Recipe

Well, lookie here!

You might be asking yourself, “How can I make such speedy progress? Do I need to quit my job? Learn to knit faster? What’s the secret?” The recipe, my friends, is simple: take one long weekend, and then add several inches of snow. Make sure not to mix in any laundry! There has to be a supply of bad TV on the DVR, so being away for the entire prior week would be very helpful. Internal temperature is critical for the success of this recipe: too hot, and you’ll get sleepy; too cold, and you won’t be able to feel your fingers. Several hours later, voilĂ !

I’m just about halfway done with the main square. Whoa. This is knitting up way faster than I imagined! I guess it’s not really a complicated pattern, conceptually speaking. There are some maneuvers and physical trickery involved, and the shawl is pretty big, but otherwise, there isn’t much to it. All the wrong side rows are “return rows” – either knit or purl back without consulting a chart – and that break often makes all the difference. It’s like you’re relaxing 50% of the time!

I have two thoughts to share about the yarn, Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace in cranberry (get it from Linda, she’s the best!). First, it seems a little stiffer and rougher than the other two colorways of Helen’s Lace that I’ve used in the past (periwinkle and blackberry). I know that the dyeing process can truly affect the properties of yarn. For example, have you ever knit a colorwork project using several colors of the same brand of yarn, and noticed that some strands are thicker or thinner than others? In my experience, the darker colors are usually thinner than the lighter ones. Something like this is happening here, I think – maybe the red dye stiffened up the yarn a bit. As I knit, I keep thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to block this. The transformation will be magnificent!”

My second thought is that I seem to be using waaaaay too little yarn. Remember, I got two whole skeins, 2500 yards of this laceweight yarn! It’s hard to predict anything until the last stitch is knitted, but I’m eyeing that enormous cake of yarn suspiciously as it doesn’t even try to shrink, row after row. I’m watching you, buddy. You’ve been put on notice.

The Punctuated Rib socks progress is much less impressive. For some reason, it’s turning into the project that never ends. I seem to be knitting a round or two every day, and yet the socks aren’t done yet. Oh well. They’re almost done… done to the point where I’m starting to daydream about the other Dangerous projects. With the incessant cold weather, my thoughts are turning to mittens!

24 thoughts on “Recipe

  1. Gisi

    The cranberry colourway is beautiful and so nicely variegated. The fabric is a bit more dense than the original, isn’t it? Beautiful project! One thing I have always wanted to tell you: I love how neat your stiches are!

    Gisi

  2. zgma

    Very pretty! You are inspiring me to try my hand at lace… I am itching to start a shawl, but I don’t know anyone who would wear one.

  3. GinkgoKnits

    With regards to not using much yarn, when I’m knitting I always feel like the yarn ball/cake/hank is hardly diminishing at all until I have only about 1/3 left and then it seems like I’m really moving through the yarn.

    Beautiful work by the way!

  4. Soo

    Looks great!

    Re yardage — I used about 1600-1700 yards on mine (in Zephyr). About 1200 yards on the body and 400-500 on the edging.

  5. Amy

    Oooh I likey. What a great color and the pattern is beautiful. Snowy weekends + VH1 marathons are my perfect times for knitting too. I still don’t knit that fast though, good work!

  6. kelly

    Very nice! I bet the edging will be down to the wire- it’s like a marathon, and the yarn cake is just staying the course :)

  7. Seanna Lea

    That looks great! The bands of garter stitch are a little surprising. There aren’t that many shawls I’ve seen out there that combine garter and stockinette-based sections.

  8. Danielle M

    Very lovely. As far as the yardage goes, I’ve found that borders can take more yarn than I expect. I’m working on a project right now where almost half the stitches are in the border!

  9. Carla

    I am watching this lovely shawl, eager to see the final product. And I do believe I would like to put this gorgeous color into a silver ice cream dish and eat it! Beautiful!

  10. Laura Neal

    Mittens…I can talk about those. I am in the middle of a pair right now and they are so addicting in the selbu method. Love them. Matter of fact, instead of birthday socks this year, they are all getting mittens. :)

    Your shawl is lovely.

  11. Erica

    That’s some crazy progress! I think I need a good snowstorm. It’ll be interesting to see whether the yarn softens after washing…I hope it does!

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