Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Knitting

Shawls in progress never really look like much, but I'm going to show you mine anyhow.

It's going remarkably well, considering how much I dislike knitting lace.

The pattern begins by casting on 5 stitches and then each row increases the number of stitches until you end up with 467 stitches per row. This is all very poorly planned. When I start on a project I'm highly motivated and have lots of momentum, as I'm sure is true for most knitters, but as time wears on the project loses its novelty, the road beginning to feel long and arduous, until I'm limping toward the finish line wishing to just be put out of my misery. Having those last rows get longer and longer might do me in. Wouldn't it make more sense to cast on the 467 stitches to start with and then decrease so the rows get shorter as time moves on and our energy wanes? If I ever make a shawl again, I'll certainly look for one constructed that way.

Another thing I've learned about is nupps. I've heard of them before but had not made them. I noticed them in the pattern before I started and when I read the stitch guide at the beginning of the pattern, they looked simple enough. To make a nupp, which is like a little bobble, you just k, yo, k, yo, k all in one stitch. Well, that's easy enough! What the stitch guide doesn't mention up front, however, is that when you are on the next row and you come to that nupp, you need purl 5 stitches together. Let me say that again: purl 5 together. Let me tell you, I will never again complain about purling 3 together. Purling 5 stitches together requires not only great dexterity and the holding of one's breath, but apparently the consuming of an entire Manhattan. It also requires a tool, though I'm not sure exactly what - I've been using the pointy end of a metal stitch holder. You just need something smaller than the needles you're using in order to pull the yarn through those 5 stitches. A tiny crochet hook would probably work really well, if I had one, but I've managed to make do. Luckily, the nupps don't come often, but when they do there's a slew of them.

In summary, this project may be more difficult than I thought when I began. But it will look lovely if I can manage to bring it to completion.

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