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Posts Tagged ‘Rock Island Shawl’

It’s become personal between me and my current knitting project, The Rock Island Shawl.

rock island shawl brooklyn tweed

Yes, this is the project. I’ve completed the 568 rows of knitted lace that comprise the edging. No small feat since lace is worked on both RS and WS rows. I judiciously used a life-line moving it every 8 rows and still had a number of rip-backs occur that made it feel like the edging would never get done.

I’ve picked up and knit all the edging stitches. I’ve knit somewhere around ten rows of garter stitch, obsessively counting each of the almost 300 stitches at the end of every row to make sure I had the correct number going into the next major lace portion of the shawl. I am still not completely sure that I kept the center stitch the same in each of the 10 rows. I think I messed up in one row, but I don’t know which one and I will cry if I have to rip back to the picked up edging. As of yet, I haven’t shed tears, but there were moments when I was oh so very, very close. I am hoping that if I wiggled on the center stitch in one row, blocking will take care of it.

The next portion of lace worked on both RS and WS rows totals 24 rows over some 300 stitches. Stitch count does not stay the same row to row. However, the center stitch, which is really three stitches decreased to one, does stay in the same spot…theoretically. Before I began the 24 row portion of lace I ran a nice long life-line through all the stitches.

Last night I spent 3 hours working on the shawl and I am still at the beginning of the 24 row lace work. I consistently failed to get correct stitch count at the end of the first row. I tried reading the 300 stitches to see where the mistakes were and couldn’t find them. Then I ripped back. I did this repetitively. I did this for 3 hours.

When I laid aside the shawl, I realized it had become personal. No way am I going to let these 24 rows beat me. Tonight we do battle again. My goal is to at least successfully complete the first row of the 24. If I am really on a roll I may even complete the second row correctly. I just know at some point I am going to end up in tears.

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A new project is on my needles. Rock Island Shawl by Brooklyn Tweed.

rock island shawl brooklyn tweed

I’ve admired it for a long time. My knitting skills are getting a real workout and I am not even beyond the 12 stitch edging. I found Madelinetosh Prairie Yarn in the Medieval colorway and decided to go for it. The shawl is a long-term project. Very long-term.

I cast on about three days ago and I’ve managed to complete only 10 of the 71 repeats of the 8 row pattern. That means I have 488 more rows of edging to knit. One would think 12 stitches per row wouldn’t be difficult to whip off the needles. In fact, when I first looked at the edging chart I thought no problem. Lace making takes place on both sides just remember to reverse the decreases, yadda, yadda, yadda. I forgot the knitting gods don’t like hubris. They really, really, really don’t like it.

To make my arrogance complete, I decided I wouldn’t work with a life line. I mean a life line for 12 stitches? I completely blew past the reality that this was complicated lace making. Thus, dear fellow knitters and crafters, I paid and paid well. How badly did I mess this up? Let’s count the ways.

Forgotten yarn overs.

Forgotten decreases.

Knitting the first stitch of a RS row as if it were a WS row.

Knitting the first stitch of a WS row as if it were a RS row.

Knitting the wrong row.

Knitting the wrong row.

Knitting the wrong row.

Mixing up the decreases. Using k2tog when it called for ssk.

Mixing up the decreases. Using ssk when it called for k2tog.

Talking while knitting a row. The result wasn’t even close to the pattern.

Moving my attention from knitting to Yarn Rascal. A disaster all around.

Suddenly putting down the knitting in the middle of a row for any crises imaginable, picking it back up hours later and knitting the wrong row ending.

Thinking it was possible to tink back a row and get it right working in lace weight yarn.

I could go on, but why torture myself? Suffice it to say, I am now working with a life line. It hasn’t stopped the ripping back, but it has contained it from going all the way back to the start every time I make a mistake. I no longer speak while knitting. I no longer respond to crises. Nothing interrupts me until I get to the end of a row and check that sucker off my little counting sheet. This is why I knit ladies and gentlemen: it’s so darn relaxing.

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