Friday, April 06, 2007

The flame still burns

This is the last of the catch up entries I've been working on posting to this blog this week, and I hope I've saved the best for last.

Over the last month I've been working on my 'Candle Flame Shawl' quite steadily, and while I haven't been able to post photos of my progress due to some uncooperative photo manipulation software, I did take a few work in progress shots so I'd be able to share them once the problem was solved.

And here they are at last! :)

This first one is of the shawl at around the halfway point, and is one I promised to post for the benefit of the ColourMart Yahoo Group members, as it shows the size that could be knit with just one cone of the 2/28nm lace weight smooth silk yarn...


At the stage shown in the photograph, 360 rows have been completed, and I'm fairly certain there would still be more than enough yarn left at this point to work a border along the top edge if a single cone was being used to knit the shawl. The cones were included in the photograph to give some idea of the size of the shawl, although it should be borne in mind that when the shawl is blocked I'm anticipating that it will expand in width and become a much less pointy triangular shape. I think I can confidently say that a reasonable sized finished version of this shawl could easily be knit using the quantity of yarn on just one 150g cone of this yarn. :)

But as I've always envisaged this shawl as being a more substantial size and not just one which will drape across my shoulders, I have continued on from this point and I have a few more progress shots to share.

This is my 'Candle Flame Shawl' after 440 rows...


And after 470 rows...


... which is the point I'm currently at.

And as most people still seem to be preferring what is nominally supposed to be the wrong side of the shawl...


For anyone who is interested, the rows are now 753 stitches long.

David recently mentioned my shawl on his 'Sticks & Strings' podcast (Woohoo! :) ), and provided some estimates as to how many stitches I have had to knit to reach the point I was at when he last saw it, along with an estimate of the number of stitches I'm likely to have knit by the time I finally complete the project. As I was curious to know what the actual figures might be, I've just sat down and calculated the number of stitches I've knit to reach this point, and have arrived at a figure of 176,674. I have to say that I'm very impressed that the figures David quoted -- which he calculated in just seconds, I should add -- were most definitely in the ballpark.

And the good news for me is that the finish line is finally in sight after working all 176,674 of those stitches -- well, more than that really, as I've made a fair few mistakes along the way ;) -- as the yarn remaining on the cones has decreased quite noticeably now...


Judging by the weight of yarn remaining on the cones, I've used around 80% of the yarn I originally had. There will be a bit of a delay in finishing this shawl though, as I really need to work on the scarf for my ISE 4 pal so I can get it finished in time for the deadline.

The up side of this delay is that it will give me a bit more time to think about what I want to do to finish the top edge of the shawl. I'm still not keen on the look of the original knitted on garter stitch edging, but I do realize that whatever I do decide to use will need to have enough stretch to it to allow the shawl to be blocked out to its final width. I think I'll ask again on the 'Candle Flame Shawl Knit-Along' Yahoo Group for information on what others have done to finish the top edges of theirs, as I received an interesting response last time I asked which I really need to follow up on.

As I've already let it slip that I've been making mistakes while knitting this shawl ;), I thought I should also reveal the mistake I've found myself making most often.

Surprisingly enough, it isn't knit stitches where purl stitches should be, or vice versa -- that would be much too easy to fix by simply dropping the stitches down to the error and then working the stitches back up with the correct orientation.

The mistake I've found myself making most often is this...


Just in case it isn't clear from the photograph, there's an extra loop that shouldn't be there waiting to be worked on the right needle, which is the result of one of the various forms of 'yarn over' having found its way on to the needle while I was knitting the previous row. Why this would have happened -- and a surprisingly large number of times too, I hasten to add :( -- I have absolutely no idea, as 'yarn overs' aren't even a feature of this particular pattern stitch.

And as far as mistakes go, I'm finding this one a really annoying one to deal with when I suddenly come across one, as it's the kind of thing that's just itching to form a hole in the fabric where there really shouldn't be one...


Due to the smooth nature of the fabric of this shawl, the best solution appears to be to 'tink' back to the point in the row below where the mistake was made and then re-knit the row without the 'yarn over' -- something which was bad enough early on when the rows were short, but is truly painful when there are more than 700 stitches in a row and Murphy's Law inevitably dictates that the mistake will have been made near the beginning of the row and so won't be discovered until towards the end of the following row. I've now learnt to look back over my work for these errant 'yarn overs' at regular intervals while knitting each row so I don't have too far to go back if I do find one, and not to work on this shawl when I'm tired or distracted.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate knitabulous for the Highly Commended awards she received for the two shawls she entered in the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year. Judging by the quality of work displayed on her blog, I'd say the awards were well deserved, and I cant wait to see her 'Shetland Sampler Stole' and 'Peacock Feathers Shawl' on display at the Show.

Julie also had a couple of her projects entered this year, but unfortunately they don't appear to have received awards in their categories. :( All I can say is that there must've been some pretty spectacular competition in those categories as Julie's entries were amazing.

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8 Comments:

At 9:30 am, April 07, 2007, Blogger JulieB said...

Nope, no prizes for me. Hurumph. Maybe next year....

That shawl is looking spectacular. Makes me wish I was a lace knitter instead of fair isle obsessed!

 
At 2:56 pm, April 07, 2007, Blogger Pamela Lee said...

I think Katherine wishes I was more fair isle obsessed ;) -- the Skull Vest she keeps reminding me about has been languishing on my UFO pile for a year now. When I get up some enthusiasm for the project again, I will finish it for her, but I don't think fair isle is ever going to be a passion for me. :( I'm really glad now that I wrote lots of detailed notes as to how the vest was to be knit, as I'd hate to have to do all that work again.

 
At 6:52 am, April 09, 2007, Blogger Theresa said...

Looks beautiful!

 
At 6:54 pm, April 11, 2007, Blogger knitabulous said...

Firstly, thank you for the congrat's - the lace knitting standard is very high in the show this year, I'm still not convinced I'm deserving. Still, it was exciting to see it displayed!

Are your errant yo's a result of not getting your needle right out from the loop before slipping it off? Cos I do that in haste sometimes and it leaves a dodgy yarnover.

 
At 8:58 am, April 15, 2007, Blogger Emma said...

Wow, it looks perfectly gorgeous. Congratulations!

 
At 11:11 am, April 18, 2007, Anonymous Donna said...

It looks so gorgeous, Pamela. I'm particularly enamoured of the colour, I seem to be having a red thing lately!

 
At 9:06 am, May 02, 2007, Anonymous angelarae said...

Just starting my shawl. I find it to be addictive. Yours is gorgeous. What yarn are you using? Very pretty color. You should be finishing soon, I think.

Ang

 
At 10:44 pm, May 02, 2007, Blogger Helen said...

It's a beautiful shawl, love the colour too. That yo's thing happens to me too and it is very frustrating.

 

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