Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Knitting, Too

Ishbel in Sundara Silky Merino 5

Lest you think it's only spin, spin, spin around here, (the name is Knithound...), there's been knitting, too. First up, the shawl that took the Internets by storm over the winter - Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague, a very talented young designer. Just about everyone I follow on Flickr and the blog world made one. Every week someone else popped up with a gorgeous shawl and I was overcome with shawl envy. As soon as I finished whatever project was preventing me from moving forward (um, memory fails again, again) I succumbed to temptation.

Ishbel in Sundara Silky Merino 6

Lucky for me, the extra simmer time allowed me to ruminate over which yarn to use and to resist all temptation to purchase new yarn. You see, the yarn stash is stowed in a dark guest room closet and this sometimes causes an out of sight out of mind phenomenon. In between all the knitting and spinning I decided it was high time to document the stash . That meant one Saturday furiously photographing a huge batch of yarn in the brief hours of cooperating light. There's more work to do in that department, but I digress.

So, when digging through the sock/fingering bin (some sweet choices in that bin I tell ya), I realized this yarn, Sundara's Silky Merino, would make a wonderful Ishbel. And the colors might even have a bit of spring in them, what with the yellow and greens. She calls it The Life Aquatic and it was a Club shipment back in December. Lurve this yarn. Super soft, nice stitch definition, beeUteeful color.

Ishbel in Sundara Silky Merino 7

It took about three weeks to finish, and around the time we had a freak summer weekend (90 in April?! Fried Daffodils!), I cast off the zillions of stitches, whew! At one point, somewhere in the second repeat of Sections A & B, Ishbel and I had a come to Jesus moment. It was all out war, I tell you. Ishbel almost won but I would.not.give.up. It was all knit a row, tink back two. Knit two rows, tink back three. Over and over and over. Hair ripping frustration ensued. About the same time I was stomping on this project, Ashley was having the very same scene over in her neck of the woods.

In the process, I may have discovered a teensy little error in the written pattern. Mind you, this was NOT what was causing my little battle, but Row 1 of Section A, end of row says: "...k1, ssk, yo, k3". But the chart says and this would create a perfect mirror to the start of the row: "...ssk, k1, yo, k3". Whatever. I sure wasn't about to rip back hundreds, thousands of stitches for this little indiscretion. My fault for not comparing the written pattern to the chart. Nice of Ysolda to provide the option anyway!

By the way, when knitting lace are you a chart follower or a written directions follower? It occurred to me I usually follow charts, probably because that's what is provided, but this time for some reason I followed the written directions. I have NO idea which I prefer. I think I can adapt to either. It's just something I thought about while knitting this. Wow, deep thoughts, huh? Jeez.

Ishbel in Sundara Silky Merino 2

The original idea was to knit this up for use with my spring raincoat. No sooner did the heat wave dissipate when we had endless rain for two weeks so YESSSS, I did get to road test this for a few days and I can state with complete assurance, this one is pure WIN.

Ishbel in Sundara Silky Merino 4


Bethany said...

Oh, your Ishbel is lovely!

I think I can follow directions, or charts. Sometimes charts look visually cluttered to me, and I have to use lots of sticky notes to keep me straight. I appreciate it when a pattern has both.

Katie M. said...

Gorgeous! A lovely shawl in such lovely colors. Glad you made it through ...
As for charts vs. directions: charts for me every time. I need the pretty pictures for it all to make sense. The written directions are just too confusing and fussy for me.

Sarah B. said...

I'm a directions girl. Usually photocopy the pattern and put each row on a separate 3x5 card on a ring so I can flip at the end of each row and keept track of where I am in the repeat. I'm not clever enough for charts yet!

Gorgeous shawl!

Rosi G. said...


And THAT will be my next project on the needles. I'll cast on tonight. I need a black shawl-type thingie to wear to work when I have to dress up. I have some black STR that will be great for this pattern.

You're totally inspirational. Except for that spinning thing. No can do.

BTW, I LOVE charts. If a pattern is written, I chart it using Knit Visualizer. LOL

knithound brooklyn said...

SarahB: That is such a cool idea, I never thought of that!
Rosi G: Aw shucks thanks. You are the speedknitter inspiration. I reckon yours will take 3 days - how you do that is beyond me.
Katie M: your TWO Ishbels were some that pushed me to cast on.
Bethany: yea, sticky notes and little check marks on the side. By the end, my pattern pages are a mess of little scribbles!