Friday, December 9, 2011

Knit Along: Schmetterling Shawl from Mia BellaDay 5

It’s not over till the tall lady blocks

Definitely not a knit-and-wear item.  This is why we block.  I’m delighted that the shawl is finished, but I couldn’t possibly don it in its current tiny, curly state.  It’s not much larger than a bandana right now, and it looks more like something that belongs in a salad than something that belongs on my shoulders.  It hasn’t gained all its lacy goodness.

Ah, but a nice bath and a good stretch will take care of that in a jiffy.  Properly blocked, this will take on a delicate elegance that will allow the pattern design to really pop.  This one will be lovely.  That transformation on tomorrow’s to-do list, and I can hardly wait.

My week has been full of tending a grumpy, contagious teenage boy on quarantine, so the sense of accomplishment is desperately needed.  Honestly, there are weeks when I’m easily convinced if I didn’t knit, I’d need sedatives. Or anti-depressants.  Or both.

On a practical level, I do have two pattern notes:

  • I particularly liked the bind-off on this one.  It has a good elasticity--something often lacking in my bind offs, so I was glad to add a new skill to my toolbox.  It’s pretty and simple, like a backwards version of the knit-two-together bind-off I usually use.  It gives the same sort of serge edge I often use on scarves, and I like that elasticity.  I suspect it will be important as this piece stretches into its full elegance.

  • After a grumbling hour unknitting two very long rows, I found I needed to add a “K2” to the first instructions of the border’s first row.  Either it’s a typo, or I messed up earlier repeats.  I should have seen it coming.  If I’d been a thinking knitter, I would have realized how elements in the border needed to line up with elements from the pattern. If I had seen past my blind obedience to see the the overall design concept, I wouldn’t have been an hour’s worth of stitching into the border before I realized my mistake.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve made the mistake of not listening to the small voice in my head saying “something’s not right here.”  Call it “knitter’s intuition.”  And when you hear it, heed it.


Morgan Johnstone said...

Maybe you can help me. I've never knitted a shawl before and I'm really confused with the border. I don't see anything in the pattern about casting on stitches for it, so is there another method used?

Allie Pleiter said...

I confess it's been nearly six years since I knit this shawl, so I don't remember enough to be of help. If you're talking about the lower boarder, I don't remember casting on separate stitches, just starting a new section of the pattern. My advice would be to contact the designer or ask the question on the pattern's Ravelry page--you're likely to get someone who has recently knitted the piece and can answer questions.
If you can't get answers there, let me know and I can put you in touch with the yarn shop--they may be able to help you.
Thanks for reaching out,