Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free Fall Finale of the Cursed

Tradition: Lace, Curses

This starts at the 2009  New Hampshire Sheep and Wool festival. I went alone, but met about with a bunch of friends. I spent the day walking around bouncing between groups, it was a fantastic time. Jim had just lost his job so I didn’t want to spend much money and set a very strict budget. My friend Amy came a bit later in the day and found some awesome 100% Tencel yarn. I love it. I even debated going a couple dollars over my budget to purchase a skein of the amazing yarn, but in the end thought I better stick to my budget and leave the yarn for someone else.

I had plenty of other yarn to use and while I continued to use my stash I lamented every time I saw Amy’s yarn. I loved it. So in November Amy knew exactly what to get me for my birthday (random fact, we share a birthday, it's great times). I opened a small box with a large (1000 yds) skein of 100% Tencel yarn. I was so excited!

The pattern was easy to choose. The Percy shawl attracted me with its three level design, but mostly because of the awesome second level full of these almost w shaped sections. It seemed a perfect fit with the mottled green colorway.

So now I had a perfect shawl, all I had to do was knit it. Nothing to it! The first slip from perfection was the needle choice. I didn’t have lace needles in the right size and therefore didn’t have a lovely sharp tip for working nupps or the flexible cable that seems almost non-existent while I knit. I could have worked around either of these problems, but not both.
Second mistake was the cast-on. I always have trouble with the garter tab method, too few stitches, too thin of yarn, it just never goes well. I improvised something else. It looks less than graceful.

Best color representation and look at those NUPPS!

Third mistakewas to add repeats to try and use all of the yarn, Stupid Idea. By the time I finished I was beyond sick of the shawl and I was ready to add nupps to my growing list of things that I consider cruel and unusual
If you asked, and you wouldn't dare, I could point out that there were at least 2 mistakes in my knitting and my gauge varied greatly on the right and wrong side rows. All around, not an item to be proud of..

There was one redeeming quality and that was the yarn. It knits up like silk, but doesn’t have the same stickiness in the final product, it is still quite slippery. After binding off I thought,"Well it’s bad, but not a complete disaster I could still give it to someone I love."

Right there I think the fates had a good laugh.
I pulled out the two lifelines that I had kept in the shawl (one right before the edge and one right before the last repeat of chart B). There it was the horror, the curse, the free fall finale. Suddenly, a huge hole appeared in the middle of my shawl. WHAT IN HEAVEN AND EARTH?!?! Apparently I didn’t catch a stitch when knitting 2 together on the row after the lifeline so it had been held nicely in place while I knit along having no knowledge o f a problem.

Blowing in the wind, Lacey and light
 A normal person, one who took pride in their work, someone who maybe wanted this to be an heirloom of sorts would have ripped back to the mistake, fixed the problem and re-knit the last half of the shawl. I am not that person or this is not that shawl or both. I happened to have a bobbin of green thread sitting on my couch  table. I quickly picked up the stitch from 3 rows below the decrease and wove it around a couple of stitches all the way to where it was supposed to be included in a knit 2 together. I took the green thread and tied it securely around the decrease and the picked up stitch. A double knot and a quick snip of the excess and now the mistake is invisible.

Still need some help to evenly block lace, maybe I should take a class

At this point we all realize that this shawl is cursed. So what do I do with it? I blocked it. I even wore it once. I can’t stop thinking of how it is cursed. I could frog it. I could give it away, but I don’t have anyone in mind that could really appreciate it, plus I am now convinced that it is cursed and the only people I would like to curse aren't worthy of a lace shawl. Maybe I can procure some holy water from a nearby Catholic church?

I just like this shot


Alan said...

What a great skill that you have! Patience, discipline, ability to follow a pattern.
Especially, with so many different patterns, types of yarn, etc.
You've come a long way baby!

Teri said...

I've tied in a loose stitch like that. And no one ever noticed. While I am willing to rip back while I'm working on something, I'd never do it to something as complete as your shawl.