Friday, September 02, 2005

"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."

The above quote is from Elizabeth Zimmerman, the grand dame of the knitting world. If you aren't familiar with her, I'm given to understand her book Knitting Without Tears was pivotal during the rennaissance of knitting. All of which is, of course, beside the point. For the people caught in the aftermath of Katrina, I offer prayers. For those volunteering their time, money, energy, or food, I give thanks. If you have any resources available, I encourage you to help. The Red Cross is one reputable agency. I'm sure that there are others.

In light of the tragedy that others are suffering, talking about knitting seems pretty trivial......but there you are. I imagine that knitting and other fiber arts have had a place in history during tragic times. Not only is the act of knitting comforting, the supplies needed few and easily obtained, but the end result is one that typifies love and comfort.

I've been making some fair progress on the Featherweight Fantasy shawl. I'm using 100% mercerized cotton, Sinfonia, in a variegated green. I was nervous about using the variegation for lace—a chancy business at the best of times, but this seems to have worked fairly well. The original pattern calls for 4 repeats of a 70 row lace pattern. After completing 2 repeats I decided that, as I am not a tiny person, 4 repeats would be entirely too short. The lace pattern itself is a directional tear drop shape. If you look at the photograph in the magazine, they only show you half of the shawl. That's because, gentle readers, if you make the shawl the way that they suggest, half of the tear drops are standing on their heads.

This is one repeat of the lace design. See the pretty tear drop? I think this lace needs to be knit in reds — its got a flame thing going on.

The upshot of all of this is that I'm modifying the pattern as follows: I will be making six full repeats, rather than four. Further, I've done three repeats and transferred it over to a secondary set of needles. I'm working on the second set of three repeats now, and I intend to graft them together at the center back. That way all my little tear drops will be pointing the same way when I wear it. What's that you say? I don't know how to graft something? A mere inconvenience that I'm sure I'll not find insurmountable.