Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Smarter than the Directions

In the midst of Stash Dash, as I was contemplating a marathon project to get me through to my end yardage, I pulled out some Dream in Color Starry that has been marinating for a while. I bought this yarn with a gift certificate from the Incredibly Patient Mother a few years ago when I was on a sparkly kick and have been trying to sort out what I'd made it into since then.

A rummage through the queue on Ravelry produced the Gingko Biloba Shawl.  Skein 1 of 3 was handwound up (no, I still haven't worked things out around Chez Hedgehog so I can set up my swift again) and I had a plan for success.

Only, that's a fingering weight shawl and by the time I was casting on it was July 30. This did not bode well for completing over a km of knitting before the end of Stash Dash. Add to that the usual fall craziness as the semester has started, the students are back [I work in medical education, they never really leave but it's a fraction slower in the summer], and you can understand why I went for the bulky weight cotton weighing down my stash.

Of course, this means that is not a trick I can pull next summer... Things to remember next April.

But I did get a few repeats into the shawl before I abandoned it for crochet.

IMG_7639

As I was starting it, I read through the pattern, read through it again, looked at the pictures, tried to figure out the schematics, read through the pattern again and got dreadfully confused.

Where, I kept asking, were the increase rounds. It seemed pretty obvious that I would start at the top center and work my way out and there would be increases to make the rows bigger and that just wasn't lining up with what I was seeing on the pattern.

IMG_7640

Finally, I opened a message on Ravelry to email the designer and ask her what I was missing. At the last minute, I decided to go through the finished items one more time and there, I saw it.

A few repeats already completed. Clear indicating that I would work the shawl from side to side.  Which is why there was a left side and a right side.

I didn't end up emailing the designer, I'm sure she's glad. My notes on Ravlery for the project will include "this pattern is knit from the right side edge to the center lengthwise, not top down as the not very bright hedgehogs among us thought."

The shawl has been hauled around since Stash Dash but not worked on. It requires just a bit of attention to a pattern and my knitting has, as is often the case, needed to be as on automatic pilot as I can get it.  But I want the finished object, so I need to get back to it. One little repeat at  a time...

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