I finished Stephen West's Clockwork yesterday (you can find it on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/clockwork).
I started this pattern in December. Some of you know that I've been suffering from debilitating tennis elbow since November - and by debilitating, I mean, not able to knit, throw pots, exercise, type, lift a coffee cup, put a sweater on over my head type debilitating (there will be another blog entry on THAT soon, all about what I've found helpful and not helpful).
After about a month of complete inaction, I did a google search for knitting and tendinitis, and came across a WONDERFUL technique called Portuguese Knitting (PK). In this style, your hands can actually rest in your lap and there is minimal movement of the fingers. It is easy-easy-easy on the body, and, as it turns out, easy to learn (previously, I knit in both the continental and the English style, and it is easier than either of those). I learned to knit PK style on this shawl, so the going was slow at first, but picked up speed as I got more and more used to it. Anyone with elbow/wrist/finger problems should at least look into this style of knitting - your body will thank you.
Right before Christmas, I was diagnosed with SVT - super ventricular tachycardia, a type of irregular heart beat which turns out not to be super at all, and because it causes me to pass out unexpectedly, had to be fixed. That happened on Friday - without a hitch. I spent the day in the hospital, and was home Friday night (yes, out patient heart surgery!) being taken care of by my two favorite people. It was a wonderful weekend of rest, movies (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest and Social Network), being waited on, and knitting! I finished Clockwork on Saturday evening, washed and blocked it on Sunday, and today, my last day of rest, I get to play show and tell.
One of the things that strikes me about hand knitting is how the garment we're knitting accompanies us through our life circumstances. This shawl came out so well, and I learned a new way to knit, while at the same time my physical body felt a bit like it was falling apart. Somehow, this scarf is the more special because of that.
The yarn that I used is sock weight alpaca, and it's knit on size 5 needles.
Jonathan in DC