Sunday, October 02, 2011

in for the long shawl

So i finally finished my epic dew drops shawl! This started off as a quick on-the-train project for on the way down to Knit Nation. I wanted something small, light and summery to knit, and I had a load of lovely Adriafil Merino Laceweight left over from Debs's wedding shawl. Foolishly, I decided this was the perfect project to start - the big stocking stitch piece would be ideal for social knitting. With a whole two train journeys and afternoonfull of knitting i'd probably tear through most of the stocking stitch. By the time i hit the lace I'd be at home and more able to concentrate. I'd probably have the thing polished off in a week or two, then I could get on with my other Knitting Plans.
This may have been a little naive. I did get a fair bit done on the first day, but didn't get to the end of the stocking stitch. My main mistake was to take it to knitting group that week. Whilst chatting, I reached the point where you can start the lace, thought, now isn't a good time to get into the complicated bit, and I have plenty of yarn, I'll sling another couple of rows in here. The pattern is really easily adaptable, there is a great resizing table, giving you the stitch counts to use for about 20 different sizes. So all was good, I was making speedy progress, the shawl would be ready to enjoy this summer.
Then I hit the lace section. The effect was somewhat like bombing down a steep hill on a bike and into a swamp at the bottom, in which lurked crocodiles. My knitty momentum dissipated instantly. This would have been entirely predictable had I actually bothered to read the pattern properly before casting on.
I was initially attracted to this pattern because of the roundness of the lacy bits. You don't often see circles in lace, do you, it's usually triangles and feathers and pointy things. Once I started knitting, I realised pretty quickly why this is - you need to do lace stuff on every row to get a proper circle. There's no brainless purl rows that you can breeze through. This stuff requires attention in bucketfuls, which I tend not to have late in the evenings when I am sprawled on the sofa with my knitting.
This has also been a pretty busy couple of months for me. I started a new job, and have been getting ridiculously carried away with androidlove in my recreational coding projects. (A row counter for android, and a Ravelry project browser app, if you are an androidy knitter). Perhaps not the most sensible time to get massively addicted to some complicated lace.
In the last pattern repeat, whilst watching a whole film on tv, I only managed to do one complete row. I was starting to regret putting those extra rows in the stocking stitch section.
But it's ok, because it is now bloody well finished. For all my whinging I did very much enjoy making this, and am very pleased with the result. And just in time for a bit of indian summer, allowing me to legitimately wear something lightweight and drapey for a few days!


Kate said...

Wow! Actual proper knitted lace! *is in awe* It's a beautiful pattern and deserves being shown off at all times. Maybe even approaching random people in the street to get them to admire it.

Anonymous said...

It was very worth it - it's absolutely beautiful!

Anna said...

What a fantastic scarf, it's absolutely gorgeous. I LOVE the colour (probably because red is my favourite colour :-)). I bet you're really pleased with it.

Elly said...

Gorgeous colour, and great knitting! I think this pattern may be added to my queue!

Anonymous said...

Despite the hurdles it turned out very nicely!

Vikki/Eden Cottage said...

Wowieeeeee it's so beautiful! I LOVE the colour and the pattern and everything :) I agree with Kate - it calls for much admiration! xx