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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting to the point . . .

Got there!  Finally finished the third repeat of the first pattern set on the white lace shawl.  Definitely a milepost.  Then the pattern said to switch to a needle size one larger than the one with which I began the shawl.  I started with ad US6 so at the eyelet row -- new pattern set -- I introduced the larger needle.  On the first right side row of the eyelet pattern I began with the new and larger needle.

The red pen is pointing to the last of the chevron points
from the first pattern lace chart.  The row of holes
just above the black needle cord is a row of eyelets.

After the chevrons, the next lace chart begins (and ends) with eyelets.  These are a series of right and wrong side rows that create hole in the fabric, on purpose.  An eyelet series is a good way to learn to add stitches (yarn over) and take away stitches (knit 2 together, K2tog).  The adding and subtracting happen one right after the other and repeat all across the row.

See the holes?  They are shown from top to bottom of the
picture near to the stripe on the angel's robe.  This section
of lace is just beginning.  It will have another pattern of
holes that make flowers with petals and then a
final row of eyelets.

The "change to the next size needle' is not unusual in shawls and other lace knitting.  Bigger needles make bigger stitches so naturally the shawl will grow in size.  This shawl pattern will up-size needles 2 more times.  The last lace chart will be knitted with lots of holes that will appear to be random.  You'll have to wait and see, as will I.

Here's a view of the US6 (now empty) and the US7 (with shawl stitches on the cord between the two tips) and a pencil to give you an idea of relative size.  The last needle I'll be using will be bigger than the pencil.
Size US6 is rosewood; tips and cord are from Knit Picks.
The green plastic tip is from a set from WEBS.
Both work wonderfully.
Under the rosewood tips is the dark pink cord that
joins one tip to the other.  You might want to knit around
and around with these needles or you can just treat each end
as a straight needle and knit back and forth in rows, which
is what I am doing with the shawl.

Circular needles are long cords connecting needle tips.  If the needles are interchangeable, then the tips can be removed and replace by a needle tip of another size, or joined with a longer or shorter cord.  A good set of interchangeable needles represents the very essence of flexibility.

The white shawl is coming along quite nicely.  I'm enjoying it and so far am quite pleased with the outcome.  There are lots of stitches at this point, at least 125 per section.  I'm making three sections so, do the math, that's 375 stitches (and counting) on the long cord between needle tips.

Lots of stitches mean lots of knitting.  One of life's important lessons, I think, is the idea of "less is more."  In lace knitting, especially with shawls that 'grow,' this lesson must be put aside.  And especially in this shawl, when even the number of needles that are used is a total of 4, rather than the usual, maybe, 2.

Less is more might work for shampoo dosage, or pairs of sox, or cars in the garage, or cats in the house.  But this time the rule doesn't apply and the shawl is lovelier and lovelier for having broken all the 'rules.'

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