Monday, February 19, 2007

Learning Experience

I finished my Pi R Square shawl from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I will have to say that I LOVE this piece - it works well with all my funky deconstructed clothes!! Mr.sunneshine on the other hand HATES it..... So this shawl is fairly easy to make - lots of garter stitch with a few yarn overs for shaping - easy!! Till I got to the lace border - and its not like this is my first lace piece or the first border that I have attached, but boy did I learn a lot about lace knitting, borders and blocking. In the end , it is totally wearable, you probably wouldn't notice the mistakes if you weren't looking for them and once it is re-blocked, they will be even less noticable. After this project, mr.sunneshine has volunteered to help me make a blocking board -- yeah!! It would really make my life so much easier then pinning things to a towel on the dining room rug and guessing to what is even - and with this project, raiding the bookshelf to keep the rug from curling and bunching. So quickly here is what I learned, so maybe you can take my advice instead of having your own frustration... one - always start blocking pieces from the center, easier to keep them even, two - alpaca is not as hearty as cashmere, watch the stitches - I broke a stitch in the lace border from pulling too hard, three - always use a "lifeline" (thread a piece of waste yarn through all the stitches of the first row) when knitting lace patterns with lots of yo's in a row - then if you make a mistake you can easily pull out to the lifeline without having to frog the whole thing, four - corners are not as easy as they look, you do have to make adjustments in the lace pattern and short rows do not always work for those adjustments and finally - I knew this but was in disbelief - my shawl gained 9 inches in length and 9 inches in width during blocking. While I finished it and it looked tiny - it grew to just the right size!!

Since this was done, I rewarded myself by starting three new projects - dark charcoal knucks - didn't picture them, since almost everyone has made a pair. There is my pretty creme aran blanket from Philosophers Wool. I was so intimidated by this project a year ago - and now it is moving right along. This however is definatly not a chatting, watching tv or having a glass of wine while knitting project -- the chart reads in both directions, so I have to pay attention!! It is made of that yummy organic wool that smells so good to me - that will motivate me to find time for it....

Finally there is my new Halcyon yarn that arrived friday and the new beginnings of my Hush Hush dress. I once again have to compliment Halcyon for their customer service. There was a hand written note with the yarn again appologising - while it doesn't correct the other dress, they did all they could!! So I am starting the dress again, with the added bonus of hindsight and when I pulled the first one off the needles, I tried it on, and it fit really well! So onward and upward!!

Have a great week!

8 comments:

pseudobunny said...

knit maniac!!!
seriously

LesleyD said...

The Pi R square shawl is beautiful!! Way to go!!! Wow! I'm glad the old Hush Hush dress fit. What are you going to do with it? Dye it? Keep it as is? Knit on sista!!!

Jana said...

Thanks for the shawl tips! I'm trying to read up on lace & shawl knitting, I want to try one soon, maybe when the weather is warmer, when it's too warm to be knitting sweaters...

said...

I really wanna make a Pi R shawl some day. Yours looks very lovely.

Good luck on your new Hush Hush, let's hope that it's better the second time around. I always find frogging/ripping kinda depressing.

KnitXcorE said...

Amazing! and you have balls to tackle an EZ pattern, she's a goddess! I totally frogged my knuck to use the yarn for a baby hat, but I'm still sending you a monkey <3

a friend to knit with said...

That wrap is GORGEOUS! Honestly, come on mr. sunneshine!! But, since he is making you a blocking board i guess we will forgive him! Lucky you! Thanks for the blocking advise (great info to know) and your new projects look awesome! Hope you have your packing figured out for your trip! :)

roxtarchic said...

hope ya had a great flight... it was great TAWKING to ya & that shawl really does kick @ss... i'm surprised mr sunneshine hates it! (its so funny what they'll like and not like even when you've known em forlikeever & think you already know) hah...

and very cool that a yarn co has great customer service... whodathunkit!?

Obsidian Kitten said...

loooove the shawl! great color, and the lace border looks fantastic.

i'm not big on allover lace (for one i'm lazy, and for two, all that laciness is far frillier than suits my taste), so this is a really great pattern. nicely done!

have a fabulous time in NY--i still get homesick sometimes... =)