Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the tag “Rock Island shawl”

FO Friday: Rock Island Shawl

Rock Island Shawl

Completed Rock Island shawl

Pattern: Rock Island shawl by Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

Yarn: Indigo Moon, Finest Silk, 481 yards (a bit smaller than it was supposed to be)

Size: 22″ x 42″ before blocking; 28″ x 60″ after blocking

I took a zillion pictures because I’m pleased as punch with the way it came out:  Read more…


Busy Week Ahead

In addition to quite a bit to do at work (I was in this weekend and have new data to analyse but, mostly, a lot of annoying paperwork), I’m expecting things to be busy for the next few days.

I finished the knitting on Rock Island, but am still waiting on my blocking wires to show up from KnitPicks. I got word on Friday that the packages had hit Canada and they are currently sitting in Mississauga. Sooooo close. Come on Canada Post. I believe in you. I am assuming they will arrive tomorrow, but certainly early in the week sometime. So I will post the shawl pictures when I can do the pre- and post-blocking comparison. The border does seem to be bigger than the central part, so I’m hoping blocking will be the miracle that I always hear it is. I came out a bit short on the yardage though, so I suppose there is only so much that can be done (although the good news is that probably means I have enough to do another shawl).

As you may recall, that package also contains the yarn for a sweater I’m planning to start. I have been holding off on laundry so I can whip up a swatch with the yarn and toss it in with the regular load, but if the mail doesn’t arrive tomorrow, I might have to do two separate loads of laundry at different points in the week. If it does show, I will be making that swatch top priority (and clean shirts second top priority).

And all this needs to get organized before next week, when I head down to visit my parents who are snowbirding in Florida (it’s a rough life, I know). If I have the shawl done, it will be the perfect opportunity to wear it out and about! Pretty excited. And if I have the sweater started and get clear on the airline rules, I will bring that along for knitting busywork.

Oh, and I stayed up late finishing the last Wool installment, so I have sleep to catch up on. But that is last priority.

Rock Island Shawl: Islands Complete

Rock Island shawl

Getting closer. Rock Island chart is complete now.

I got cocky. After the last post, I messed up somewhere one row after my lifeline and could not figure it out. So I ripped back. Suddenly one of my islands was unravelling. I hadn’t strung the lifeline through it properly. I grabbed it desperately, pinching so hard my thumbnail left an imprint in my index finger, while I dug around in my supplies for a crochet hook. I know I just saw that hook; how could it have gotten so buried?!

Anyway, I managed to catch the right stitches and stop the unravelling, but I must have scooped in the wrong direction at some point. You can tell I’m not a true blogger yet because it did not occur to me during the panic to photograph the carnage. Here it is after-the-fact:

Twisted stitch

Right in the middle of the photo. Averted immediate complete disaster, but created permanent less-significant disaster: a twisted stitch.

I noticed the twisted stitch a couple of rows later, but I didn’t bother trying to go back to fix it. I am terrible at dropping stitches down if it’s anything but stockinette. If my inexperienced eyes can barely see it, hopefully most other people won’t notice. Also it’s near the edge. Also also, I will just tell them it adds character to the shawl.

After that, things went pretty smoothly. I started to get “Oh, ssk always should start on the yarn over from the previous row,” which I had kind of seen before, but suddenly it just became really clear and I could spot where I had missed the yarn overs on the previous row (which was by far my most common mistake). The pattern is actually really straightforward looking at it now (I can say that because I’m officially done with that part of things). Perhaps a little ambitious as a first lace project, but totally do-able. I think the size of the piece is more of a barrier than the lace pattern in terms of making and tracking down mistakes.

Now the real question is when will my blocking wires get here? Soooooooon I hope.

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.

Rock Island shawl update: Still on the border

Rock Island Border

Slow Going

When I read the comments of people complaining about the 71 pattern repeats on the border for Rock Island, I sort of rolled my eyes and mumbled to myself about people not having enough patience these days. Sure, 71 repeats is a lot, but it’s only 8 rows long and ~12 stitches wide, so it should just fly by. I breezed through the first 25 repeats or so, feeling pretty smug. But now sitting around 40 I have to admit that I may have been a bit quick to judge.

I’ve also started to hit the paranoia stage. It looks like a huge amount of border and I’m only just over halfway done. I swatched (for once!), so I should be okay. That’s what I keep telling myself. The 41 repeats are 50 inches, which works out to 86.5 inches for all 71 repeats. Now, assuming my Pythagorean theorem is sound (always risky), I get 2x2=(86.5/2)2, where x is the height or half the wingspan and I’ve assumed each half of the shawl is an isosceles triangle (I have a physics background. You’re lucky I didn’t assume it was circular).

So our final solution for x is…30.6 inches. Or ~71 inch wingspan. That actually doesn’t seem so crazy all calculated out. But it is unblocked. All indications are that blocking will big this thing up like 150% at least. But looking at the border, it appears to mostly be scrunched height-wise. Pulling it out, I get can get as little as 42 inches long, or a 51 inch wingspan pre-blocking. Totally reasonable. Should I rip this out assuming I don’t know how to measure and possibly save myself some heartache later, or should I just have faith in the swatch?

Gaaaaaah. Okay. I am going to have a little faith. I basically knew this was the answer already. I’m not pulling out 40 repeats based on the fact it looks monstrous. I should have lots of yarn, so worst case scenario: I end up with a 9 foot wide shawl, right?

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