Saturday, November 03, 2007

Focused on Finishing

I have to admit some frustration with the Mom capecho and with the body finished, and the collar to go, so I decided to set the project aside for awhile. I needed something that I could finish so I pulled out the Gold Nugget Shawl and finished it. I am always amazed at the transformation lace makes after it's been washed and blocked. As I knit the shawl and looked at the pattern, I thought, "This isn't going to be anything like Shui's beautiful shawl." But lo and behold through the magic of blocking it became something entirely different and lovely. It took exactly one ball, with a yard to spare, and it measures 48" wide and 24" long.


Next, I decided to try my hand at crocheting something. Since it was my first crochet project, instead of diving into one of the lovely patterns in the Japanese knitting books, I thought it would be good to start in English, and probably something not-too-complicated. To that end, I found the Off the Grid scarf on Knitting Daily, chose stash Crystal Palace Romance yarn in a mustardy color and crocheted away.

Since the Mom capecho is a bust for now, the Dressing Gown needed to be finished. I have contacted two knitters who finished the shorter Bed Jacket version to get a handle on interpreting the very poorly written collar instructions, since the publisher/author never responded. Both admitted to having a problem with the instructions, which tell you to start the collar before sewing up the shoulders, but they did manage to finish and told me the process; in theory it was straightforward. I started the collar as written. I can read and I understand knitting instructions, but as I read the collar instructions, the short rows would make a half collar. So in frustration, I gave up and decided to knit a lace collar, but I couldn't find a pattern.

Then I remembered the cover of the Fall 2006 Interweave Crochet I'd bought because it had combination knitting and crochet patterns. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and wing it with the Pineapple Lace. It took three tries to get the foundation pattern done right, but I did and even though I didn't count the stitches (it's a long way around the gown), it all worked out. I decided to stop at the eighth row in the pattern for fear of running out of yarn and the robe is pretty heavy as it is. For the cuffs I just did the first four pattern rows.

Next on the agenda involves much pointier needles—Christmas sewing.