Monday, July 17, 2006

The Wedding Ring Shawl (Or why I lost what was left of my mind in 2006)

One of the women at work who I taught to knit took a look at my test swatch for the Wedding Ring Shawl and asked in an absolutely horrified voice, "Do you really enjoy doing this type of thing?" To her, it looks like some form of self torture. In a way, she's right. I wasn't going to post the shawl in progress until I had something more substantial to look at, but to be honest, it is such slow going that you might not hear from me for weeks if I wait that long. Any way, I thought you might like to see just what I have to contend with. See above, a close-up of part of the chart for the shawl. I had it blown-up 150% so I could see it. (see dime for scale). I use the post-it in order to keep track of what line I'm on. I used a highlighter to indicate the double yarn-overs as well as the center repeating motif. What? you ask, are those boxes doing written on the post-it? I have a left/right deficit. It's a mild form of dyslexia. When I look at those particular symbols on a knitting pattern, I have to glance at my visual cue's in order to know which symbol is which so I can make the correct stitch. Don't laugh, it works! Also, see above, between my row counter and the plastic container holding the ball of yarn, the "over-twist" that happens with Shetland and other tightly spun singles. The tendency to "fold back" onto itself, makes knitting with this yarn a challenge. I've been putting the container with the ball on my left side, pulling the yarn over the back of my neck as a tensioning ploy and down to my right hand so I can knit with it. If it twists, I can then pull the twist out because of the "drag" on the yarn at the back of my neck. It's slow, but it works for me because I'm not knitting this shawl all that fast. I'm sure others knitting with this stuff have come up with other methods to deal with this issue. "Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!", she cried out over the great internet abyss! I have only done 12 incredibly slow rows so far. Not much to look at at this stage I'm afraid. I have been working on the Mountain Pines shawl for a break from the WRS and someone asked where I got this pattern. I bought it one year at Stitches, a long time ago and I'm not sure anyone even sells this pattern any more. Since it's in yarn I spun myself, It's not nearly as fine as the Shetland. Still, it's pretty and I hope it will look "lighter" once I block it out. The center is "field of flowers" pattern. I'll post progress on that later but it doesn't look like much progress because it's knit from the inside-out. The rows just get longer and longer folks.

That's it for the time being. Until next time!