Monday, October 29, 2007

Off the Back Burner

This weekend was a really nice blend of some of my favorite things. There was lots of sunshine. I drove down to the University of Cincinnati and had lunch with my son John yesterday. I finished one of Nancy’s mysteries and started another, and I did a whole lot of knitting.

Dave worked both days. I don’t know when I’m going to get another weekend with so much uninterrupted knitting time, so I knew I’d better make the most of it. That meant pulling out the dreaded Albatross (Alpine) Shawl. I haven’t touched it since the middle of September.

It took me a few rows to get back in the swing of things. Right away I remembered why this project seems to be taking forever – it’s patterned on both the right and wrong sides. Instead of just purling (or knitting) across the wrong side of the shawl, one has to follow two lace charts. The pattern calls for 37 pattern repeats of Chart B. By last night I’d completed 38. I was a little dismayed because the shawl is only 48 inches long. If I stop at this point and add the edging, it will be 56 inches before blocking. Now I know that blocking can work miracles, but somehow I don’t see it adding 6 inches to this shawl.

(Note: The end looks wider than the rest of the shawl because it hasn't been pinned out. The edging comes to points at each end of the shawl. I'm pretty sure that once it's shaped properly during the blocking process, the ends of the shawl will be the proper width.)
This kind of thing happens to me often. I knit loosely and usually have to go down a needle size to get gauge. Then I don’t get the row height I need and have to knit extra pattern repeats to get an acceptable length. Fortunately, I’ve still got a fair amount of yarn. Unfortunately that means I really don’t have a magic number of total pattern repeats to look forward to. I’m just going to have to keep going until either a) the shawl is long enough or b) it looks like I’m going to run out of yarn. Now you know why I call it the Albatross Shawl.


Robin said...

It's beautiful!

Sourire11 said...

How frustrating that you're not sure how long you will have to be knitting it... it's going to be so pretty when it's done, though!!!