Thursday, April 20, 2006

Running to stand still

That's how I'm feeling right now. Somehow, almost a week has gone by and I haven't posted on the blog once. The only excuse I can offer in mitigation is that I have been knitting my way out of the now familiar black hole.

I've finally reached the border of the Garden Shawl. There are 189 stitches on each side plus 17 stitches in each flower panel section. A grand total of 824 stitches. The leaf edging chart varies between 14 stitches and 19 stitches and is attached to the body of the shawl with K2tog every second row. Even those of you who are as maths-challenged as I am will be able to work out that there is a heck of a lot of shawl to attach the border to.

This is an idea of how far I have got:

All looking a bit like pink dental floss that a chimpanzee has been playing cat's cradle with.

Here's a close up on the border. I've tried to pin it out a bit to give a better idea of the glory:

There is still a long way to go and as it is quite fine work, I am really only able to work on it during the hours of daylight and not while I'm watching the snooker either!

Snooker-watching knitting is the Kimono Jacket from "Shadow Knitting" by Vivian Hoxbro. This is coming along quite well.

I've just got to the point where I add on almost 100 stitches on each side and "continue in pattern as set". That always strikes terror into my heart. What if I miscount? What if I'm doing a knit when I should be doing a purl? (Or is it just a case of "Knit the Knits and Purl the Purls"?) I counted and re-counted, then I counted it one more time. I took the plunge and all is well. I am, indeed, continuing in "pattern as set". I need to work about 100 rows on 300 stitches. Good job the snooker's on for another two weeks!

Flapping about in cyberspace on the blogs I read, I came across "One Row Wednesday" on Ann's blog over in Colorado there. The basic idea is that on one day in the week you do at least one row on all the WIPs that are clouting round the house.

I tried to be a good girl and did a few rows/rounds on at least four WIPs but the thing I am most proud of is that I repaired the disaster on the Irish Diamond Shawl. I made this shawl (from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls") ages ago and when I came to block it, I was a little over-enthusiastic and managed to break the yarn at the cast-on edge (which also happens to be the neck edge). I was so appalled, shocked, annoyed and traumatised that I bundled the whole thing into a bag, thrust it deep into the knitting box behind the sofa and tried to forget about it. During my casting about for WIPs to add to the One Row Wednesday pile, I came across the Irish Diamond.

Here's the problem:

Thankfully, I had plenty of yarn spare. I undid a bit more of the cast on edge (so I had enough to weave in the ends), put all the now live stitches on a dpn, took some spare yarn and a crochet hook and did what I believe is called Single Crochet to fasten off the stitches. Here's the result:

I don't think it looks too bad. The whole thing - the repair at the neck; the sewing in of a stray stitch that I discovered; the weaving in of the ends; - took less than ten minutes. I cannot believe that I left it lying in a bag for almost a year!

Here it is in the garden: (in the rain)

'Im indoors said, "It suits you. Well, it suits you better than some of the others."

I think I'd better quickly take that as a compliment before he changes his mind!


Heather said...

It is beautiful! Maybe it had to marinate a bit before it was ready to be fixed, had you done it a year ago perhaps it wouldn't have turned out so lovely.

2paw said...

What a great idea!! The ID Shawl looks lovely. Isn't it always the way : a job you put off forver, takes only 10 or 15 minutes when you put your mind to it!!!! I am not envying you the bordering!!!

allisonmariecat said...

Where to start? You are my hero for fixing the Irish Diamond Shawl, which is absolutely beautiful. The Garden Shawl is going to wonderful, too. I always feel that edging on shawl patterns is cruel. You finish the body of the shawl and feel so accomplished...until you start the interminable edging.

I should start that WIP policy. I don't have many languishing, but I have one stole I *hate* working on, and one row a day would be more progress than my current interactions, which constitute my glaring angrily at it when I walk past the bag it's kept in...

Anonymous said...

Dear blogger, I came here from the Heirloom Knitting group to see the reparations on "Rosy Fingered Dawn", and would like to give you a kick in the bee-ootie to get the border on the garden shawl finished.
You say roughly 800 stitches and a border varying between 19 and 14 stitches - look in my march 29 entry to see a border varying between 16 and 18 stitches, knit onto 600 stitches, 121 repeats, knit within 5 days :-)

Now, get off yer bee-ootie, and knit that border... It wont eat you! :)