Saturday, January 26, 2008

Row 367 - Check!

Yup-- I checked off the last row on the last chart of the Mystic Waters Shawl. Getting through that last chart proved to be a hellish experience. Long rows can be perilous! Why? Because you don't realize you did something wrong until 100, 200, or more stitches have passed. Tink, tink, tink!!! If I was a drinking and swearing woman, which I am not, I could have been tempted to outdo any sailor. Good thing I don't engage in such behaviors ;-D

It was terribly frustrating because I don't typically have such issues when knitting lace. Perhaps it was the very dark purple yarn which made things hard to see, despite my very excellent halogen gooseneck lamps (Ott lights give me migraines). Perhaps it was the very long rows and the relatively heavy, bulky pile of yarn-now-shawl in my lap. Perhaps it was fatigue, although I typically do my best work late at night. I don't know. While the stitches were simple, the shawl's design was complex. You really couldn't relax or take comfort in repetition either, because there was very little of that. Of course the same features are what made Mystic Waters such a fascinating shawl to knit! It's different! It wasn't just another triangle shawl knit from the top down ala Evelyn Clark-style with a handful of lace patterns from the Walker Treasuries. Don't get me wrong, I like those shawls too, but there are times when a gal just needs to knit something different. Mystic Waters is very different.

So the last row has been knit. All that remains is the sideways knit-on edging along the top. It's kinda cool because this finish resembles the yo/garter st edging of the sides, something i haven't encountered before. I wasn't sure about knitting this strange finish and was considering doing something more typical. But I hit the photo files on Ravelry in search of a picture of a finished shawl. I needed to *see* this edging as I couldn't visualize it in my mind. Once I saw it I knew it was the perfect finish. It's one of those "takes forever" knit-on edgings so it may be days before I get through it. You'll all know about it 'cuz the earth will shake when I cast-off the last stitch. Kidding, just kidding :-D

So, with Mystic Waters almost done it's time to move on to new things. And what could be a better than to start off a new year of knitting with a brand new swift? I'm deliriously happy about getting a swift. I've wanted one for more than a year, but swifts are expensive...and I am poor so I didn't think it was possible. Then a fellow member of the Lace Knitters list mentioned getting one from JoAnn' using a 50% off coupon. I got a coupon in the mail a few days later which made the price just right and I ordered one right away. I chose the big birch wood model because I've had problems winding very fine lace yarns or very large hanks using the smaller metal & plastic swifts. I've wound 2 balls thus far and my new swift passed the test with flying colors. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

As for the new year/new projects I cast on some new socks last week while sitting in the hospital with my father. I took my JKnits Go UT! sock yarn (which has been sitting on my desk for months), several pairs of dpns, and my sketchbook with me to the hospital. I had already decided to create an original sock design that reflected that Tennessee Vols spirit. So I sat in a dark corner of Daddy's room at UT Hospital with my orange and white yarn, sketch book and pencil in hand, and the UT/Vanderbilt Men's basketball game on TV, and started to sketch out the lace motif. After a few few tweaks to the design I cast on for my Volunteer Spirit Socks. I knit a good portion of a cuff before the ballgame ended (we won---big!) and continued with it the next day while doing my daughterly duty as the "night shift nurse." Once I had the cuff almost completed I decided something didn't look quite right. I wasn't sure I liked the placement and slant of my decreases relative to the yarnovers. So, I grabbed some leftover yarn and did a little swatching, trying out several variations until I found the one I think looks best. The fabric of the knitting on my 1st version was too loose and didn't look good either so I frogged the whole thing. But I did think to snap a picture before the frog croaked. Ribbit, ribbit. I have cast-on once again and reknit the ribbing. Stay tuned for another progress report :-)


MaryCatherine said...

I love these socks! I wish I knew how to knit so that I could make Tyler a pair to wear on the ship at night. Poor little sailor I hear those racks can get chilly in the wee hours!

Diana said...

So THIS is the shawl you've been making for me...and in my very favorite color too! So thoughtful. So caring! :::snort:::