Sunday, August 5, 2007

Knitter, Know Thyself

The Oakley Shawl is finished - at last!

In a fit of optimism I assumed I’d have it done by midday on Saturday and would be ready to move on to something new and colorful. WRONG.

When I had 178 stitches on the needles and the shawl measured about 25 inches from the lower back to the neckline, I cast off – out of concern that I’d run out of yarn for the fringe. The shawl was definitely small but it would work in a pinch.

Adding the fringe took HOURS.

By evening it was done, but there was this much yarn left on the ball.

It was enough to add some much needed length to the shawl. Nancy must be rubbing off on me (isn’t THAT a scary thought?!), because I ripped back the cast off (this was actually the second time) and resumed knitting.

After a few more rows I began to hold my breath with each row because I wasn’t sure whether there would be enough yarn left over for the cast off and any extra fringe that would be needed.

When there were 192 stitches on the needles, I cast off a final time. After adding the fringe, there was this much yarn leftover.

I probably could have gotten at least one more row out of it, but it just wasn’t worth ripping out the cast off one more time.

Here it is in all its glory:

Pattern: Oakley Shawl – Berroco pattern leaflet #225
Yarn: Berroco Suede (6 balls)
Colorway: Hopalong Cassidy #3714
Started: May 2006? (The yarn was purchased at the end of April 2006)
Finished: August 5, 2007

As I’ve remarked (whined about) before, I found knitting the suede tedious because it’s a ribbon yarn, and I took pains to keep it flat. The project languished in the UFO pile for a long time because the knitted fabric felt a bit rubbery (not bad enough to say “ew” though). Despite all of these complaints, if I had it to do over again I would have ordered an extra ball or two of yarn so I could make the shawl larger.

I’m really glad I finished the Oakley, but now that it’s done I’m not sure how much wear I’ll get out of it. I like to look a little funky sometimes, but with the fringe this shawl may be over the top.

The real moral of this story is that in the future I should avoid any project (no matter how cute) that:

1. involves ribbon yarn; or
2. requires endless garter stitch

Let’s face it, I have the attention span of a gnat and not much in the way of self discipline when it comes to sticking with a knitting project once the newness wears off.

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