For the last five or six weeks, I’ve had nothing to show for my hours of knitting. I switched to shawl knitting as an antidote to the hot weather, which had not yet arrived in June, by starting the Tendrils crescent shawl in the latest Twist Collective. This was intended to get me acclimated not only to the weather but to knitting with beads.
Well, the bead knitting was easy enough. What was not easy enough was every other aspect of this shawl. Let’s just say I crawled up my learning curve by taking one step forward and two steps back. I’d like to say that I made every mistake possible, but new possibilities keep cropping up. This is not the shawl that is warming me up for Evenstar, but a formidable challenge of its own.
The first hurdle was casting on the 507 stitches to start the shawl. This is my first bottom-up shawl, and just that task alone gave me some pause. I counted the stitches a zillion times before purling back and getting ready for the lace border. I did manage to get the 507 stitches cast on. Don’t rush to congratulate me yet.
On my first pass, I learned that dropping a purl stitch sends you back to square one. This is 100% silk lace and very slippery, so what might be forgiven on wool (a stitch “stuck there” waiting to be picked up) is a disaster on silk. The stitch falls into the cast-on row.
So back to square one. I cast on again, purled back, and was ready for the first lace row. No drumrolls yet though. I read the chart incorrectly and didn’t knit the edge stitch. So when I managed the 506 lace stitches, without a flaw, I had two stitches at the end of my needle when I should have had one.
I thought I’d tink back, despite the annoyance of doing so, but that was an exercise in futility. The beads flew everywhere and the knit 3 tog’s disappeared into oblivion. I ripped out everything and started again.
Hah. I’m not going to make these mistakes again. And I didn’t. But, lest you not be aware of it, silk lace spins around on the circular cable. After knitting up to about row 15, I realized that I had twisted the yarn in Mobius-like fashion—something I have never done before. And never hope to do again.
Back to square one. This time, despite one minor hitch, I appear to have done it:
The flaw is here:
I’m actually not sure what I did. The yarnovers flop over the knit stitches next to them (or the purls on the wrong side), and it is easy to knit or purl the stitches out of order. I think I did that, and then tried to put the stitches back on the needle. In any case, this better block out because I’m not ripping again.
Despite the aggravation, I love this project. It would have been in the trash had I not been so captivated. And I’m now happy to be working on it after nearly three weeks of unrelenting heat (we’re headed for two 100˚ days before the latest heat wave ends—and not even for that long).
Until this week, when the temperatures because stifling, my garden had done pretty well. This is what it looked like at the start of July.
My new "capital improvement" for this year was the purchase of a large roll of shade cloth (the green stuff), which is saving my beets and chard. The broccoli in the back two rows didn't make it.
I’m particularly pleased with my garlic harvest (nearly 7 lb!).
And even more pleasing, with a face only its mother and a gardener could love, is a praying mantis (actually, I have spotted two). I’m thankful to my knitting friend Sara for giving me an egg case last fall.
The garden doesn’t look quite so orderly now because the rule around here is not to weed when the temperatures soar into the 90s and the air quality is unhealthy. Also the plants are very stressed. But I had a great salad year, and it looks like a wonderful pepper and green bean year as well. My fingers are crossed for the tomatoes.