Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Cure for the Rut

So, a few posts ago I made reference to a shawl that I had started in an attempt to get out of the knitting rut that I found myself mired in. Amusingly enough, knitting the shawl wasn't really as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. I kept angsting about whether or not I liked the way that the stripes looked, and when you're unsure about whether a project is working, it takes away some of the joy of making it. The fact that the last few rows of triangle shawls last forever didn't really aid matters. Still, I'm happy to say that I'm actually really pleased with how it turned out:

And this is: A basic triangle shawl with stripes of 'Sundara Sock' (100% wool) in 'Brambleberry' and some black Patonyle (wool/nylon blend), knitted on a 3.75mm circular needle.

Anna says: As previously mentioned, this project basically revolved around my desire to finally use the Sundara yarn, and use it in a project that wasn't socks - the colour was far too beautiful to be subjected to the ravages of my feet. There wasn't really enough of it for a garment, or to make a decent length scarf, so a shawl it was.

For all those interested, my process went roughly as follows (this is a basic triangle shawl, and about as basic as you can get, but writing this out makes me feel important and knowledgeable!):

Cast on 7 stitches.
Row 1 (RS): k1, m1, k2, m1, k1, m1, k2, m1, k1 (4 stitches increased, 11 stitches total)
Row 2: Knit all stitches
Row 3: k3, place marker, m1, k2, m1, place marker, k1, place marker, m1, k2, m1, place marker, k3
Row 4: Knit all stitches

From this point, work as follows: On every RS row, knit first 3 stitches, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slip marker, k1 (this is the centre stitch), slip marker, m1, knit to last marker, m1, slip marker, k3. On every wrong side row, k3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3. Basically you are increasing 4 stitches per right side row - once on each edge, next to the garter stitch edge, and once on either side of the centre stitch. Continue on until your shawl reaches the desired size.

My stripe pattern went as follows (MC being Sundara, CC being the Patonyle):
4 rows CC, 4 rows MC (72 rows, 18 stripes, ending with MC)
2 rows CC, 4 rows MC (30 rows, 10 stripes, ending with MC)
2 rows CC, 6 rows MC (18 rows, 5 stripes - end with an extra 2 row stripe of CC)
16 rows MC
4 rows MC in garter stitch (maintaining increases).
Bind off all stitches.

As previously mentioned, I really wasn't wild about the striping while I was knitting the shawl. But now I've decided that I quite like the way that it turned out. And while it's smaller than most of the other shawls that I own, it's still just large enough to wear in a couple of different ways (as a scarf, knotted around the shoulders, as a shrug with the ends tied behind the back, etc). And I finally managed to get that Sundara knitted up and out of my stash! This was a classic case of a yarn that just felt 'too nice to use'. Which is arguably a state that no crafting material should ever reach. At least I've found this skein a good home.

In other news, I am making good progress on my cabled Cybele vest. I've survived my first week of the new course, and I am actually really liking it so far! This week I ate my body weight in delicious home-made museli. Oh, and I forgot to mention this earlier: last week I went and saw Amanda Palmer play at The Forum, and it was awesome! I even survived the crazy rain/hail that Melbourne weathered yesterday. The flooding was pretty nuts though - the underpass next door to my work flooded so deeply that the cars that got stuck under there were fully submerged, to the point that they weren't even visible. This situation wasn't made better by the fact that people kept trying to drive through... *rolls eyes*

So yes, I have officially survived the first week of uni, flash flooding, and death by museli. Let's see what next week brings...


Cadence said...

What a beautiful shawl! I really like the stripes, especially since the purple and black are so close together. It keeps the stripes from being too loud. It looks really comfy! I'm inspired, and I might use this pattern as a nice way to use up some of my own stash yarn! Thanks for sharing, keep surviving out there in university-flash-floodland!

choperena said...

That is definitely a nice yarn, and it knit up beautifully!
The problem that I get myself into involves buying Of being gifted) gorgeous yarn, and then never finding a pattern to use it in. Such a nice and simple shawl looks like the perfect solution.

Abby said...

I like the shawl, the around-the-neck look is very nice.

I also like the idea of "angst" as a verb.