The Wedding Ring Chronicles
Monday, July 03, 2006
  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.

My particulars:
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.
I am so glad to see that you are chronicling this adventure. I have been waiting for someone to do this as I am so intrigued by this shawl. Good luck!
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had trouble seeing those dots/dashes on the chart! Fore warned is fore armed! I shall get out my highlighter pen. I'm still at the test swatch stage of selecting yarn. Good Luck and Good Vision!
Stay tuned. I'm hoping to get some more done on the swatch this weekend.

I have terrible eyesight and I've worn glasses since I was five. But those bifocals do the trick these days and I manage pretty well. But those dots and dashes! I damned near missed them.
I went out to the copy place and had the center chart enlarged to 150%. I folded it in half, placed it sideways in a plastic sleeve and I use post=it-notes to mark off where I am in the pattern or else I would never know where the heck I am on a row or even which row. Used to use magnetic boards but I have way too many projects-in-progrss to keep that up. I use reading glasses now. The progressive bi-focals are just not enough! Good Luck!
OMG! Yep; you have to swatch this one.

May your rows have the correct number of stitches and your eyes maintain their focus. Remember the copier is your friend. It saved me on the Rosebud Trellis chart.

Any news?
So when are you going to get off your butt? I, for one, can't wait to see it. I got one of those magnifying glasses you sling round your neck but tend not to use it - I feel too far removed from the "action", like a surgeon doing keyhole surgery - I want to see the blood and gore. I just take off the specs (varifocals, no less) and peer - it works pretty well (on a good day).
As soon as I noticed this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.
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