The Mongolian Tsuga Saga

by Lee Louise

S. is preparing to teach English in Mongolia for the next 18 months, and I wanted to make something to keep her warm.

Mongolian-Tsuga-9

I decided to make a Tsuga for her — http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tsuga — lacy, must be lacy, and since it is written for a DK weight yarn, I knew it wouldn’t take forever to finish. Since her departure date is in August, a realistic goal for completion was imperative. When I touched the Shibui Baby Alpaca, I recognized it as the Right Thing for S. Mongolia is a cold place. Alpaca is known for warmth, and since it is also soft to the touch, I knew it would keep me knitting. (Another motivating factor for choosing this yarn is that, since it has been discontinued, it was on sale. Even so, I got Sarah to commit to knit part of the shawl, if I needed her to.) I bought three skeins in the Honey colorway on June 25. Three because, since I didn’t have the pattern with me at the yarn store, I needed a generous estimation. In actuality, it took 2 1/2 skeins, so, while I bought enough, I didn’t buy too much.

On June 28, the internet went down. No blogging. No Ravelry. No gaming. No Netflix. And so, I did my garter tab cast on with a provisional crocheted chain. That wonderful Shibui Baby Alpaca met all my expectations for softness and warmth. By bedtime, I had reached row 11 of Chart A.

On July 4 a thunderstorm took out the internet again, and my holiday was wasted. No internet, so once again… No Ravelry. No Netflix. No online computer games (my game of choice being Maple Story). But it did give me plenty of knitting time, and I neared the end of Chart C during the closing credits of Star Trek: Into Darkness. The recent passing of Anton Yelchin (Chekhov) had precipitated a compulsion within me to watch all of his movies. So young, so talented. Such a tragic accident.

On July 5 we finally got our internet back. It had been out for 28 hours. How did we LIVE before internet???

By July 15, I had knit almost to the bind off. (I ended up being greedy, and Sarah did not get a chance to knit a single stitch on the Tsuga after all.) But I stalled on the bind off… I have knit other lace shawls, and had never found a bind off that I was happy with. I fussed, and fiddled, and hemmed and hawed. (Maybe I should have had Sarah do the bind off?) After some research, though, I completed the bind of on July 19. Definitely worth looking at!!

Mongolian-Tsuga-5

On July 31 I gave S. the shawl. What a beautiful picture:

She may send some more snaps from Mongolia… Mongolia… See that she dresses warm.

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