May 30, 2014

Misadventures in Shawls, Part 2: Well This isn't So Bad But it is a Snail

Now being a little more of a month into this shawl (I am including last week in that count, despite the fact that I made no progress on the shawl at all since I had to make garb instead), it's not as bad as I feared, though it is as slow as I've feared:

Up to row 43, woot!  Though there's a lot more beads on this shawl than it looks; flash washed them out.

This pattern has two things going for it: it's not that complicated (the pattern's written and charted well to boot) and it's pretty repetitive.  At least so far.  Beading turns out to be easy as well; you just slide the bead onto a small crochet hook and then slide it onto the desired stitch.  However, 20 repeats of lace with beads still eats time, especially at the bottom there where you had to place 2 or 3 beads a repeat for every right side row.  I guess the other good thing I got going for it is that the stitch count is decreasing (you start at the bottom of the shawl).

I decided to alternate between the blue square beads (for which I ran out of rather quickly and had to go find the store I bought them from to buy four more boxes.  They went fast) and the iridescent silvery round beads that I bought last. The result is not something I love 100%, but it doesn't look bad:

Way less yellow colored; more silvery with color accents, but you get the picture.

But this is where I have to remember that it's not for me.  I don't like that the beads that stand out so much and don't quite match, but my sister's a eclectic person who loves shiny things.  In one of my self-doubt moments I texted her a picture (better colored than this one) asking how she liked it and her answer was 'pretty!'.  So I'm on the right track.  I do have to say it's kind of grown on me at this point, though I still would have picked darker beads.

Some notes about this pattern so far:
  • The cast on for this shawl is rather interesting and I don't know if it comes from somewhere but I've never seen it before.  It involves creating a crochet chain that at certain chain counts, you YO over the knitting needle to create a stitch.  Row one is knitted using the YOs, with the chains hanging off like decorative eyelets:
After the CO is done

What it looks like on the shawl

          I'm sure it'll look better when it's blocked out.  And if I had a clearer picture.
  • As I stated, pattern makes perfect sense so far.
  • This is a simpler motif than my last lace shawl.  Maybe it's because I have more experience under my belt that it seems like that to me, but I'm thinking this is easier.  The last shawl I did I couldn't figure out the pattern for my life, but it was wall-to-wall lace with cables.  This has more stockinette dead space in it.  It's a lot easier to see where the lace will be going, and therefore I'm not glued to the chart. 
  • Which means I'm most likely faster than I was last time, but knitting 400 and something stitches of lace weight still takes 30-50 minutes for a RS and WS row.
  • However, I haven't had to rip it out to a lifeline yet (note: the green-white stripes in the shawl in all the pictures...that's a lifeline.  They get removed).  I have had to hack fixes for a couple of mistakes, but at least I can do that in this pattern.  The worst mistake so far was when I decreased one off of the center stitch of one of the repeats and didn't notice until the next RS row.  I managed to drop a stitch down one side and ladder a new one up on the other side to fix the stitch count, and keep going as is.  It's noticeable if you look hard enough, but the other beauty of lace weight is that each stitch is but a small dot in a sea of stitches; one being off isn't too obvious when looked at as a whole.
  • The crappy part about lace weight yarn is that it's soooo thin and loves to tangle in everything.  It took me a day to wind the damn thing because it didn't quite fit on my swift and managed to tangle up in itself.  It could have been worse, but I now have three separate balls from one skein because there was a couple of times I had to cut the current ball off and start another to get rid of a knot that developed.
But all in's going.  Almost done with chart B; we'll see what holds up on the next chart.

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