Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Pre-Oscar Warm-up Show

Dear Kay,
I’m back to worrying about Thing One and Thing Two. We’ve moved on, mourned the vertical stripe cardigan, and we’ve even turned to that evergreen possibility, the log cabin. I’m here to tell you that as much as I love a log cabin, I’m not seeing what would ever come of this:
logcabinswatch.jpg
I was imagining a wrap of rectangles, a slinky drapey thing. I didn’t imagine it would look so–what’s the word?–TERRIBLE. So off it goes to our Treasure Box of Miscellaneous Ephemera Resulting from Failed Experiments, right next to the Canned Tuna Stir Fry, the Candy Cane Martini, and the Shoes With Monkeys On Them.
I started thinking about why two yarns that are so friendly are just not coming together. My conclusion: the red is so much deeper a shade than the chartreuse that they’re going to be fussin’ and fightin’ no matter what I do with them. No, people, they can’t just get along. They’re going to live separate lives now, and after a few years of therapy they’ll be the stronger for it.
I also considered the word “laceweight.” There’s a hint for you. A laceweight yarn is not supposed to be a log cabin, or a vertical stripe cardigan. It’s spoze to be . . . LACE. You knew this was coming all along, didn’t you?
Anybody who’s been over to Polly’s World knows about her beautiful shawl, Kiri. I love this shawl for several reasons: it is a (heavily) expanded version of Birch, a Rowan pattern that was my first lace project. I love the way Polly dove into the puzzle of lace and came up with such a confection. Kiri is floaty, lovely, and the chartreuse shade of Kidsilk Haze she used is amazing.
So, Thing One is going to meet its destiny as a shawl.
kiri1.jpg
I have a question: this is done on 4.5mm/size 7 needles. It all feels too loose and wobbly to me, what with the mercerized cotton and all. Should I go down a couple of sizes? (For reference, the log cabin is done on size 3s, though shot from a longer distance.) I’m not averse to starting over. I LOVE starting over. Puhlease can I start over?
Also: if anyone can identify the stitch maneuver indicated by the arrow, you win a prize. (Hint: it is not a part of Polly’s pattern, I guarantee you.)
Love,
Ann

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Your shawl looks perfect on the size needles that you’re using! I always use larger needles than normal when knitting lace. I think it looks nicer that way.

  2. I was thinking of knitting my beautiful mercerised cotton [ to be revealed in a day or so !] on 4mm or 3.75mm needles.
    The stitch maneuver = the ”Oops.Oh s**t !”.Very common but not overly popular.

  3. That looks like a “yo, K2 tog, wrap the yarn in some weird way, psso, go have a glass of wine,” to me. That, you get to start over! And you can go down a needle size if you like. It’ll all poof out in the blocking… The colours in that yarn look great, which I’m sure you know already.
    mary de

  4. That knit-stitch maneuver is known in knitting glossaries as the double-fandangled whoopsiedoodle. Starting over is gooood. And I’d try size 6 for just a tad more togetherness in the stockinette portions. Lace doesn’t need to be firm, but it can be … flimsy … on the wrong needles. The yarn is beautiful.

  5. Lovely lace. Someday, if the Clapotis I am knitting ever ends, I hope to try some sort of exotic lace project like that. I love the idea of buying so many yards of yarn.
    That stitch is the Tangled Mess. I use it to great effect in most of my projects.

  6. That looks like knitting blindfolded after three gin and tonics while doing a triple axel to me, but I’m afraid you only get credit for it if you do it in competition. Sorry, kid.
    And I was just about to suggest
    http://www.knittersstudio.com/events/20041028emailer/ (scroll down)
    if you were still intent on saving the union of things one and two. It’s still not too late to subsitute all those tight, small, maniacal short rows for Polly’s airy, loose, and lovely lace.

  7. I think it looks fabulous just as it is–minus the k2tog-yo-don’t slip the stitch off the needle-yo-k.

  8. I love how seriously everyone has taken your contest. The best part is that despite being different the answers are all right!
    I do like the latest choice. I’m not sure that I would take it down a needle size though. This is lace. It’s supposed to be “wobbly” – otherwise it won’t drape, right?

