Monday, November 22, 2004

Shawl Musings



Here are my musings on the Oriel Lace Shawl.

I really liked this lace pattern because it has a minimum of yarn overs. I hate working too many yarn overs in a lace pattern. This pattern has a 12-stitch repeat and only 2 of those stitches are yarn overs. The yarn overs in this pattern are a little tricky if you've not done much lace and this is the only reason I wouldn't recommend this project as a first lace project. That said, it is unnecessary to use markers since there is a line of stitches that runs down the middle of the pattern which makes it very easy to recognize immediately if you've made a mistake. I did use two markers to set off the border stitches.

For the cast on, I used the twisted German method and for the bind off I used Montse Stanley’s "suspended" bind off which is described on page 85 of her book, "Knitter’s Handbook." This book is not really intended for a beginning knitter, but if you have a couple of projects under you belt, I think it's the best comprehensive knitting guide available. Really. I use this book more than any other in my bookcase.

Next time I make this stole, I'll use a provisional cast on and add lace borders at the ends for two reasons:
1. I think the garter edge is a little too plain.
2. I have a very difficult time casting on and binding off loose enough. Lace borders will eliminate that problem because there are actually no stitches to "officially" bind off. The live stitches are simply knitted together with the last stitch on the border so the edge is much more flexible. This is one of the beauties of shetland shawls.

I blocked the shawl with my forked blocking pins and some very fine wire that I bought at Home Depot.



I ran the wire through the purl bumps on the sides of the stole and pulled it tight from end-to-end as I pinned it out. Although it took a long time to thread the wire through the sides, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. There are no little blips along the sides from the pins. Anne suggested cotton thread as an alternative to wire.

I've tentatively decided to give this shawl to my evil older sister for Christmas. She's the only person I know who will actually take proper care of it. Plus, my father has been very ill this last year and she bore the brunt of shuttling him to and from doctor visits and hospitalizations. So, I think she deserves it.

Cast On


I've cast on an easy project to replace the Oriel Shawl.



This will be a hat for Lisa's "bargain." She's asking knitters to send hats for the homeless in Austin. If this is something you may be interested in participating in, just follow the link to Lisa's blog and sign on.

Aran Sweater


Someone asked me about the pattern for my Aran sweater. Yes, I still have the pattern book. It's followed me from Boston, to New York, to Texas, to New York, to Utah.
Yikes.



It's a Coats & Clark’s booklet printed in 1976. Check out the fabulous sweater that graces the cover.



OMG, I just thumbed through the Aran sweater instructions and realize that I altered this pattern, too. It's a sickness I tell you.


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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.