...but it came out alright in the end.
This project was never meant to be. I know that now and if I could turn back time (like Doctor Who)(or Cher)(now I've got that dang song in my head) - anyway, if I had it all to do over again I wouldn't have started it. The finished object is nice -but I can't get much more enthusiastic about it than that.
The pattern is fine, if a bit dull. It's the Edwardian Lace Wrap from Heirloom Knitting, and is a very simple garter stitch border with a 12 row repeat diamond pattern for the body.
Mistake number 1: My choice of colour. This blue Kid Silk Haze seemed to have a bit more oooomph when I was looking at in John Lewis surrounded as it was by a rainbow of other yarns. Away from the other colours it just looks sort of drab.
But - this was the yarn I'd chosen, and the Edwardian Lace Wrap had been in my queue for ages so I cast on. The pattern is writen as garter stitch lace (ie every second row is knit rather than purl) and I'm not a big fan of it. So after about 5 repeats I pulled the needles out, ripped out what I had done and started again replacing the knit rows with purl rows.
Mistake number 2: Deciding the second time not to use the 5mm needles recommended but moving down to 4mm needles. I'm struggling to recall my reasons for doing this (particularly as I made a special trip to iKnit to replace my 5mm nickel tips SPECIFICALLY for this project) -- but I can't find one. And it was a mistake. The pattern would be more open, and the edging would be more effective on bigger needles.
I wasn't letting these mistakes get me down (much). I knit on. I knit on with my too small needles and my blah yarn colour. With barely a trace of bitterness. I knit on.
The stole uses a provisional cast on. The first half is knit, then the cast on stitches are picked up and the second half is knit to mirror the first. I added two repeats to each half to make up for the fact that I was using needles that were TOO SMALL.
Finally, I finished the top edge, and cast off the last stitches. Hurrah!
Mistake number 3: Deciding to block the stole at 9pm. On my bed. The one I sleep in. In fact the only bed in the house. What was I thinking pinning a soaking wet stole on to my bed at 9pm!!?? Obviously I wasn't.
I had three choices: 1) stay up all night 2) unpin it all and do it again another day 3) speed up the drying process.
I went for option 3. First I tried turning on the small bedside fan. But it was pretty clear I needed something more drastic. I needed to bring in the big guns.
I bought this fan last summer, and I've never been able to use it. The thing is a wind machine. Anything not weighted down goes flying when this baby is on. So I pulled it out of the closet, placed it at one end of the stole and turned it on 'hurricane' setting.
An hour later the stole was dry and ready to unpin.
Alls well that ends well. Or something like that.
Just the facts:
Edwardian Lace Wrap
4mm needles (fool)
3 skeins Hurricane (blah) Kid Silk Haze
Unblocked: 18 x 56 inches
Blocked: 21 x 68 inches
PS People often (well, occasionally)(errr, once) ask me how I get stoles and scarves to stay put. In this case I've used my latest Romi acquisition - a simple, beautiful shawl pin in silver and black horn. I love her pins and am beginning to suspect I knit lace just so I have someplace to use her pins!