Thursday, October 1, 2009

Stick A Fork In It

Ugh. It's been one of those weeks, ya know? It's Thursday already and I'm just now getting a chance to let you know what happened after my lace emergency of last week. First of all, I want to thank everyone for your helpful and kind comments! I know it's something we've all been through before, and every time it happens I think, "Well that was stupid! I'm never going to make that mistake again!" Famous last words, of course.

I decided to play it safe and figure out how much yarn each border repeat was going to take. Using a very scientific method of sticking a safety pin through the yarn at 3-foot repeats, I calculated that each row of the border took about a foot of yarn. A foot! That would mean that to do the border as written, I would need about half the yardage from the entire skein. Umm...definitely not enough for that.

So I ripped. I ripped out about 24 hours' worth of knitting. I ripped out the outer border. I ripped out the inner border. I ripped out my grafted seam (and a beautiful seam it was, too). I ripped out 3 pattern repeats from each side of the shawl. When I was done, I was left with this: two shawl halves and a bunch of little balls of yarn in various lengths.

Then I started the process over again. I grafted the two sides together. I picked up stitches and knitted the inner border. At this point, I was contacted by Liz, the dyer extraordinaire at MacKintosh Yarns, who told me not to panic and that even though there was no more yarn in this color to be had, I was welcome to stick a crochet edging on the thing and call it done. Now, maybe it's just that I didn't want to admit that a shawl had defeated me. Maybe it's my Midwestern work ethic. Maybe it's simply the fact that my crochet skills can be called "sketchy" at best, but I wasn't about to just throw any old thing on the shawl.

So I did what any self-respecting knitter does and picked a simple (read: low-stitch-count) border out of Victorian Lace Today and used that instead. Good thing too because by the time I had finished knitting up the border on Tuesday night, there was barely more than a tiny coil of yarn left. Whew!

Problem solved. Major crisis averted. The shawl is blocking and all is well.

Oh! And I just have to say a word about this yarn: MacKintosh Yarns Spinneret Lace. It is a 55/45 blend of silk and superwash marino. I just have to say that after repeated knittings and rippings, it held up just fine. No pills, no fuzz, it still looks great. It's nice and smooth and has good drape, and it's not thick like some 100% wool laces can be. I think I may have found my new favorite lace yarn. Just sayin'.

12 comments:

leann said...

It looks beautiful!

amy said...

Way to go! Impressive rescue! Now that it's over, it's almost...nope, not funny yet.

pacalaga said...

Lovely! If ever I can get back to lace, I'll give the Mackintosh a try. For me anyway, laceweight that stands up to ripping is important. :/

Briley said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that to finish this, but good job! I totally would have wimped out and done the crochet edge.

Andrea said...

Beautiful!!!! Love it! love it!! love it!!!

Hilary said...

24 hours of knitting ripped?! That pains me just reading it! But it looks awesome and the edging you chose is lovely.

KGLO said...

WOW. you are either absolutely brilliant or really really stubborn :P

Jacey said...

I'm so proud for you. I think you made a smart, but pain-in-the-ass choice. It looks lovely.

Cookie said...

I'm so sorry you had to do all that ripping, but the finished piece is lovely

MacKintosh Yarns said...

It's soooo pretty and GRREEEENNN!!!!!!! I love green! Love love love! The border looks wonderful! You did an awesome job as always Deirdre. =) <3 I just hope you know how much I appreciate your hard work.

Mom said...

It is absolutely gorgeous! What wonderful yarn to rip with! (I just had to rip several rows on my lace scarf and, well, it nearly felted). Anyway, you are so clever and wonderful and you don't have to publish this comment. I am so proud of you.

Karen said...

Good job recovering from a possible disaster! Just chanced on your blog and so enjoyed the adventure. More than you did, probably!