Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas is comi------oh, wait, a distraction!

So (one of) the (many, many) reason(s) I'm a smidge behind on my Christmas knitting is that I thought it would be a really good idea to knit my friend a lace shawl for her birthday. Which was December 10. And I came up with this brilliant idea on, oh, November 27. Which not only left very little time to accomplish a lacy shawl beyond the scope of any lace project I've completed before, but also interrupted my Christmas knitting, which, up until that point, had been going along fairly smoothly.


I am clearly a genius.

(It really wasn't my fault though. She had complimented my Summer Flies Shawlette. So it was an absolute necessity. See?)


But I pushed ahead and am happy to say, I actually did it.


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Pattern: Damask, by Kitman Figueroa
Yarn: Caper Sock by String Theory
Size: small
Rav link


This is my first "real" lace shawl (ok, it's not done in laceweight, but still)--I've done a few other shawls, but they just had a lace border, or the body was mostly eyelets and not really lace. Not so with this one, which is allover lace, and, frankly, super fantastic. So of course, I could not keep it for myself. It seems to be an unwritten rule that whenever I manage to knit something super fantastic, I've already committed to giving it away. Hmph.


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As many knitters know, lace shawls frequently contain nupps. What you may not know is that "nupp" is shorthand for "will cause hand cramps and general misery." Seriously.


Ok, not seriously, but it may as well be. Here's generally how my nupp experience went.


Right side: "Knit 7 stitches into the next stitch? Well, ok, that's kind of pain, but doable. 1 . . .2 . . . 3 . . .. 5 . . . wait, that was 4. Ok, 5 . . . 6 . . . 8 . . . how did I get 8? Grrrrr. Let's start over. 1 . .. 2 . . . . . . sh!t, lost count again. Well, that's some number greater than 3, that should do it."


Wrong side: "Purl next 7 stitches together??? What the hell? What kind of magic am I supposed to use to do that? These aren't Hermione's bewitched knitting needles here!!! Ok, maybe I should try it before panicking. Let's go . . . ok, that's 1 stitch on the needle . . . 2 . .. 3---come on, 3, get your act together and get on the right hand needle. 4----ack, this is impossible, and I've still got 3 stitches to go. There's no room! Am I supposed to be using a sewing needle?? (Assorted grunting while trying to force needle through remaining stiches.) Ow, ow ow, my hand!! Ok, they're all on there. Now, to pull the yarn through. Oops, split the strand. Oooooops, split the strand again. OK, got it! Got it! Got it! Don't got it. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh. Ouchie, ouchie, my finger!!"


And so on, and so forth.


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I don't know what crafty bastard invented nupps, but clearly some kind of masochist. Or possibly someone with an iron fingertip.

Aside from the nupps, though, this was a fairly enjoyable knit. The designer did an unGodly number of charts, they must've given her quite a headache, but they were easy to follow, and I encountered no problems.  (Well, actually, just one small problem. There's a row missing between the final chart, and the "finishing" instructions--it's hidden in the written instructions for the last chart, but was easy to skip over. It was also easy enough to find once I realized the last charted row was a right side row, and the first row for "finishing" was a right side row, so I'd certainly missed a crucial step somewhere.)

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So there you have it, a shawl in 2 weeks. I have bestowed it upon the lucky recipient, who made all of the appropriate Ooos and Ahhhhs and other assorted compliments. And I'm just trying not to miss my shawl too much as I finish up the last of my admittedly less awesome Christmas gifts.

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3 comments :

Elizabeth said...

That is a beautiful shawl and I'm in awe that you finished it in two weeks!

Clumsy Knitter said...

Beautiful! It's in my queue and I hope mine turns out as perfect as yours did!

leann said...

oh, it's beautiful! Your friend is very lucky!