I'm done knitting the Hidcote Garden Shawl! Well, sort of done. If completing knitting row 21 of chart 10, which is the last row of the shawl, means done then I'm done. But not really. You see I started to cast-off as the pattern directed, after row 21. But, only for a couple of inches--just long enough to see that I was not happy with the finished look. You see the tips of the points are never really closed together if you follow the pattern. They end with adjacent ssk and k2tog stitches, which is not *really* closed and casting-off doesn't bring adequate closure IMHO. So I tinked back, carefully undoing all those cast-off stitches (a huge PITA) and purled one more row making a few tweaks to close the tips and still keep the stitch count pretty much the same.
In a nutshell what I did was p2 tog at every ssk/k2tog located between double YOs, thus closing the tips of the points. I did the usual k1, p1 in the double YOs. I purled across the large stockinette section , inserting a single yo in between the ssk and the k2tog of that area. Or if you were counting it would be : ...(k1, p1) in yo, p7, yo, p7, (k1, p1) in yo, p2tog; repeat. I did not insert a yo where there was a single decrease near the center and the edges. Adding the yo's where I did allowed for ample stretch at the location in the shawl where blocking will place the most tension. This location also maintained balance without detracting from the original design.
So with nice closed points I was really to cast-off for sure right? Not! You see, now I'm on teh right side of the shawl so I need to do things a little differently. I've made 4 attempts thus far and have hated all of them (too loose, too tight, rolls too much to the right side, and just looks funky in a not good way). I've crocheted off purlwise (loose and rolls). I've done a suspended cast-off purlwise with a crochet hook(too loose and funky). I've done a knitting needle knitted cast-off (too tight). And now I'm going to put about 40 sts back otn (I really thought this last one would be it---wrong) and try again. But not until tomorrow. Maybe I'll have better luck next time. Oh, and I didn't even tell you about auditioning beads and crystals for possible inclusion in the aforementioned cast-off fiasco. They were cause for a little more tinking. If I decide I want beads, I'll sew them on later. Grrrrrr