Whenever I don't knit for awhile, it always takes me awhile to regain my knitting mojo, for lack of a better, less dorky term, and my first attempts to pick up the needles again always feel clunky and awkward. Case in point: my tri-country Ishbel, to which I clearly did not pay enough attention during my intermittent attempts to pick it up while traveling through Vietnam and India (though partially this is because I crashed my motorbike directly onto my wrist and was a bit out of commission for a few weeks - though it's OK now!) After two days of dutifully working away at it here in Scotland, I finally had to come to terms with the fact that after three repeats of the charts, it looked nothing like the gorgeous Ishbels populating Ravelry. Not even a tiny bit. I've never been much of a lacy shawl knitter, so it's probably not surprising that I wasn't doing my best while trying to read a faded, crumpled pattern in a Mysore hotel room while deciding if I could justify ordering room service curry while watching reruns of last year's So You Think You Can Dance (I could, it turned out).
I'm too embarrassed to post photos of my terrible Ishbel, but - as much as I'd love to have a lovely knitted shawl I could say I worked on in three countries - I know that it's too far gone and that I'm going to have to just give in and frog the whole thing. My fear of frogging and all the wasted time it represents is one of the reasons I'm probably so willing to accept imperfection in my knitting projects, and though I'm typically fairly laid back about not being perfect, I do think that this time around, for myself, striving to get it right is the only way I'll ever be able to manage lace - otherwise I'll just end up with a closetful of horribly mangled shawls that even I'm embarrassed to wear in public. So a little perfectionism is a good thing, right?
In the meantime, depressed by my total loss of knitting mojo, I cracked open the only other project I had waiting for me in the UK. Months ago, when we were packing up and moving out of our house in Japan, I sent enough yarn for one Snowbird sweater to my boyfriend's Aberdeenshire home. I'm knitting it in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, which at the moment feels a bit scratchy, but which has a nice texture, particularly on the reverse stockinette in which most of the sweater is knit. Besides that, though, it just feels nice to be back in my knitting comfort zone, using nice familiar size six needles and being able to knit and watch TV again. Yay, sweater knitting!