Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Rock Island Shawl: Border Complete

Knit, knit, knit 2 together, knit, knit 2 together, yarn over, kni_ Oh hi. I didn’t see you there at first. I was too busy working on the ROCK ISLAND CHART for my shawl.

Rock Island

Aw yeah!

Yup, I finally completed the 71 repeats on the border and I picked up the edge stitches and even had the right number the first time. Of course, then I knit the first row and came out with the wrong number. Another attempt and putting some stitch markers in to help with the counting and things are moving along okay. A few bumpy points here and there, but I think I only ripped back entire rows once. I’ve sort of been managing to read the stitches on the row before okay to spot mistakes. So far. I am still pretty nervous about ruining it all. Also, it appears to be a much more reasonable size when scrunched up on the circular needle, so I feel a bit better about that, although I can’t stop thinking of this:

Rock Island border

Since I have convinced myself that nine rows into the Rock Island Chart is practically finished, I decided I need to start considering blocking options. The few projects I’ve blocked before I pinned with regular pins to a piece of cardboard and steamed, but they were mostly wonky-looking scarves and simple shaping. The instructions for this are wet-blocking and that seems like it could take some time (a) to pin out and (b) to dry if the water all absorbs into the cardboard box (assuming I can even find a box big enough). I considered trying to MacGyver my own blocking wires using the few metal coat hangers I still possess and some wire cutters, but in the end I settled on buying some.

I asked a friend at work who knits about possible locations of stores selling blocking wires in Toronto. The places closest to me seem to be pretty much just yarn and needles. If it were summer, I would be happy to bike around the city and stop in at some of the places further afield. My friend suggested just ordering online however.

Fair enough. I might as well order some proper blocking mats while I’m at it. And some t-pins. And I’ve been thinking about a sweater project, maybe $5 in Paris, so I should order some yarn for that. And I’ve been thinking about trying out interchangeables so maybe I’ll just order a cable and one set of tips (the pattern calls for two size 9 circs anyway, although I can’t see why at first glance).

My friend had suggested combining my order with another girl she had just recently taught to knit who was going to order some sock yarn and basic supplies, so we would be over the shipping limit. We did order together, but needless to say I was well over the $50 mark on my own.

It’s my first online yarn order and I’m pretty excited about it. Is it always like this? Five to 14 calendar days. Not even business days. Calendar days. This is going to change everything. I decided to go with the Brava Worsted. It’s acrylic, but it’s getting pretty good reviews and the whole point of $5 in Paris is to knit a sweater on the cheap (also, they had me at machine-washable). I had originally planned to play it safe and go gray and navy blue, but at the last minute, having looked at some of the Rav projects, I took a daring swerve toward green and purple. Life on the edge, people! For green I knew it would be Tidepool, but I couldn’t decide between Fairy Tale and Eggplant for the purple, so I got both. If the yarn works out okay, I may put the extra toward Tubey, or so I tell myself.

The new knitter apologized for taking a while to decide on yarn, colours, extra things. I told her no rush. And she said “I know it’s just…”  Me: “New yarn?”  Her: “Yeah.” pause. Both of us together with sort of jazz hands in excitement: “Eeeee!” She’s caught the bug. We have already agreed to hold a small party in the mail room at work when the box arrives. To all you yarn proselytizers out there, you’re doing great. The others are coming around. Keep up the good work.

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