10.15.2009

Shipwreck Shawl - or what I spent my summer working on

The largest project I worked on this summer was the Shipwreck Shawl from knitty.com. My dear friend at work, Nicole, saw the shawl in the Summer issue.  I hestitated because shawls are really big undertakings - especially "Pi" shawls. I haven't yet finished my first "Pi" shawl! I didn't know if I could do it.

However, I am not above bribery - and Nicole can be very persuasive and also, insistent when she needs to be, and I desperately needed a software license for a problem at work. I wasn't getting one from the contacts I had, so i figured I'd ask Nicole. I offered the shawl as a bribe, and she accepted.

(You also need to know that this is the woman who rushed me to the hospital when my husband was in a car accident - our only car -  and stayed in the ER till 3/4 in the morning to drive us home. Nicole gets bribed with shawls for a reason ;) )

She took care of my issue, and I started working on the problem. I also started trying to find yarn for the shawl; the grey in the picture was really appealing, and I was hesitant to put an order into KnitPicks. A few days later, I stopped to visit the Sunday afternoon knitting group that meets in the Chili area. Some of the lovely ladies were giving away yarn.  FOR FREE.  I like free. I can afford free. So, even though I knew I was moving in a few short weeks, I took the free yarn gratefully. I got 5 balls of a lovely heathered gray yarn that was soft and shiny and pretty. I showed Nicole the next day, and she loved it.

I started the shawl. I worked the first 2 patterns quickly... then came the Madeira Leaf pattern.  I put the shawl down. i had a brief affair with Kumihimo. I picked up the shawl again. I worked the first leaf in the Madeira pattern.  I put the shawl down and worked on something little. I picked the shawl back up and started the second Madeira leaf.  About 5 rows into 2nd leaf of the pattern, I realized i had screwed something up. I ripped back. I started again. I knit to about 5 rows from the finish, and realized I had screwed up the pattern. I ripped back.  I did a mini-swatch to show myself what the 2nd half of the Madeira Leaf looked like. I liked it.  I picked up all the stitches and knit another 5 rows. They were wrong.


I finally resorted to having my husband make me enough metal rings (with an old knitting needle and some heavy gauge wire) that I could put one every 10 stitch repeat. I finished the Madeira pattern a few days later.

Then, finally it was onto the yo, k2tog section. It's a lovely section, and it is where you can add beads if you like. Nicole didn't think beads were necessary, so i didn't add them. I thought this would be my favorite part because the needle size increased, and the pattern was a no-brainer. 
I didn't end up going up in needle size for the first round of yo, k2tog; another result of misreading the pattern. It was for the best, however.
In the picture, that is as far as i could go - I had used 3 full balls, and coudln't find the other 2. I spent a week looking for them. It was rather depressing.

I finally found them, in my bedroom, behind something, and I ran through the house shouting!
I made it to the 149th row before I ran out of yarn completely.I had to find a close shade of grey to finish the shawl, and then I found a contrasting yarn to finish the shawl. It is lovely, and I am so proud.
I'll post completed pictures when I have blocked the shawl.

When I started, i forgot that I was moving into an apartment with all wooden floors.  Good thing I need an area rug in the living room... I should be able to block onto that!

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