  9. The lace looks lovely, but I would definitely, definite, without a shadow of looking-back-doubt, start again on (much) finer needles. Really. I think it will look even better then. Honest. Start another ball / skein / hank and see what it looks and feels like? It’ll still drape.

  10. Regionally it’s called “gobble-de-goop”. You aren’t far in, and thinking of frogging anyway, otherwise I’d suggest my favorite technique called, “Knit-the-whole-mess-together-and-hope-noone-notices”.
    Aside from that, the yarn is beautiful, and I can’t tell you about smaller needles.

  11. Lovely lace. My 11-year-old son walked in as I was admiring it and said “hey Mom, that kind of looks like alligator skin if you squint when you look at it.” Try it, it really does! You were going for that uber-fashionable reptile skin look, right?

  12. I wouldn’t starte over because it will block out very nicely: you’ll be happy with it in the end. Even if you do go down a size or two, with the mercerized cotton it will be many sizes before you feel like it’s stable enough, and by then the lacey qualities will be gone. So rip back that one row and do that again, but this time, if you put the needles down in the middle of the row, check before you start knitting again that they haven’t picked up some stitches on their own. Those pesky addis; they think they’re so smart. Let them read the pattern next time, maybe that will help.

  13. This looks very much like the Flower Basket Shawl from IK Winter 2004 that I just ripped off the needles for the umpteeth time. The beautiful teal alpaca laceweight I was using has been relegated to the on-hold basket, where it it stays until it turns into something else, or until I can have reasonably sized stretches of knitting time wherein I can COUNT with anybody in this house INTERRUPTING me. This will not be anytime soon, apparently :-) …so anyway, that would be “sl 1, k2tog, psso”. With a yo on either side, if memory serves. It looks great! Mine was, per the pattern, doubled laceweight on 7s, and I wished I’d gone to 9s (as Stephanie the YH did). I think you shouldn’t go any smaller than 6s for a single strand. Have fun!

  14. The stitch is one well familiar to me. It’s a ‘rats, I’ve got too many stitches left so I think I’ll do a double decrease, and besides, it’s at the top of the shawl so my hair will cover it. ” It’s in my upcoming how to knit book, and already copywrited, FYI! The kiri shawl is a great pattern, I’m one repeat away from starting the edging. keep it up!

  15. ann….. it will be dreamy, regardless….but in my humble opinion, i foresee it “growing”, and i’ve mostly seen lacey shawls knit on #3’s…..whatever makes your heart sing… is the bottom line!

  16. Here’s my hunble opinion: the yarns look good together, it’s the stitches that make them look scruffy. I suspect that if a project involved the two yarns in all stockinette or perhaps reverse stockinette, they would blend better. I’m not a fan of garter stitch, and I think it looks too disjointed with the blended colors in both yarns. That being said, don’t rip out the shawl; it’s lovely. Wendy

  17. Ah, yes. That stitch maneuver is from the highly evolved and advanced school of Modern abstract knitting. Often regarded as “dumbass” and “silly”, abstract knitting involves including random spontaneous reverse knitting actions unrelated to the pattern or common sense, that reveal an ulterior or even juxtapositioned moral view within. I believe what you have executed there would be “a reflexive response to societies pressure to conform within 21st century gender models” the lace speaks to our cultures concept of femininity as an organized and structured environment giving men wildness and women control. Naturally the random stitch momements within this structure speak clearly to the transitioning role of women in society.
    That or you F*cked up.

  18. Stephanie: Consider decaf? I say that With Love.
    Of course you’re right about Ann’s transitioning role in society. On that I agree with you at least 100 percent.
    I love Cristina’s suggestion for using the two yarns together, by the way. You’d have to knit that on very small needles indeed, or double the yarn. I like the way your Kiri looks on these needles; I’d worry that if you went down more than a mm, you’d end up with the ferns being too tight looking. But you know, go with your heart. Who am I, a mere dishrag dabbler. xoxo Kay

  19. Mmmmm, I luuurve it! Love it, love it! The combination of the colors with the motif is perfect!