Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

False Starts -- another shawl

Most knitters will tell you they seldom knit the item they originally selected.  Maybe they don't like doing the pattern, maybe they don't like the way the pattern looks in the yarn they selected.  Maybe it just wasn't any fun.

The title of this post calls these "False Starts" -- these experiments are essential to the selection of the final combination of needles, pattern, yarn, and purpose.

Here's the shawl I finally selected.  It's a pattern I can get onto one of those index memory cards in my head.  The pattern works with the yarn -- I checked the directions.  The needles?  Had to step down one size from US 7 to US 6.  The US7 was making a fabric that was too loose.  And this one is fun.  I can see progress; it has at least 3-4 different sections with different patterns (lowering the boring factor considerably.)

Yarn is Comfy Fingering from Knitpicks.
It's cotton with a bit of acrylic to help with keeping the shape
of the final garment.  Also, it can be machine washed
and dried.  This fact encourages the wearer to actually wear the shawl.

This pattern is on page 44 of Victorian Lace Today.  Sowerby resurrected and transformed the Spider Shawls from the mid-Victorian period.  The shawl can be a complete hexagon (6 sections) or half (3 sections.)  I am making the half-hexagon version.

The pattern page from the book shows several things.  First you'll notice only one of 6 sections is charted.  This means you must repeat this pattern for each of the sections you knit; remember, I am doing 3 sections. Other items show the omnipresent yellow sticky note (upper left corner, peeking out), plus a piece of bright yellow highlight tape across a row of the pattern.  It keeps my place and I can remove and reposition as I knit.  It's not opaque, which means I can still see the pattern from rows below the one I'm working on.

Pattern book with necessary tools:  Ticonderoga #2 pencil with
an eraser that works!  A pink row counter (similar to the
counter used by golfers.)  Near the bright red glass bead is
a key ring emergency fixer thing.  It's a two-ended crochet hook
used to pick up stitches that fall off the needles.

I started two other patterns in the same yarn.  One pattern is another offering from Victorian Lace Today and the other pattern I purchased from the Independent Designer Program (IDP) at Knitpicks.  Here's what they look like when I discard and abandon them.  Eventually I will rip them back and re-use the yarn, after I wash it and remove the squiggles formed by the knitting.

Discarded projects do not count as UFO's, which is a good thing.  I have no intentions of returning to either of the rejected shawls.  I won't be tucking them away in a box or bag for a future discovery.  They're toast!
Two beginnings -- one still on the needles, the other a pile of
will-be-tangles-unless-I-rewined-soon yarn.
And they're a lump of knitting.  But each one actually began a pattern. To satisfy the curious readers, I'm including two shots, one of each rejected shawl pattern.

The one I've chosen may appear to be too simple to be elegant, but just wait til I start adding different patterns.  It's great fun and quite satisfying to realize you've made the right choice -- remember I am a process knitter, which means the actual knitting must be enjoyable, even at the expense of something more elaborate as an end product.

This weekend is when I hope to finish the labels and mail the Christmas cards.  May assemble the pre-lit tree and if I do it may stand without decor for a few days.  I have knitting to do.

Have a blessed Advent season.

No comments:

Post a Comment