It was a beginner's mistake.
I thought, Oh, I will knit lace, and I will use this lovely twilight-colored misty yarn.
(I may have mentioned that I have a thing about saving money on yarn. I feel there's a particular creative alchemy in creating something wonderful from something that didn't cost very much. When I buy really expensive yarn, I get nervous. As a result I regularly buy whole bags of yarn at yarn sales and from Knitpicks. That, I can justify. So it's really no big deal that I have four large boxes of yarn in the top of the closet. I just think of the money I saved on it.)
Anyway, I bought this.
Then I picked out a beautiful lace pattern and sat down to knit my first lace shawl.
I didn't have any problems; I zoomed along; I kind of enjoyed the process.
A big part of my enjoyment of knitting lies in my sensuous delight over what I've already knit. I like to spread it out, touch it, feel it, look at it as I go. Call it my own take on process knitting.
Now, I know lace does not really reveal itself until it's been blocked.
But even a mother has trouble loving THIS.
The problem, obviously, is that in my inexperience I chose the wrong yarn. I think variegated lace is fine, but when it goes from white to dark blue like this you can't see the pattern at all. And while I rather like the speckly effect the variegation makes on the sides, the pooling in the middle, and the stripes around the border, are just plain ugly.
Now, I know exactly how to fix this. When this lovely shawl is done, before blocking it is going to have a little bath in some blue dye. (I may even graduate from Kool-Aid to real, grown-up dye.) That should take care of the contrast problem and help the pattern to pop - right now you can hardly see it at all! - while retaining enough variegation to be interesting. (And if I hate that, I'll just overdye the whole thing black.)
The problem is that I have to finish it before I can do that. But I'm only about 1/3 through, and I tell you, it is hard to stay motivated with a project you don't enjoy looking at. A finicky, high-maintenance project you don't enjoy looking at.
Now, however, comes the slog-along - a chance to come clean and, I hope, find some moral support as I continue to slog toward the finish. I know it's going to be worth it when it's blue. And done.