Monday, August 14, 2006

The Grace of Lace

Well, sort of. It generally went really well on Friday and Saturday. I knocked out over 100 rows of the shawl, and I am extremely happy with it. I dropped two stitches, and discovered exactly how difficult it is to rescue them when you're working lace. The first - eh, I probably should have ripped back and re-worked that row. But it doesn't look awful, and I think any unevenness should be resolved in blocking. By the time I dropped the second one, I was able to fix it pretty easily, and it looked much better than the first one.

I almost never drop stitches, but I am trying not to freak out over it. It happens to us all.

My more long-term concern is with my needles. I have used Clover bamboo from day one (except for my occasional dalliance with my Addi Turbos), and I really like them for most projects. But I am thinking that the tips are too blunt for lacework. It took some trial and error for me to be able to do the K2tog comfortably, because I had to keep digging the tip in to the stitch. I finally got it to work by changing my angle on the needles, and it isn't damaging the yarn. But it would be easier with sharper tips.

I recently fell in love with the Crystal Palace bamboo, and will probably acquire a major collection of them. Their tips are sharper, the cords more flexible on the circulars.... I am just not sure whether I should run out for a pair of size 6s to finish this shawl, or keep to the Clovers until the end.

Even with the little issues, I found myself enjoying the knitting at a deeper level than usual. I really got in to the feel of the wool (Rowan 4 Ply Soft, which is delicious), the rhythm of the pattern (fun, easy to memorize, pretty quick to work, even as the rows got longer), and the sense of accomplishment as the shawl started looking more and more like, well, a shawl.

The color is a soft blue-grey, and I think it will go with nearly everything from jeans to a black dress.

I did change the pattern a bit - I upped the needles to a size 6 (from the recommended 5s), and added two lace rows to the repeat, for a more open look. I am also going to add a smallish border.

In other news, I got in a few rows of the Snuggle, but only a few; I found that the chunky yarn and consequently larger needles made my hands hurt a bit. I also worked a few rows of the Floral Gathering Sac. We're on British Airways, so it is looking like our flights will be knittingless. I don't feel like I should "save" the work on this for the honeymoon, but I might bring a couple of smaller projects for our train travel in Italy. DH isn't looking forward to being bookless, either.

All in all, it was a quiet, nearly worry-free weekend, thanks to the knitting. Even so, when DH got home, I attacked him with a fierce hug, while the dog danced joyfully around us, bending herself in a "U" shape, head and butt being nearly parallel (which we refer to as Pepper being "beside herself").

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