Couldn’t stand it. Yesterday, while I was doing three other things, I swatched some of the Kildare Lace (left) to see how the pattern works and what part of the pattern does what. This is three pattern repeats. I like how the little scallops are. They don’t curl so they won’t need to be blocked to keep their shape. Once I had the pattern figured out, I modified it to make the insert (right), which is essentially the body of the lace without the little scallops. I replaced the scallops part with a K3 to make the edges symmetrical. These will be the details on my new shawl. The insert will be on the edge of the shawl that hangs around the neck and will add interest to that edge.
After I shut my computer down last night, I had a quick rootle through my stash and found 5 more skeins of that Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Glacier Bay color, and that was immediately designated for this project. It is a color Lion Brand is still carrying, so I will be able to get more if it takes more than 5 skeins to get the length I want. I don’t think it will, though. I’ll knit up one ball and see how much that measures and run my calculations from that, but it should be enough. I want the shawl dimensions to be 25 x 60 inches. I want it long enough that I can wear it in both the traditional way as well as with one end pulled across and draped over my shoulder.
Wouldn’t you know; I sat down this afternoon to read blogs and webcomics and check my YouTube subscriptions for any new videos, and the next thing I know, I’m winding a skein of that Lion Brand yarn into a ball, and I’ve got my US6 (4.0 mm), 32-inch circular needle out, and I’m doing a gauge swatch. Since I’m knitting the shawl from side to side, the pattern will be based on the side dimension, 25 inches, which works out to be 125 stitches using a gauge of 5 stitches per inch on a US6, but I need an even number of stitches for the pattern to come out right, so I added one. (126 stitches = 26 stitches for the top border, 80 stitches for the body of the shawl, and 20 stitches for the bottom border).
Then I spent a good two hours in Word cutting and pasting to assemble the pattern. Because of the way knitting works (you knit like you plow, out and back), which means you work the pattern from left to right on the right side rows, and from right to left on the wrong side rows. Because I have two border patterns, I had to alternate top and bottom when I meshed all the patterns together. So, if Row 1 is top, body, bottom, then row 2 has to be bottom, body, top, etc.
Of course, by now, I’ve got 126 stitches casted on and I’ve decided to do 6 rows of garter stitch to get a “finished edge” to start from. It’s nothing fancy, but it gives the edge some substance. The insert pattern as I swatched it above is only 20 stitches wide all total, and the borders of it are only 3 stitches wide. I decided that it would look better if the insert was set deeper into the fabric of the shawl and that I could do that by putting a wider border along the left edge of the insert, so I added an extra 6 stitches to the left border of the insert pattern.
I’ve already done two repeats to see how it looks and how the parts fit together, and I’m pleased with it. It’s not going to be a real fancy shawl. It has a more simple, understated look, but it’s got enough texture and detail to give it some pizazz. Here’s what it’s looking like so far. At right will be the top edge of the shawl.
That little yellow thing in the lower left corner is a stitch marker that I’m using to neatly secure the “tail-end” of yarn that I will weave into the knitting when I finish the shawl. I do this to keep the yarn from fraying at the end and keep it out of my way.
Naturally, since this is a hot new project, it’s all I want to work on right now. Sigh.
*UFO – UnFinished Object