Thursday, October 27, 2005

Crossing My Fingers

Finally! I've gotten over the row 15 hurdle. I've started the Feather and Fan Shawl from "A Gathering of Lace" many, many times. It wouldn't surprise me if it was in excess of 25 times. Each and every time I lost it before the fifteenth row was complete. I'm sure this was due in part to my choice of yarns. I'm using an ultra slippery, laceweight, handpainted tencel.

I was given several good hints for starting a circular shawl, from the helpful knitters at "Lace For All Seasons", and I am now finished the first 20 rows.

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One person suggested that I start the work with the needles laid out on a pillow, only picking them up just enough to knit the stitches. The pillow can be rotated to the next needle when necessary. Another person said they used a folded towel. The pillows I had available were too fat and rounded so I went with a folded tea towel.

I still wasn't having any (lasting) success though, until someone wrote to say I should try knitting the center portion on bamboo skewers (the yarn slides less) and then once I got it going I could transfer the knitting to the regular needles. Even with this final hint it took me another couple tries before I got it right.

When I first looked at the picture close up I thought perhaps I had made a mistake as it looks a bit wonky, but I dragged out the book and as far as I can tell the shawl in the book looks the same.

Hopefully my luck will hold and I'll be able to get far enough to justify a lifeline. Once I get the center petaled flower done it gets much, much easier (and quite boring I hear).


Michelle said...

I always have a problem starting off a shawl circularly. It's so awkward and believe it or not, the only thing that works for me is to position my needles into a teepee. I'm so weird.

I'm glad you have it started and well on its way now. Will you be working both charts, or just one? I'm using both and it seems to keep the boredom of it at bay.

I love the colour of your tencel. Your shawl will be beautiful when it's finished.

Susanne said...

No "wonky" appearance to me, looks gorgeous. I am a 2 socks on 2 circs kinda girl so I always start things like that on 2 circs, find it goes much easier. You may find the wooden bamboo skewers to be just the ticket and face it, the price is right. Last I saw they were $0.99 for 'lots"! (lol)

Marlene said...

I'm not sure yet if I'll be doing just the one chart or both. I'm a little concerned that, with them both being so similar, I would forget and knit the wrong chart....I tend to do those kind of things. :-P

Marlene said...

Funny that you should mention it, I JUST now knit the first row using two circular Addi Turbos. I don't usually do the two circular route, preferring the Magic Loop Technique, but for this project two circulars are definately working better.

Maggie Ann said...

I like all the advice you got about using a towel etc. I made a dishcloth on dpns' last summer and I had an awlful time getting going but finally did. (Of course I prayed about it) = ). This is the first time I've ever heard of tencel. Oh, so pretty but not for beginners I take it.