Monday, July 6, 2009

Seeing Red

It seems that I've fallen into a summer schedule whether I intended to or not. Please check back regularly for updates which I will post 'as and when' (but at least once a week.) Although summer should be a time of R&R (don't worry, I have penciled in some time for that), mine has turned into an onslaught of Driving and DIY.

Well, my wonderful weekend of knitting really was a weekend of knitting but wasn't so wonderful. I enjoyed a couple of hours on Saturday starting off my Swallowtail Shawl. DD2 on the other hand, spent her time ripping back her first attempt. With increasing frustration, she has declared her Knit Picks Shadow a 'no-go' yarn and thrown the whole project into the corner of her room in disgust.

She'd been doing fine, but then realised that she had too many stitches and when she tried to frog back, the rather delicate, fuzzy yarn got so knotted up that it broke....several times. Patience was not in her vocabulary and, eyeing my small piece of work, she warned me that the going might get tough.

It did.

On Sunday, I went back to my two inches of work only to discover that I too had created way too many stitches on my second lot of 6 rows in the Budding Lace Pattern. Determined to be more patient than my offspring, I frogged back to row 6 and attempted to start again. Two rows in and I again had too many stitches.

I went to Ravelry.

Reading the comments listed for the Swallowtail Shawl written by fellow Ravellers, I found Kim at "Musings Of The Fuzzy Kind". Having sat there doing the math trying to work out how many stitches I should have after each pattern row, I discovered that Kim has already done the job. She has made a PDF called "The Swallowtail Mileage Sheet" which lists the number of stitches for each row for the entire 14 repeats of the Budding Lace Pattern. Invaluable!

Despite trying to frog delicately back, I eventually decided that I'd actually done so little that I might as well just rip out the whole thing and start again. So I did. Late last night I reached the second repeat of the Budding Lace Pattern.....and made the same mistakes over again. In complete and utter frustration, I turned to the chart to see if that would shed more light on the issue than the written instructions. And do you know what? It did!

Just before I went to bed, the penny dropped. From studying the chart, I realised that I'd been repeating the entire section between the stars instead of just the 6-stitch repeat! That was how I was ending up with too many stitches.

Duh! Dunderhead!!

There is now a chance that I will get beyond the first repeat of this lace shawl and who knows, maybe once I do, I'll persuade DD2 to take the journey with me again.


Rositta said...

Ironically, I too have started the Swallowtail Lace Shawl and even weirder is that I am using the same miserable yarn albeit in a green/heather color. I have decided to hide that whole project for a long, long time. That yarn sucks...ciao

Winifred said...

I like charts much better than written instructions. It's exactly the same with crochet instructions too. Those stars drive me doolally!

Best of Bristish with that shawl Jane. You have some passion there.

Rose said...

Better luck this time I hope! I know how you feel on a smaller scale (well, smaller project, frustration just as big) as I've spent a ridiculous amount of time getting the pattern right on the barn-raising quilt square.

Rudee said...

Ah.... the trials and tribulations of lace. I finished the body of my shawl and took it to the yarn store today to pick the brains of the experts. They're all as befuddled as me as to why the author would post a border chart and legend in garter stitch while the photo clearly is done in stockinette. Maddening. Now if I can just get the hang of the provisional cast on, I'll be set to go.

I'm no fool though. I finally place a lifeline.

Happy Knitting!

Jane said...

Ahh Rose. The time we spend to get these things just right. The thing is, it's always worth it in the end!

How exciting Rudee, you're on the border. Good luck with that.

CT said...

Oh! and to think I get stuck in plain double crochet lol! chin up, and I hope all goes well after this. I really want to try knitting something lacy...

Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

Thanks for your kind comments!

knittingqueen said...

oh, lace makes me CRAZY! I keep trying it, but it is infuriating!

Jane said...

CT & KQ - just wait until you hear what that ingenious daughter of mine is up to with her lace!

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