The comings and goings of luck

I’m afraid of tomorrow.

You see, today was pretty great – I wore a new coat and received a compliment as soon as I arrived at work, the science went smoothly in big ways and little ones, and now I’ve finished my mom’s shawl with maybe a yard or two of yarn left. The little tangle of string hanging off of the corner? That’d be it! The only thing remaining!

Now things can only go in one direction – back to the average, which means something’s gotta go bad. Nail biting and worrying can begin… now ;).

Let me switch the dramatic channel back to pragmatism, which is the expected standard around here. Specifically, some of you may be noticing that the border of this Toe the Line shawl doesn’t look like the original. Ding-ding-ding! You are correct!

As written, the border is added perpendicularly to the edge of the shawl. A few stitches (less than 20) are worked back-and-forth in rows, and the growing fabric is simultaneously attached to the live stitches of the main triangle. This is not a new technique for me – Misty Morning and Mountainash had some of their borders attached in this fashion, and I knit the Toe the Line sample, let’s not forget ;).

My biggest issue with this method is the continuous turning of the work, back and forth. Nope, my knitting backwards is not faster than turning (yet!). Also, if I change my mind about the border, frogging can be a bit of a hassle (even with a lifeline) because the live stitches are spread out between two separate planes of work, if you will. Third, in this particular pattern, the chosen border is a little too pointy for my mom’s tastes, so I didn’t feel a particular attachment to it from the beginning. Fourth, I probably would have run out of yarn anyway, since what I ended up knitting was much more petite and even then I barely made it!

I used a seldom-cited book by Evelyn Clark called Knitting Lace Triangles to guide me. Off the top of my head, you can buy it at Paradise Fibers, and this shop on eBay carries it for cheaper than what I paid at my LYS! In it, Evelyn details the simple and intuitive design of many of her triangular shawls, including the Leaf Lace Shawl and the Shetland Triangle.

It was the signature scalloped border of Ms. Clark’s shawls that interested me this time, of course. Toe the Line has a pattern repeat which is different in size and style from the Clark repeats, but I fudged a lot and knit something resembling a border anyway. It may be half-assed. (It is definitely half-assed. It looks like Evelyn’s signature leaves got hit with a beetle infestation.) Maybe that’s my luck running out, heh? But I think the shawl will be okay anyway ;).

26 thoughts on “The comings and goings of luck

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  1. Desiree

    The shawl looks very attractive in that 2nd photo–you’re very good with that camera by the way! I think Mom will be happy–don’t worry about it! You’re such a perfectionist! (Like me!) ;-)

  2. Trish

    Wow! You are lightening fast. That is a gorgeous piece of work. What a lucky mama you have. And…thanks for all the technical tips. I often refer to them in your blog.

  3. andrea

    I can’t wait to see it blocked!

    I actually bought Knitting Lace Triangles about a month ago and am pleased as punch with it. I’ve read through it once and skimmed it a couple times. My next cast on will be with that book at my side. Such a great little gem.

  4. Elinor

    But only you can make half-assed look professional! I second the book recommendation! I read Clark’s book cover to cover even though I don’t knit lace! And eeeeeep! to that little yarn left! Call it meticulous planning, not luck.

  5. Tana

    Oh, I think it’s beautiful! You almost make me want to buy that book just to figure out how to fake my own borders on shawls.

  6. yoel

    I completely agree about the knitted-on borders, which are a complete pain. The shawl is lovely, and kudos on having just the right amount of yarn!

    Yay for the science too.

  7. Denise in Kent, WA

    There’s nothing wrong with a subtle border on a lace shawl! I’m not wild about the extremely pointy borders used in many shawl patterns, either. Your mom’s shawl is beautiful and I’m sure she’ll be proud and happy to wear it.

  8. Margie in Maryland

    I think the shawl is lovely – nothing half assed about it.

    (delurking to come to the shawl’s defense).

  9. gleek

    i’m hoping your luck will hold out! sometimes it can for months or years even! the shawl is beautiful. your mother will love it! :)

  10. Jean

    This is what knitting is all about, making something you love the way you want it. Something homemade is just that – it can be unique and will be ever more appreciated. Thanks for the tip on the book you referenced, I shall be checking this one out. By the way I really love to live in the moment, I don’t think about tommorrow, I just enjoy right now, everthing gets taken care of and nothing seems too formidable.

  11. Jean

    This is what knitting is all about, making something you love the way you want it. Something homemade is just that – it can be unique and will be ever more appreciated. Thanks for the tip on the book you referenced, I shall be checking this one out. By the way I really love to live in the moment, I don’t think about tommorrow, I just enjoy right now, everthing gets taken care of and nothing seems too formidable.

  12. Lucy

    The border will be fine – remember the magic of blocking! Lace always looks a teensy bit disappointing just after you cast it off – all that work and you have a lumpy holey piece of knitting. You need to get blocking and give yourself the endorphine rush!

  13. KERaven

    “work” and “the science”….are you back at work? And what are you doing? The knitting is beautiful as always, and I’m sure the world will not collapase tomorrow!

  14. Debbie

    That is beauuuuutiful. I think if I got that lucky I would have to push my luck and buy a lottery ticket.

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