do you ever think that you have to be a little bit insane to knit lace? all those yarn overs and 2 togethers, the charts, the counting, the lifelines, the stress of mistakes, the heartbreak of ripping back.
and then you get to the edge. in particular, the knitted on border. much preferable looks and work wise to a sewn on one, but destined to drive you batty all the same. i finished the main body of girasole a week ago and the thought of doing a knitted on edge, on a shawl that is 640 stitches around, well, the descent into lace madness seemed a bit much in the same week as seeing ‘black swan’. (not that there is any parallel between dancing and knitting, but if youve seen it, i had a vision of a room with hundreds of lace charts on the wall laughing at me and me running around sticking a knitting needle into my cheek).
but i digress. the main body went into a bag for a week and yesterday, when i was home alone recovering from an australia day that involved pavlova eating, discussions about the nature of australian racism, and the joy of amanda palmer and neil gaiman at the opera house, i pulled it back out of the bag, and took the plunge:
i had to rip three times, but eventually it clicked, and you can see ive managed to get quite a lot done (dodgy pinning aside):
the reason i had to rip is because the pattern says to do the edging on two DPNs, but i didnt have any in that size, and ive never worked an edge like that before. i keep the stitches live and use one needle tip and then work the edging with another needle – see:
(in this case the other needle is a 3.75mm tip on the shortest cable i had). but that in itself was only part of the problem, the other thing was the pattern said to do a double yarn over before a purl, which put 8 stitches on the needle (where there should be 7). then the next row you’re meant to K1P1K1 into ONE strand of the double yarn over. it doesnt say what to do with the other strand, i suspect just let it drop making slightly larger holes than what im getting:
but it just caused me grief, so im only doing the one yarn over, and getting a smaller hole, and thence probably a slightly smaller edging, but i like it:
and thats what blocking is for anyway, right? the other thing that is sending me over the edge about this shawl is that i have decided to enter it in the sydney royal easter show this year. i know theres been all sorts of problems with the royal, and the way peoples things get treated, and broken, which is just awful, and if anything happens to this shawl i will likely hit someone, but im gonna give it a go anyway. i dont expect to win anything, its not traditional shetland and probably not even proper lace, but its big and its pretty, and id like to do something with the show other than run around after my dogs for once!
despite all of that, this project has been an absolute joy. i have not got bored with it for one second, and i love working on it, slowly but surely watching it grow, sensing how much im learning from taking the time to do it right. so its already a winner for me.