Organic Growth

I am consistently amused and amazed by the way the pattern develops on the Sun Ray Shawl.

It is such a lovely example of organic growth and natural development.

I quickly knit through two of the 6 or 7 repeats, and I was downright smug with how smoothly it was going. Of course you know where this is going with me and my hubris. In even the most elegant instances of organic growth, one cannot underestimate the role chaos plays in development. (Here chaos takes the form of whiskey).

I picked the shawl up when highly intoxicated and chatting with a friend. I purled one back row, and somehow in that, I’m left with a mess. I’m missing one stitch, somewhere, and I cannot figure out where.

See, my row counter says this:

That can’t possibly be true. I must wonder: am I supposed to be on row 60 or row 58? Did I somehow drop my counter and click forward, or did I neglect to click it when I drunkenly purled that row?

I counted the chart, I tried searching the stitches on earlier rows to find an extra stitch or a neglected yarn over. It’s been an unpromising search.

“Ah well,” I thought, “this is why I put in life lines, and I’ll only have to rip back a few rows.” To be honest, I was almost looking forward to it, but…

Well shoot. Life lines don’t really work if you drunkenly tug them out.

You know what happens when the going gets tough around here, right? Yep, the tough cast on a new project:

I just needed some mindless stockinette. Knitting therapy at its finest. I’m about ready to brave a careful unraveling and some more counting on the Sun Ray now. Wish me luck!

Executive Decision

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the project I started last November for my grandmother. It’s a Cozy, which I intended to be some kind of shawl, wrap, lap blanket, bit of warmth combo item that she’d get a lot of use out of.

The trouble is, it is immensely slow-going. Literally it takes me hours to do one 8-row repeat, and it’s not going to end up terribly large for the amount of yarn it would take (eleven 50-gram balls).

It’s lovely, but I know I’ve made mistakes in the lace, and I know that I will never finish it with how slowly I’m going.

Therefore, and as much as it pains me, I decided to start a new shawl with this yarn:

the Sun Ray Shawl.

It has a lovely lace pattern, it doesn’t look too terribly difficult, it’s a larger size, and the examples I’ve seen on Ravelry look perfect for my grandmother.

In my first attempt I breezed through the first 17 rows, but suddenly I found myself with quite a few extra stitches. I started wondering if the written pattern was different from the chart, but in my infinite wisdom (and extreme laziness) I decided I’d rather re-knit the first 17 rows than spend the time figuring out what I’d done wrong.

This meant fiddling with the crochet cast-on again, for which I found Crafty Daisies’Learn to Crochet videos immensely helpful.

I feel a lot better about this project than I ever did about the Cozy. The yarn looks spectacular in the pattern, and I know this will become a really beautiful piece, with much less frustration and agony on my end.

And of course this time I put in a life line, just in case.