Despite all the work I’ve been doing at the shop, I have found a little time to knit this summer. My summer project is the Rhea Stole, worked in an alpaca / silk hand dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer. Pictures of lace in progress are not very exciting, but here it is.
This is (or will be) a long rectangular piece of lace, with two very pretty border sections at each end. The border strips are worked vertically, then attached to the seemingly never ending body, which is a very simple two row repeat.
I’m knitting this for a non-knitting friend, who asked if I’d knit it up as a gift for one of her good friends.
The project started in late May and it has been my constant companion while watching Red Sox games, the Deadliest Catch, and True Blood.
Hopefully it will be finished sometime in August, so the friend of a friend will have a lovely warm scarf this fall.
The thing I love about lace knitting lace is that moment when the pattern “clicks”. For me, every new lace project is both a joy and a struggle. The happy moments are when I’m selecting a lace pattern and choosing just the right yarn. I’m also happy as I set up my charts, copying and resizing for my 42 year-old eyes, highlighting the repeats, and arranging it all on my KnitPicks Chart Keeper. Fiber and needles in hand, the cast on begins and my optimism remains.
The struggle usually begins about two or three pattern repeats in. One moment, all is going well, and then suddenly I come to the end of a row and realize something is wrong. Maybe there are two extra stitches or not enough. Whatever the case, I’ve made a mistake and the now the frustration begins. Slowly I unknit each stitch on a hunt to find my error. Sometimes the tinking is short and the error appears quickly. A missed YO or an extra knit stitch. Other times, the tinking continues for rows, the errant stitch cunningly hiding from my squinting eyes, until I throw up my hands in defeat and frog the whole darn thing.
This has happened with every lace project I’ve ever knit. And every time I ask myself why do I continue with this lace knitting. The answer to “Why do I do this?” is because I love that moment when when my brain “clicks” and the secret code of the pattern reveals itself to me. I can suddenly see the paired increases and decreases. I can see the structure of the pattern, the center line and the edge stitches. I am comfortable enough with the code to confidently knit each row with just a quick glance at the pattern. No longer to I need to hold the chart in a white-knuckled death grip as I go.
This time the “click” happened as I sped down the tracks from Providence to New York City on the Amtrak Acela Express. Maybe because I was sitting in the quiet car, away from the distractions of cell phones and where conversations couldn’t raise above a whisper, I was finally able to focus my attention completely on my knitting and decipher the code.
Its complete except for the blocking. Such a fun pattern, just the kind I like – complex enough to keep my entertained, simple enough to knit while watching baseball. While I’m very happy with the finished scarf, I think I would have liked it more in a solid yarn, but I’ll hold off on final thoughts until it’s done blocking and I can actually wear it.
You can learn more about the pattern and the project by finding me on Ravelry.
And speaking of Ravelry, I’ve already queued up my next project – Print O’ The Wave Stole by the lovely Eunny Jang. I really am enjoying knitting lace, and for this next project, I’ll finally use the very pretty Malabrigio Lace Weight I received as a gift last Christmas.
Now I’m off to get ready for a typical American Memorial Day weekend, first a cook-out with some friends, then a baseball game. Through it all, a heartfelt Thank You to all the brave men and woman we honor today. God Bless America.