Friday, August 05, 2005

The Leaf Lace Lament

I love knitting lace. I love lace weight yarn. I love well written patterns for lace, with good charts. I love my 4mm Addi Turbo circular knitting needles. All good things.

The Leaf Lace Shawl by Fiber Trends is one of those great patterns - well written, with a good series of charts. It also has the bonus (thank you Fiber Trends!) of being written so that you can make your Leaf Lace Shawl in two sizes, and with four different weights of yarn - definitely the most flexible shawl pattern I've seen yet.

The Alpaca Cloud lace weight, in the colour Autumn, is a truly lovely yarn. Granted, I'm knitting with two strands held together, but that's because I swatched with both one and two threads, and liked the look of the blocked double thread swatch better. I prefer moose lace, which makes sense, as I'm kind of a moose-ish person. Any way, I'm whipping along on this shawl - 12 pattern repeats in 3 days. Cruising! It's a fast, easy, pleasurable knit. Except for one teeny little thing...

The leaves are upside down. See the garter stitch edge at the top of the photo? That's the top edge of the shawl. So, when the completed shawl is worn, the stem end of each leaf is at the bottom, and the tip of each leaf is at the top. Should that bug me? Probably not. Does it bug me? You better believe it! So, after three incredibly pleasurable days of knitting, I now can't even start a new row. I cringe when I look at it. I'm that freakin' bugged.

How to deal? I've come way too far to quit now (halfway through 2nd skein of yarn, so about 600 yards knitted). But, I'm futzing around charting the pattern to knit it in a way with the leaves as if they were hanging, not growing straight up from the freakin' ground. As in start knitting at the bottom point of the shawl, and knit up, increasing as I go.

I've also experimented with turning the pattern into a narrow scarf (knit twice already, once in sport weight Alpaca and once in Shetland weight wool,then frogged because I want the yarn for something else - apparently I'm completely insane) or a wide rectangular stole.

Home-made charts abound. (I'm playing with Excel.) Scribbled and crumpled notes litter the area formerly known as the living room, and now known as my knitting design studio. Small piles of frogged yarn wait patiently for the de-crimping bath.


Leaf lace lament, my arse. Leaf lace lunacy, my friends.

Any advice? Go ahead, get creative. I can take it.



Deborah said...

Well, I'm no knitter. But when I do leaf images -- which I do often, I usually put them with the stem down. It's like they're standing up. Or sometimes leaning over. I get the idea of hanging off a branch, but it seems to me you might need to just put that out of your head. The shawl is amazing. Don't change a thing.

Mrs. Mel said...

O Logan,I never figured you for a tight arse. (Like I've known you all my life.) We Bohemian Knitters should take our knitting the way it flies off the needles and realize it is truly a reflection of the needle operator at the helm.
I am in awe up to my knees at the thought of making this shawl in the first place (not counting being able to read those charts, omigod) and wish that you would let loose of that perfectionista streak and LURVE the stem downwardness of the first shawl.
Your adoring public,

Pangaea said...

Let the leaves lie as they fall--they're not feathers. But, knowing your engineering mind, you will do something about it. Will wait and see what comes up. (or down)