And Now It Starts
You'd think that, after having sweated my poor ass off trying to finish the Melanie shawl in time for my daughter's wedding, I would have had enough of lace.
I took a five-day breather. That was enough.
Now starts the Wedding Ring Chronicles, with me, Loopy, Ted and Franklin. Although I have a sneaky suspicion that Ted has toyed with his already, I'm going to be the first to post a picture of my burgeoning swatch.
- US #0 (2mm) bamboo 29" circular needles from Crystal Palace. I bought these needles several weeks ago because A) they were on sale and B) I liked the vermicelli-thin cable. Unfortunately, one of the joins was a bit chipped on the bamboo and had to be sanded down gently. I was concerned that the points would not be sharp enough to handle the decreases. They are fine. So I will most likely stay with these.
- Heirloom Knitting Gossamer Merino. I chose this over cotton and silk because I love the slight halo and because it's far and away easier to knit than the former two. Sharon has recently come out with Gossamer Mohair but I would not use that for this shawl. If you need to rip out, you're screwed.
I bought an extra ball with which to swatch. And this pattern must be swatched. Not for gauge, mind you. But for pattern familiarity. If you go into this cold, you're a fool, no matter how experienced you think you are.
Sharon Miller gives you two very similar center panel designs. I chose the Alternative Centre, for reasons that I still haven't figured out. I decided to use Sharon 's chart as is for the swatch: 16 righthand stitches, the one 12-stitch repeat, and the 15 lefthand stitches.
Working through the first eight rows is not easy. Double yo's are heavily featured in these rows and Sharon suggests that you just do a single yo and then k1, p1 into it on the way back to avoid a large hole. This is very good advice and I stuck to it, particularly because almost all yo's, be they single or double, must be increased on the next row.
This little phenomenon is not clearly marked on the chart. Sharon has a tiny dot/dash in the square to indicate that you must k1, p1 into that yo. I would suggest that you use a highlighter and mark these squares so you don't miss them. Most of the yo's will be increased but a couple are not. So caveat knitter. Fortunately, these eight rows are only repeated twice during the 66-row repeat.
The difficulty with these eight rows being that you can't see what the hell you're doing is somewhat mitigated by ending up with the right number of stitches at the end of the row. You must knit this blind because there is no rhyme or reason initially. No obvious symmetry. So sit in solace. I sat outside next to my fountain and prayed that I wouldn't fuck up. I didn't.
So guys, are you ready to go? Last one to row 66 is a fucktard.
PS. I'd like to add that Laritza Taft, one of the HK and Laceknitters list members, was the first one who finished this shawl. She did an incredible job and she has pictures on her blog
. Go take a look to see what we're getting ourselves into.