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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's a wrap -- blue lace shawl

Last stitches, last weaving-in-ends, last bit of trim.  The blue lace shawl is fini.
Wrapping the wreath and celebrating completion

I wanted to record the last bit of knitting, those last 6 stitches that mean the knitting needles can be put away and I can begin the finishing process.  

Those last bits of knitting are a time for celebrations
  -- the yarn lasted til the end, yeah!
  -- my patience lasted ti the end, yeah!
  -- another finished project, yeah!

Knitting celebrations -- knitters knit because joy is so ever-present.

The shawl measures about 35" from bottom center point to top of the long part that wraps the shoulders.  Here's what it looks like on the blocking board.

And for those who relish the details (and lace knitting has lots of details) here are some interesting geeky facts:
 -- 21 rows of leaves, with each new leaf nesting between two leaves from the previous row.  
 -- If you're doing the math, that's a total of 230 leaves. 
 -- Shawl began with only 3 stitches at the point.  Lots of practice on the add-a-stitch-on-purpose stuff
 -- Last row of knitting, all across the top was 279 stitches.
 -- Those border points?  There are 61 of those, each created from an 8 row pattern, so that's 488 rows to knit.  It felt like 488,888 while I was doing it.  First row has 6 stitches, 8th row has 13.  You do the math, but by any reckoning that's a bunch of stitches.

The last row of leaves, where their nesting shows clearly.
Also the last 14 rows of just plain knitting, knitting
every row for 14 rows.  Makes a nice edge at the top, to match
the sides.  And then finally, a row of picot crochet.

The points on the diagonal edges.  The knitted borders around
the leaves.  A bit of the top crochet picots.

Lace has all the elements of a good movie, though you couldn't sell any of these plots in the 10 minute elevator speech.  

  • Lace knitting requires close attention. Often the pattern requires different actions each and every row.  On the plus side, the patterns sometimes only ask for this furious activity on the right side of the knitting and you can 'take a break' on your way back (called a rest row for good reason!) 
  • Lace knitting has those moments of sheer terror when you recognize on row 83 that you made a mistake and now have to correct it without ripping out thousands of stitches.  (Yes, there are ways to do this, but it's still a heart-stopping moment, albeit brief.)  
  • Lace knitting can also be mind-numbingly boring.  Row after row after row and in most cases each row adds stitches.  So as you slog thru yet another repeat of the pattern you also realize you're facing even more stitches, the same technique, and more stitches.  Over and over and over and over . . . 
  • Lace knitting is so satisfying.  It's always interesting, always complex though in varying degrees, always a challenge.
Lace knitting is gorgeous, always.  Full stop. 

I hope you'll find yourself taking on a bit of lace for the next project, perhaps a scarf.  And if you've been a lace knitter for some time, good on ya! 

This is the kind of knitting you do for a treasured friend or special family member.  Lace knitting keeps you focused on the project for an intense time, and while you are knitting you can recall fun times with the recipient.  You can remember the tears you cried together and the laughs that kept you going.  You'll remember the chat-chat and the share-share.  You'll remember that friends are the gifts God gives us to remind us that we are also treasured -- in His eyes and in the eyes of our friends.  Lace knitting gives us the memory time and the finished garment to tell our friend they are a treasure in our life.

Yarn over, knit 2 together -- stay in touch and keep friendships at the top of your list.

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