Why? Two reasons.
First, I find that there are shawls that I really want to be working on right now, but I can't because I feel guilty for leaving the current WIP's alone to languish in my project basket. Just as the knitting project list (you remember, the one I tossed a few months ago...) led to a big, fat knitting slump because of the 'should be's' it created, the pile of barely started shawls is making me want to chuck my laceweight into the nearest river.
Second, you just never know what your gauge is going to do over time. I am acutely aware of the fact that I've had at least one major shift in my personal knitting tension over the last year or so, and I worry that if I leave a project sitting for too long than it's going to be a mess of different gauges when finished.
I decided this evening that the smart thing would be to frog one or two of those shawls. The most obvious choice is my Hanging Garden Stole. The pattern is by Sivia Harding, and I purchased my copy back when it was available from KnitPicks. In fact, the yarn I am using is Alpaca Cloud by KnitPicks, a spectacular laceweight alpaca in softly heathered colors.
Sadly, I cast on at the end of February, and have not been able to complete more than you see above. Even worse, this is my second attempt at this shawl...the first having been destroyed in an unfortunate skunk incident at my parents' home last summer.
If I am honest, I will admit that a lot of my problem with this shawl is simply that I detest knitting plain rectangles. Of the three I've completed, each had some sort of interesting design element - be it a knit on boarder, asymmetrical shaping and design, or interesting construction - that have made them a joy to knit. As beautiful as this stole is - and it is VERY beautiful - it is nothing more than a plain rectangle.
I will put the yarn back in my stash and let go of this project for a while. I may come back to it later...or I may not. We'll see.
There is great freedom in letting go sometimes, and it is definitely time to let go of this one.