Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Naughty and Nice

The Arctic Diamonds Shawl has been behaving badly. I had to send it to the naughty shawl corner for a time out. Twice. No problems with the pattern (snore . . . ). It's when I'm doing the easy parts – a purl-back row or a short stretch of plain knitting – that it gets ideas. Bad ideas. First a yarnover popped off the needle, persuaded a K2tog to join it, and went rampaging downward. I caught the miscreants after five rows, but was unable to fix the section without a five-row tink and reknit. Then a knit stitch, alerted perhaps by the fate of the others, slipped sneakily off the needle. It wasn't until I reached the end of that 25-stitch segment and realized I had only 24 that I began to look for the missing stitch. And while I was carefully reviewing SSK's and YO's, that wayward stitch was creeping stealthily downward. Hah! Gotcha! I caught it four rows down. No trouble this time. A little zip, zip, zip with a crochet hook, and we were back in business. And back to the naughty shawl corner for another time out.

So, of course, I had to start another shawl. This is the bare beginning of the Swallowtail Shawl, my very first triangle. The cast-on directions seemed peculiar, but I followed them carefully, trusting that the designer (Evelyn Clark) knew her stuff, and it worked out fine. You do a provisional crochet cast-on of two stitches, garter them for six rows, then turn the piece sideways and pick up three stitches in the garter ridges, then unzip the crochet chain and pick up those two stitches (7 stitches total). It looks great and only takes five minutes. Perhaps all triangles are done this way. I'll find out after I've knit a few more.

In hopes of creating a shawl somewhat larger than the one in the pattern, I'm using Frog Tree Alpaca on U.S. #7 needles. The yarn label says "sportweight," but with 130 yards to 50 grams, I'd say it's something of a cross between sport and DK. It's quite hairy and fuzzy, not so bad as mohair, but it would definitely not be fun to tink.

So far the Swallowtail has been behaving nicely (unlike some other shawls I might mention). The Budding Lace pattern, which is the bulk of the shawl, is super easy and can even be (oh joy!) memorized. Progress was swift at first, but as the rows became longer, well . . . you know. I still give Arctic Diamonds some knitting time every day; it's coming along. Now that it has some competition, however, perhaps we will see an improvement in attitude.


Delighted Hands said...

I know about the naughty shawl corner....I have a permanent occupant there! The triangle shawl is off to a good start-it will work up quickly for you1

Luni said...

Such slippery stitches deserve punishment. At least you caught them in time to fix them.
Good luck with those nupps!

Leigh said...

Most of my shawls behave badly, which is why they are all in "time out." :)

Sometime soon I'll do a post on how to make a blog index. Mine is really helpful; to me if no one else!

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Your shawl is going to be lovely.
I like your sense of humor when it comes to knitting.

Sheila said...

I have several projects in the time out corner. They just don't listen to me! I'm glad someone else has some problems with naughty YOs.

Marjorie said...

When I did my first Evelyn Clark shawl, I looked at the cast on directions with a bit of puzzlement also, but it does work out nicely.

I also found with her shawls that they work well on different yarn weights.

Sometimes the "easy" things end up with their own sets of problems.

beverlyanne said...

From socks to shawls and back again. You really like a challenge, don't you? Thanks for the Olympic-Monterey suggestions. The yarn speaks the loudest to me when saying "vest", so I will be looking for a pattern.

Catherine said...

I'm glad to see you are knitting the Swallowtail. There is such pleasure in seeing it all blocked and beautiful. The two I made have been given away so I'm thinking of making a third - I need one for myself! And each one goes a little faster than the last.