Saturday, May 12, 2007

Another Reason to Swatch

I'm working on the Swallowtail Shawl from last fall's IK. Very nearly done now, it's coming out nicely, and I'm getting lots of compliments on it. I chose Seasilk in a lovely green colour, and the "budding lace" is entirely reminiscent of leaves. I hope that the leaf effect remains after blocking.

The Lily of the Valley Border, though, it's been a bit of a problem. The chart's perfect, it looks great, and ultimately it's actually pretty interesting to work. But it's a challlenge. The nupps. As I remarked to Megan the other day... "Nupp? Sounds like f***."

It was oddly hard to wrap my brain around the pattern -- and it didn't become obvious until I'd worked a good 12 or 14 rows. And at 220+ sts each, that was a fair bit of knitting. And a fair bit of dangerous knitting, at that... I'd already moved my lifeline up when I realized that I'd not quite got the grasp of it, and realized that a correction I'd made for a missed yo (below the lifeline) wasn't quite the right thing to do.

If I'd taken the time to swatch the lace pattern in advance, I would have understood it before I began, and would have significantly reduced the risk of error, and the possible effects of a poor mistake correction. Will it look ok after blocking?

... There's a small quiet voice in my head suggesting that maybe I should rip back the border and make sure it's right.

On a related topic, I'm a bit surprised/befuddled about the yarn usage. There's 400 or so m in the Seasilk, and reading other blogs I was left with the impression that this pattern uses up almost the entire ball...

Now I know it's hard to tell, because the later rows have more stitches, but I have more than a third of a ball left over before the final 16 rows.

So, three options occur to me:
1) Work as the pattern dictates and be done with it, not worrying about the yarn leftovers
2) Add a third repeat of the Lily of the Valley inner border
3) Rip back the 2 repeats of the Lily of the Valley inner border I've already worked, and work a few more repeats of the budding lace before redoing (correctly and with full confidence) the Lily of the Valley border


I did a bit of research online, and at least one knitter has chosen my second option, adding a third repeat of the Lily of the Valley. I'm not sure it works for me... it seems to disrupt the balance between the two borders... there's a golden ratio going on between the width of the Lily inner border and the peaked outer border, I think.

So, #1 or #3? Perhaps the leftover yarn is the knitting gods way of telling me that I should rip back...

1 comment:

ChelleC said...

Your shawl is beautiful. If you're asking for opionions, I choose #1 by a landlside! Personally, I wouldn't rip - I think your "fix it" will work fine and will go unnoticed by most eyes. I would consider the extra yarn just a blessing and finish the pattern as written and block it.

But if knowing there is a fixed mistake will bug you, or if you're an extreme perfectionist, then do what you need to do. Chelle