Thursday, December 31, 2009

(insert primal scream)

Last night, I was merrily knitting along, on row 102 of 105, when disaster struck. My needle cable snapped. My shawl exploded off the needle and turned into a jumbled mess. I spent the next 20 minutes carefully picking up the stitches. But now that I have the stitches picked up, I'm wary of knitting them on KP again. Since I only have 3 3/4 rows to go, it should be done quickly, but...

The Dragon is stalled. Wollmeise Lace-garn does not like to be frogged. When I went to cast on again, I found that it considered plying a suggestion rather than an imperative. I ended up cutting off several feet of what was essentially tiny threads vaguely related to one another. Even so, what remains is still incredibly splitty. I'm of two minds about this yarn. The pros are that it's the perfect color, the drape is wonderful and it has good stitch definition. The cons are that it's is very splitty and doesn't take frogging well. It also has an heretofore unexpected halo, which I definitely don't like. I honestly thought the difficulty in knitting this project would be the pattern, not the yarn!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hurray for Yarndogs!

I picked up the Addi Turbo Lace needle, US 0, 2mm, 40" today at Yarndogs. I was trying to decide if I really should get an Addi, but decided that since I've already spent $15 on the pattern, which will undoubtedly only be used once, I should definitely spring for the needles. The join on the KP needles was snagging on the yarn, anyway.

I decided on the 40" so I can tell right away how large the shawl will be. I hate pulling a mini-shawl off the needles and discovering I've actually made a poncho. For example, I have a sneaking suspicion that my Milkweed Shawl is much larger than it ought to be. The other problem is that it makes me hungry every time I knit it. It's in Handmaiden Casbah (which I got for half-price(!) from a destasher on Ravelry) in Blackberry. It looks exactly like blackberries, so I crave blackberries, blackberry pie, blackberry cobbler, blackberry jam... The Casbah is very nice, even for an MCN yarn. It's soft and squishy and so nice to knit.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ribbit, ribbit!

I started to have a nagging feeling that I was going to run out of yarn. My gauge swatch was off just by 1/2 stitch, but I thought that wouldn't matter too much in lace. Well, 1/2 stitch wouldn't but 2 stitches definitely is too far off. I would have been short ~200 yards. So, I frogged back. And promptly discovered my cast-on was wonky anyway. Since the only needle I have in the right size is a KP Harmony, way too close to my yarn color, I'm going to track down an Addi Lace tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a couple of UFOs to work on anyway.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 rows down...544 to go

I finished 5 rows today and 5 yesterday. At this rate, I'd be done in April which wouldn't be too bad. I hope it's not a bad sign that I miscounted for the 2nd YO. I'm going to take it as a warning not to be cocky and count everything. Twice. Another 24 border rows and then I get to the body of the shawl. Then 20 rows of ring stitch before starting the dragon. My goal is to get to the dragon's claw this weekend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dragon of Happiness

The problem with asking yarn what it wants to be is that sometimes it tells you. I'm participating in a Wollmeise Lace KAL on Ravelry. I thought it would be fun to do a large project that would utilize as much of this beautiful yarn as possible. I was thinking about the lovely Forest Path Stole, which is entrelac lace, so each rectangle is a mini project. Very satisfying. However, after I wound the lace, I changed my mind. I searched the Ravelry patterns and came up with a short list of possible patterns. That's when the trouble started. The yarn didn't like any of my choices. I went through and discarded numerous patterns, when finally a tiny voice said, "Dragon of Happiness?"

My immediate response was no, absolutely not. I'd have to be crazy to tackle it. It's true knitted lace with no rest rows. According to Ravelry and Google, only 4 people have ever completed the shawl, with one of those being the designer. The pattern is 23 pages long with 18 pages of charts. There are 6 charts, each 3 pages and 100 rows long. Over 125,000 stitches. The KAL deadline is March 31. March 31, 2010. 3 months from now. I must be insane.

So I've spent the morning assembling my materials and taking pictures and generally dawdling to avoid casting on for this monster. Choosing the right knitting bag for each project is so important! After all, I wouldn't want the bag and the project to clash, right? But I think I'm ready to start now. Right after lunch.

Pattern: Dragon of Happiness by Sharon Winsauer
Yarn: Wollmeise Lace-garn Dunkle Kirsche
Needles: Knitpicks Options US1 (2.5mm) 32" circular
Knitting Bag: Green Mountain Knitting Bags Madison Sweater bag