycled all of the yarn. I was pretty cheerful about it. I had just bought a few new items for my wardrobe in indigo blue and thought that I should build a Mixology that would go with them. Back into the stash I dived…

Yarn for shawl.
There. Don’t these look like they would like to play with my new denim jacket and dress?
Here it is. Mixology 2.0. I love the colors. My best friend said something about it being dark, but I had faith in the colors to come. I went out to look at the shop sample to see how the whole color sequence would work out.

The shop sample was a lot smaller than mine. Like 6 inches smaller across then my knitting. Oh, oh. I was first drawn to the shawl/scarf because of the size of this sample. If it is too big it won’t work right. I checked my needle size and the pattern again. Yep. I was using the right needle. Then I checked the gauge. Holy smokes, who ever checks the gauge on a shawl? Well, it might have been nice if I had…

My best friend Deb helped me rip it all out. She’s fearless that way, and is know for her ripping (and cutting) episodes. Hmmm… what a good opportunity to make some yarn color changes. Since I just happened to be in a yarn shop…

Yarns for shawl.
Behold: Mixology 3.0. I added a couple of Baah! La Jolla yarns that added more variation and bridged the red and blue a little better.
I went down a needle size and I’m exactly at the gauge that I want. I just love how the colors are working together. It’s a keeper!

I’m approaching the half-way mark on the shawl now and the colors are working out great. I’m going to get a lot of use out of this, and I learned a lot while going through the process. As you can guess, it has taken several weeks to work my way through the different iterations of the Mixology, and there were some big breaks where I just lost myself into a book for an evening and let the knitting sit in a corner to think about what it had done for awhile.

Meet the knitting break books.

I read a lot, and I’m doing a reading challenge at Goodreads. With a sense of optimism I committed to reading 50 books this year. Book after book, week after week, I have been chomping my way through mysteries, science fiction and popular novels. I rate all of the books at Goodreads, and they almost always get 3 or 4 stars (out of a possible 5). I usually like all of the books that I read, and they certainly keep me entertained, but I long for a book that is well written, with characters of real depth, and a sense of magic. I don’t want to know where the book is going before I get there. I want to feel impacted by the book. I want 5 stars!

Well, during the various Mixology melt-downs and knitting breaks I found two treasures lurking in my Nook and on the bookshelf. Two remarkable books that deal with death and loss, family dysfunction, grief, crisis, and the eventual coming into their own of the young people who make their way through the emotional storms in each book. Seriously, I’ve been up half the night with each of these. I had no idea that they would deal with similar  subjects, but somehow I launched into them back to back, and will treasure each book for quite some time. Here they are: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.  I highly recommend both of these books.

You know, I did all of that knitting with yarns from the stash (until I got to the last version of Mixology), and both of those books have been with me for months. I need to toss the house to look for other treasures. I wonder what is in the fridge, although things abandoned there are usually dangerous. Still, I’m feeling really hopeful as I write this. I’m going to poke around in the kitchen as soon as I finish this. Chocolate. I bet there is chocolate down there.

Cat peaking from under blanket.
Yellow Boy: and maybe you could find us some cat cookies while you’re own there!!

Have a good rest of the week everyone.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

14 thoughts on “Mixology Mayhem and Two Good Books”

  1. The third version is perfect! I have to admit that I definitely did not care for the color choices in the first two at all, not that those yarns weren’t nice on their own…… I told myself that you must know what you were doing and it would probably be fine in the end but…… anyhow, I loved seeing your progression in the 3 versions and as I said, I love your final version. I will have to look into those two books that you mentioned.

    Oh, I don’t know if you are on instagram or not. I follow mostly knitters. Finfrost from Norway posted about rare disease day and she has started to honor it by putting a contrasting duplicate stitch ( just a single stitch) on her knitting projects to denote/honor/acknowledge rare diseases. I thought of you when I read that.

    1. Thanks. Now that I look at the first color choices I wonder what I was thinking of. Hey, it was late at night, I had a lot of yarn that I was sorting through, and I had the vision of the original sample that I saw in the store in my mind. I did much better when I made the colors my own and was mindful to what was in my closet.

      I am not on Instagram. I’ve never really looked at it, but maybe I should. I really like the idea of the one duplicate stitch to show off the “rare”. How fun. I’ll go looking for Finfrost now that you’ve told me about her.

  2. I love your final color choice! I like the others too though you were totally right about the pink and yellow in the first version.
    I never check gauge in socks or shawls but always in sweaters. Who’d have thought it would have made a difference.

    1. I know. Who checks the gauge in socks and shawls? I never really thought about it until I saw the sample in the store and realized how big a difference I had. My friend Deb also knitted with the size 5 needles and had to rip out because the shawl was getting too big. She is also going down a size or two to get the shawl closer to a nice shawl/scarf that will drape well around the neck.

      I’m so glad that you agree about the pink and yellow. They are still really nice yarns and I’ll find them the perfect project eventually. Especially that yellow mix which has a lot of spring colors in it. I hate to just use it for socks…

  3. Oh, I like the last Mixology. It is a bit brighter and should look greyt with denim. Yellow Boy looks as if he has not got his special cat blankie yet?!

    1. I am so happy with the new Mixology too. The third panel of blues is just perfect, and it will go great with the denims I want to pair it with. I have been knitting way too many hours a day because I am just dyeing to get to the next mix of colors. Now I’m thinking of a grey/plum/pink version of the Mixology like the sweater that you made. Must look for great yarns at Interweave.

      Yellow Boy does not have his blanket yet, and the two cats are fighting over the one that is already knit. Ugh. I hate to take a project break just to keep the two of them happy. I actually thought of handing over an old wool sweater that I don’t love all that much just to keep them out of the knitting. Good thing they are the best companions in the world!

  4. I like those first, two speckled yarns you had out. Sorry the mixology had its ups and downs. If I need a color palette I usually look on Pinterest and then look in my bins for choices.

    1. Pinterest. I am so afraid of Pinterest. I already go down the Facebook and Ravelry hole so often that I won’t have any day left if I let Pinterest in the door… 🙂

      I just love those first speckled yarns, too. They are ones that I have been saving for a favorite project, and eventually it will come along.

  5. I hope your treasure hunt is fruitful & that Mixology 3.0 goes swimmingly. I have a tendency to start projects like that (or should I say restart?) until I get it just right. And I’ve never swatched for a shawl, so I understand completely why you wouldn’t.

    1. I found Girl Scout cookies of the thin mint persuasion… very successful hunt! Glad I’m not the only one who just restarts projects. I’m all about the knitting, so it doesn’t bother me that it takes more than one start to get the final product that will be exactly what I want .

    1. Thanks! I know, the audacity of some of these yarns, misbehaving like that! Reckless almost always works for me, how dare the pattern turn and bare its teeth after all the time I spent petting it and feeding it treats…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: