alternatively, Scarf update, part deux, we discuss the same scarves as before

But first, thank you so much for your generous compliments on Meg Swansen’s sock! Needless to say, this isn’t the end of stranded knitting for me ;).

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Azalea. What a mistake! What was I thinking? Well, I know what I was thinking. My friends, let us go back in time to Saturday, February 11th, 2006, and let us learn from my stupidity.

I was itching to start a project that day. I had recently finished my grandma’s shawl, quickly followed by the black socks for my dad (truly an emergency situation), and I was entirely project-less. Although the Meg Swansen sock was already planned, the yarn from Purly hadn’t yet arrived. The big blizzard was coming our way that weekend, so I needed to start something using yarn from my stash. And I wanted to knit lace, BAD.

At that time, the only lace book I had on hand was Knitter’s Magazine Shawls and Scarves, and nothing from it really spoke to me. Well, many things spoke to me, but considering this yarn (Malabrigo merino laceweight) is unfroggable, none of the simpler projects really appealed.

So, the blizzard was coming, and I took a total shot in the dark and stopped by my library, which had only one lace book: Marianne Kinzel’s First Book of Modern Lace Knitting. I was thrilled to discover Azalea inside – simple (it’s true – I haven’t had to frog any considerable number of stitches) and pretty.

But it is just so damn boring! The first few repeats were mindless, true, but now with 540 stitches on the needle, I don’t even want to look at it. One round takes me such a long time, and most of the stitches are just knit stitches.

And I’m not stupid! I can do simple math! If 540 stitches gets me to a 12″ diameter, and a reasonable scarfette needs to be at least 30″ in diameter, I will need to work that sucker until I have 1350 stitches! One thousand, three hundred and effing-fifty!

Azalea, you ARE the weakest link, good-bye!

I’m still dying to knit some lace, but Azalea isn’t it. With my Ruffle Scarf serving as the current “on the go” project, I can really tackle something a bit more challenging, plus I finally picked up a few more lace books, so I have more options. I’ve been toying with the idea of the Faux Russian Stole from A Gathering of Lace. I’m just not sure if it’s the type of project I won’t ever have to frog… this yarn is incredibly fragile.
Speaking of the Ruffle Scarf, there has been some progress!

I am just loving this Fluted Rib pattern (BW #2, p. 5). It reminds me of corrugated sheet roofs!

And then do you see how several inches into the scarf I switched the ribs? That was totally on purpose.

Yeah, right! I guess this “mindless” pattern isn’t so mindless after all. I totally screwed up and didn’t notice until I had worked many inches past the mistake. But, in totally uncharacteristic fashion, I decided to leave it! Mainly because this rectangle I’m currently working is just a placeholder for all the ruffles, ruffles, ruffles! Also because I figure I can incorporate it into the pattern – switch the ribs back and forth throughout, or switch one more time at the other end of the scarf for symmetry. Eh, we’ll see how it goes.

Look how carefree I am about this! I don’t know what’s wrong with me ;).


33 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. Karen B.

    Ah, my dear, you will finish Azalea – eventually. You let nothing defeat you. Even boring knitting. Besides, it is such a pretty color!

  2. Colleen

    If you want a lace scarf, try the Mountain Stream scarf (got mine from the Knitting Zone). It’s not a blogsphere-wide phenomenon yet, and it’s a great pattern to work with – very well charted. (Well, okay, I’m not that far yet. But the edging chart is well charted.)

  3. Laura Neal

    I have some malabrigo in azalea, it is a utter b to work with. I have mine and it is sitting in a big old bag, just sitting there. What is it with that color, it is quite beautiful but, alas this girl will never work with it again! It does tear too easily too when you have to rip it out!! I am seriously considering donating it to my MIL, she loves to knit shawls and has the patience, I might add to do them! May the good luck knitting fairy smile upon you!

  4. Purly Whites

    Way to be nonchalent! Would you like some silk lace for whatever you decide to knit? It is easy to rip out, so you could tackle something more difficult. Simon says purrrrrr.

  5. Allison

    I started the Faux Russian Stole a few years ago, and it is a lovely pattern. I chose it because it’s one of a very few interesting garter-based laces (at the time I was being stubborn about purling back, but I’ve solved that). What I found was that the repeats were too long, so it was a question of *constantly* referring to the chart, rather than being able to read the knitting. Also, knowing what I know now, I would skip the knit-as-you-go edging, and do the edging later.

    Come to think of it, I may revive the notion of the Faux … this time as stockinette-based lace, and with the edging attached afterwards …

  6. Annie

    So how long until it bugs you enough to frog it?! I think it looks cool, but after reading your blog for a year now…

  7. Jen

    I really love the colour of the RRscarf, but I can’t see what you’re talking about with the mistake at all…either the colour is very forgiving or I’m blinder than a bat…dunno…either way, it’s pretty.

    Must try some heavier-weight Sundara next! The sock yarn is lovely! Lovelier than Koigu even. I know, that’s a bold statement.

  8. marie in florida

    the mistake i made on my Mountain Stream scarf was that i made the first part of one wrong side row, then when i got to the line of YO that mark the middle , i finished with the second half of a right side row. two inch frog. Mountain Stream might be just the thing for you if, and knowing what you do i say IF you want some just plain mindless,(for you) knitting. it might be a relief after Grandma’s shawl to knit something that knits true to the graph and instructions. i made my mistake because i was talking while knitting. oops

  9. Norah

    Sorry to hear about Azalea! I can understand how boring that is–i didn’t even want to knit a cable pattern over 260 stitches for a sweater. But maybe you’ll feel differently about it when you’ve been away from it for awhile. The scarf is lovely and I like the switched ribs.

  10. j a r e d

    i’m sad to hear that something so beautiful is so boring! but at the same time, i tooootally understand. you can’t knit something you dont enjoy, especially with amazing things on the horizon. maybe just bind off and keep azalea around as a beautiful (and soft!) placemat?? a malabrigo placemat? isn’t there something sacrilegious about that??? did i just suggest this? πŸ˜‰

  11. Ann

    I’ve been wondering whether you might bid farewell to azalea — it looks so charming, but just so small!

    The carefreeness suits you (at least in small doses?). Find something crazy and unpredictable to knit next!

  12. Peg

    I am sure a gal with your perseverance will finish Azalea. The Faux Russian Shawl is beautiful and I know you would do it justice. Some times, we knit just because we love the process – borrowed this line from Zeneedle!

  13. Martha

    Oh dear. See, I picked up Knitter’s Shawls and Scarves, too, and similar to your Azalea, saw that they suggested adapting a doily pattern to a circular shawl. Their pattern suggested changing needles periodically to increase circumference (which I am doing). I’m only about 8″ into it, with about a 2′ circumference and it’s still manageable. But I hadn’t done the math. Sigh. And lots of my pattern is knit, too (although I plan to change that). Similar motivation: Town Meeting is coming up and I needed something to knit — about as boring as a blizzard. Now, I dunno.

  14. Stephanie

    Yipes – that’s a whole lotta stitches. The stole is gorgeous (maybe you should consider some of Purly’s laceweight??). The scarf is just so pretty – I love the color.

  15. Nicole

    Oh NO!!! I’m sad you’re giving up on Azalea… it’s so so pretty. Maybe if it’s set aside for a few weeks you’ll reconsider. Or maybe, like Brenda Dayne’s alpaca shawl, this could be your knitting penance (not that you’re EVER a bad knitter)?

  16. Liz (the crazed weasel)

    still reeling at the idea of malabrigo in laceweight…swoons. (thud)

    Oh, hi. I think lace is in the air. I was looking through Gathering of Lace the other night, too, and a bunch of other books–1893 (a reproduction of an 1893 knitting book), the Orenburg book, BW vol. 1, vol. 2…then I went back to my Olympic cardigan as a break from the now-getting-boring commission.

    Have fun!

  17. Bronwyn

    I’m knitting the Faux Russian Stole right now, and I have to disagree with the above commenter, I enjoy the knitted-on edging; I think it looks quite nice. And the pattern repeats become very easy once you have done one repeat, you really don’t have to “read” the charts much if you knitted lace from a chart before (especially since it repeats so much!) If you want a picture, email me; I’ve got 2.5 repeats done so far.

  18. victoria

    Wow. I love it that you were able to say goodbye to the azalea. I’ve recently realized that guilt over unfinished (and in some cases, unfinishable) knitting projects has held me back, stopped me from moving on to a more rewarding project. It’s like I think I have to use every scrap of yarn in the house before I buy more. But if I were thinking about it rationally, I would reason that I’m not knitting to save money or protect my family from starving or freezing to death; I knit because it’s fun. I ought to be able to abandon a knitting project just like any other recreational project. After all, I can put down a book I don’t like and go back to the bookstore and get another one. Knitting ought to be just the same.

    OK, I realize that this didn’t seem like a profound realization to anyone else, but, it was kind of a breakthrough for me.

  19. Philippa

    Switching back and forth throughout might look more purposeful (and, dare I say it, neater?) – but also more opportunity to forget to do so… πŸ˜‰

    Very impressive that you managed to go with it. Sometimes I think that’s important.

  20. MMario

    When I did Azalea it was with a light sport weight yarn and on US 8’s (I think – I might have used 10’s) – worked up nicely to a full shawl size without getting into the huge huge numbers of stitches.

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