05 August 2009

Lessons from the Indiski shawl

The Indiski shawl proves to be a great learning experience (ahem)!

Lesson 1:
It REALLY is best not to have any distractions when working on lace pieces (and this is a fairly easy one!)

Lesson 2: When picking up the stitches from the outside border to work the inside border pick up only one loop, not both, of the edge stitches, otherwise the shawl is no longer reversible! Since the decrease stitches in the borders are all worked as K2tog they all lean in the same direction. So by reversing one border when you graft them together, the shawl becomes totally symmetrical!

Lesson 3:
Others who have worked this shawl thought that there is a mistake in the body pattern - the instructions say you have to pick up 165 stitches. But looking at the first charted row you realize that there must be 166 stitches to start with, because in the first row you have to knit 2 together at the end, resulting in 165 stitches.

This is actually more of a case of omission in the written instructions. They should have mentioned that when picking up the 165 border stitches for the body you ALSO "pick up" the first border stitch from the other border which gives you the missing stitch. I only knew about this, because I took Galina's class in Warm Shawl Construction, and - luckily - I had made a note of this.

Oh, and when you work the last-body-stitch + border-stitch DO keep the yarn in the back - or keep it in front after turning, so the join looks consistent.

I'm glad I'm finding all this out before working my first gossamer shawl!

Yesterday I received a package from Fleegle containing the fabulous Phoenix yarn (52/2 60% merino 20% silk 20% cashmere) she custom-ordered for a few knitters (and herself I assume) from China! It will be the thinnest yarn I've ever worked with - once I actually dare to use it!

Our washer has been fixed (for many $$$) - once something like this quits working you really appreciate household appliances, and that you don't live in the 19th century!

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