you may recall that little work-in-progress called the shetland project. i thought it was time for an update, as i work my way through the first item: elizabeth zimmerman’s stonington shawl. here is where it is up to:
it has suffered one major frogging so far, because i kept forgetting where to put the yarn overs. on one side, they go AFTER the k2tog, on the other side, they go BEFORE the ssk. if i am not concentrating, i can, and do, easily get that wrong. this is despite the fact that i am working with a cheats chart. this being an EZ pattern, originally from this book:
it comes with those famous pithy directions:
in this version, you just knit a garter stitch square. the pattern has been adapted, editted and added to by knitters magazine, and is published in their scarves and shawls book, and thankfully, it contains a little more detail:
one detail is the addition of the eyelets in the garter stitch square, hence the chart, and i think they are a nice touch. even though all i am doing is making simple concentric squares, i need to glance at the chart at the beginning of each repeat, just to make sure, and this is where EZ and i part ways. i love her pithy directions, but i also hate them, because while i understand them in principle i struggle with them in practice. there is much i admire about EZ’s approach to knitting, given that her underlying principle is ‘there are no knitting police’, and i think there is a lot of potential for Growth as a Knitter in her approach to things. she assumes that we have some idea about how knitting works and are smart enough to figure out what to do as we go along. sometimes, this is true, and sometimes its not. sometimes i love the sense of freedom she promises and there are other times i want to pull my hair out and beg her please to just give me an actual stitch count for something!!
for the most part though, if i just breath, and think about it carefully, i do understand what shes saying. knitting the test swatch for this shawl certainly helped, and i am confident about what i am doing and how i will get from one part to the next. what i am not so confident about is how much yarn to use. my gauge swatch put my yarn about halfway between shetland lace and jumper weight (well der, it is a 3 ply), but required amounts are in metres, and i only have grams. because there is no required stitch count, no need to count rows, technically, it doesnt matter how big i make the center square. the knitters magazine ‘cheat’ pattern suggests 8 repeats of the chart before starting to decrease down to 2 stitches again, and i am on the 8th repeat now, but think it would like it to be bigger. my problem is estimating how much yarn i will use.
for example, i have used 45 grams to get to the middle of the square.
i assume it will take me another 45 to go back the other side, and i have 74g left on this one ball.
then i have to do four sides (which involve increases to make corners) and then add a lace border (just a simple one). but do i have enough yarn for all that, if i keep making the square bigger?
im pretty sure even mrs zimmerman wouldnt proceed until she could figure that one out! but how would i know? anyone?
or can i just trust my instincts and go one or two more?