January 21, 2013
That’s Thorn up there, at the thrilling moment when the sail-shaped body of this shawl was complete, and the 5,498,309 stitches at the edge had to be put onto holder yarn in anticipation of the attached garter-stitch border that awaited. The 10,309,495 stitches to pick up! The shift to the four-foot-long size 4 circular–unsurprisingly, there was one of those in my pile of circular needles. I don’t have a problem with a long-haul border, ever. The expectations are so straightforward. I picked up and I knitted.
But one immutable reality was harshing my mellow. When Bristol Ivy writes a pattern and calls for 1,075 yards of yarn, SHE IS NOT JOKING. She did not write “1,000 yards,” so as I made my way toward the nine garter ridges that she prescribed, I was pretty sure the gas was going to run out. I couldn’t tell when, though. When you have 600 stitches on your needle, one row can contain an entire relationship. Babies are born during a 600-stitch row. Political alliances can come and go; you can gain ten pounds, lose your religion, and get it back during a 600-stitch row.
It took me a while to decide exactly how bad the yarn situation was. I could have squeezed seven garter stitch rows out of the yarn but decided to stick to six. I had three options: a) quit knitting, bind off, find peace with a border with an odd proportion; b) seek out more Alisha Goes Around Zeal of Zebra fingering weight yarn; or c) dive into the yarny archives.
I went with c.
I realize this is a controversial choice. But the whole project was getting so earnest and literal that I felt the overwhelming need to blow it up a little.
Honestly, I have no idea how I could have half a ball of neon Koigu in my stash. But there it was, and it was irresistible.
Time’s up! Off to go stare at this thing that is now blocking on the floor of the den.