A trip to a Retreat requires new knitting, a simple, easy, enjoyable project, as talking with friends is of the utmost importance even (or especially) at a knitting retreat.
Elizabeth Zimmermann's large square Stonington Shawl has been on my radar for many years, but the yardage requirements were daunting and the overall size of the project was too large for my taste. Jared Flood's Quill, a beautiful, and smaller, square shawl inspired by EZ, made the project feel more manageable. The inside square of Quill, knit in garter stitch, fit my needs perfectly. I even felt inclined to learn a new provisional cast on.
Since the provisional crocheted chain has never been a comfortable method for me to use, I turned to a book I knew could teach me something new, Cast on, Bind Off. The first provisional cast on the book showed was exactly what I wanted. When the author suggested using the cord of a circular needle instead of waste yarn, I knew I'd found the answer. (I also found an on-line tutorial of the method here.)After working on the rhythm of twisting the working yarn around the needle just so, and getting the feel of using a cord instead of waste yarn, I was able to cast a bunch of stitches. When I decided to knit back through the loops on the cord, to make sure I liked the way the provisional edge looked, I was thrilled to see it worked perfectly! Quill was an excellent project for Retreat and learning the cast on feels like a feather in my knitting cap! Yay for me!