Meet Haruni

Here she is. In all her lacy, Pennsic knitting glory. I give you, Haruni.
Pattern: Haruni (Ravelry Link)
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Iris Heather (2 skeins, 462 yards)
Needles: 3.75mm straights but I had to switch to a circular by Chart B.

I love this shawl. No really, I love this shawl. It was a big stressor to begin with. There were constant reports on Ravelry of people running out of yarn at the very end. When I ordered my yarn at the beginning of the year, the pattern was new enough that such problems had not surfaced yet, so I just ordered the two balls the pattern required, and it went into the stash. It was not until right before Pennsic when I re-read the page that I saw the designer had upped the yarn requirements in response to people running out of yarn; she upped the requirement to 20 yards more than I had.

To add to my stress, I had originally planned to knit this shawl on 3.75mm needles instead of the 3.5 mm needles recommended by the pattern. Why? Because I am a tight knitter. Really tight. I generally have to go up a needle size in most patterns because I knit so tightly. So, you would assume that between realizing the yarn I had might not be enough as the pattern was written, and the added yarn that would be used by going up a needle size, that I would alter my plans and drop back to a 3.5mm needle to play it safe, right?

Not me. I played the knitter’s version of Russian Roulette. I ordered this yarn 8 months ago. There was no way on earth I could get any more yarn in this exact dye lot, so it was do or die. I knew I would either suffer epic defeat or come out with the knitting goddesses smiling on me. I cast-on on 3.75 mm needles and made sure I kept my typically tight gauge. When I got to the last purl row before the crochet cast-off, I was sweating it; there was not at ton of yarn left in my lap and I didn’t know how much would be used up in the cast-off. I even gave serious consideration to skipping that last purl row and casting off on the last knitted row of the pattern. But I pulled up my big girl panties and went for it. This whole shawl had been do or die from the get-go, and I finished the last purl row, crocheted myself into a cast-off, and viola, was left with a bit of yarn left over.
It is beautiful and I don’t mind saying so. I will not be humble about this. I made this. Every last stitch was my effort and I am proud to say I have the skills to work such beauty. It will be a Christmas gift for Anna-Jean, my mother in law, who I hope will find it beautiful as well.

So even though I was not at Pennsic long enough to be in tons of pictures, I did make it into a few, and the first picture I saw of myself actually startled me. Let me demonstrate to you why, as I post a picture taken of me at Pennsic 2009, next to the one taken on Sunday, August 8th.
Melisent in 2009
Melisent in 2010
The picture from 2009, where I am wearing the pink Roman garb, horrified me last year. I was already in the throes of contemplating gastric bypass, but that picture was so shocking and upsetting to me that it helped solidify my decision. I mean, I knew I was big. I knew at that Pennsic that moving around had gotten painful and challenging. I knew I was barely able to armour up, and I only made it into one battle last year because my armour fit so poorly and my endurance was such that walking from our camp to our dayshade exhausted me. I just had not seen through the lense of a camera just how awful I really looked. I was so ashamed of what I had become and that photo brought me to tears.

I am sure my campmates grew sick of hearing about it this year, but I kept thanking God I had gone through with my surgery at Pennsic this year. I was able to be active, I was able to work very hard, and I was able to roam around Pennsic, walk back up the hill to camp, and then back down the hill and back around Pennsic as much as I desired too. I was not limited by my horribly painful feet and ankles. I was not winded walking up the slopes. I didn’t leave the war feeling over-taxed and injured (though I am having a problem with my back).

I came home and weighed in 7 pounds less than when I had left for Pennsic, at a nice 171 pounds. I was probably about 270 last Pennsic. Officially, I am 3 pounds from having lost 100 pounds total. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity and I really feel like I have been given my life back.

Gastric bypass is not for everyone; it is a challenge and it is life altering, both in good and bad ways. I am so very very thankful that it was for me and that I have had such success thus far.

Next up: it’s time to rebuild my armour and get back into it.


One response to this post.

  1. You and the shawl are beautiful and you should be proud of both!


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