theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 18, 2007

From Sally — A Tale of Two Shawls

Filed under: Peacock Shawl -- Sally's,Three-Cornered Shawl — surly @ 4:04 pm

First, I want to thank everyone who has entered our Anniversary Contest; it’s been really fun to read all of your comments. If you haven’t entered, we will be taking entries until midnight on March 19th, Central Time. We’re using Central Time because that’s Susan’s time zone and it gives you an extra hour. (In other words, at 12:01 on the 20th, you are too late.) Details on the contest, the oh-so fabulous prizes, and instructions on how to enter can be found by clicking on the link at the top of the sidebar.

Okay. Now for the shawl update. I’ve decided to abandon the red silk shawl for the time being. I was close to finishing the first repeat of Chart C, when I realized that the chart contained an error. Basically, some of the double decreases should have been K3tog (right dec) and not SK2P (left dec). Although there was a symbol for the K3tog decrease, it was only used once on Chart C and I think, even then, it was in the wrong place. I had assumed that the symbol would show up on a later chart so I didn’t worry about it. (It doesn’t.) Seeing that lone K3tog symbol, however, is what made me really analyze what I had knitted thus far.

These are not great photos. If you look closely, you can really see how the left side of the little triangle shape at the bottom SHOULD be slanting to the right. It ain’t. I guess that’s something I should have caught earlier; it’s hard when you are still trying to see what the pattern will look like. Logically, though, I probably should have figured it out. The problem continues up that middle line of the shawl. The decreases are slanting the wrong way, pulling and creating an unattractive series of holes. I dropped down a couple of decreases and changed them to see if the look of the shawl improves. It does. (I don’t have a photo of that.) But I can’t really drop down all the way to the bottom. Moreover, this same problem is occurring on the sides of the shawl — less noticeable probably but it would forever bother me.

SO the question became leave it or start over. And if I start over, do I even want to use this yarn? Is it bad luck? Does it really want to be used for something else? Maybe I should knit this in my blush coloured KidSilk Haze, which was my original intention. I don’t know.

Once I start asking whether I should start over, I inevitably do. So I will, but not right now. When I do, I will make two other changes to the shawl. As a reminder, here’s what it looks like:

I know this isn’t a great photo — sorry. (I’m sick with the stomach crud today so I’m just not up for photography.) The wide bottom pattern (which is Chart C), uses the SK2P decrease in the center of each of the clover leaf motifs. I don’t think mine were looking all that attractive apart from the slanting problem, so I will replace that with a different double decrease. Finally, there is no strong center line up the middle of the shawl. I’m going to insert one. As long as I have to rewrite some of the charts, I may as well.

In the meantime, I felt like knitting on a shawl but I just didn’t have it in me to start this one for the third time right this minute. So I’m doing another head start project: the glorious Peacock Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. Photographs of it can be found here and here.

I started this shawl a loooong time ago. It was the first time I’d ever knit lace. Yeah. I chose this as my very first lace project. It seemed daunting, so I put it away. Well, when I pulled it out yesterday, I realized that it’s a very easy and manageable project. It doesn’t take much lace experience to suddenly be able to read your knitting as well as the charts. Reading your knitting is a big help always, but especially with lace. It’s nice to see that I’ve actually learned something. I’ve been flying through it. I’ve just finished the fourth chart (out of seven). (If you’ve never bought a pattern from Fiddlesticks, the patterns are very well written and the charts are wonderful — they’re already very large so you don’t have to blow them up.) The fun stuff — the big feathers — starts soon.

I’m knitting it in a lovely, deep eggplant color. I promise photos when I don’t have to crawl to the camera.

PS from Susan:

I feel your pain — I have been sick all weekend with a cold. 

I also started the Peacock Shawl several years ago and left it roadside when I decided I was not enamored with the color I had chosen.  I thought it was “copper” but it looked more like rust.  Also, I think it was a bit beyond me at the time as well.  I am going to get a new color and start over.

On the Eris front: I finished all the hems and am wet blocking just the bottom.  I want to see how it looks after blocking before forging ahead.  If it looks crappy, I’ll redo the hemline without the cabling. 

I also made and felted two eggs, but have not yet embellished them. 

Hey, I’m sick, but not too sick to knit 😉


  1. Hope you ladies get better soon though I’m glad you’re not too ill to knit 😉

    I hope I get to that stage with lace one day, but in the meantime, I’m having too much fun poking holes at Their patterns!

    Comment by Marina — March 18, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  2. Hi girls, I hope you two feel better soon.

    Sally, I had started the same shawl some time ago and realized that something was very wrong and put it aside wondering if I had made a mistake somewhere in chart C… Thank you for the information. I will have to decide whether to start over for the third time or to let go…

    Comment by Lene — March 19, 2007 @ 12:17 am

  3. You should let XRX know, for their errata page.
    Fiddlesticks patterns, on the other hand, are simply amazing. Dorothy Siemens used to be the head of our Guild in Toronto,
    and she’s as lovely as her patterns, a really nice person, who happens to be very talented.

    You girls are troopers, and when you can’t knit, you know you’re not well.

    Comment by Lorraine — March 19, 2007 @ 7:19 am

  4. The red yarn is so pretty, don’t abandon it – it wants to be something very pretty, I’m sure of it. Gonna’ go check out Fiddlesticks patterns. A newbie-lace shawl knitter needs the confidence of a well-written well-tested pattern.

    Comment by Wendy O — March 19, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  5. Just think… at this time last year we were all strangers and had never entered this wonderful world full of acceptance, encouragement, and sheer pleasure! Who woulda’ thunk?!

    Comment by Michelle — March 19, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  6. I just finished a Peacock shawl in a gorgeous dark royal blue (zephyr), and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It just needs blocking, which I’ve been avoiding for some reason. Maybe it’s all that crawling around on the floor… 🙂 Enjoy the fiddlesticks charts — I agree; they’re the best!

    Comment by Caren — March 19, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

  7. I did contact XRX, but haven’t heard back from them. (Of course, that was over the weekend so a delay is to be expected.)

    Caren — how could you resist blocking it right away??? I wouldn’t be able to not do it immediately.

    Lene — I’ll scan in and post the charts if I redo it. You could also substitute Slip2 as to K, K1, Pass the slipped stitches over for all of the double decreases. Then you wouldn’t have to really change the chart. It would look slightly different, but it might be okay. You could swatch first. I think mine would not have looked as noticeable if I had been using a fuzzier yarn. Silk was just not forgiving.

    Comment by surly — March 19, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  8. From Susan — about Caren: I posted a comment on her blog asking her to get to work so we could see the finished Peacock Shawl!

    Comment by lv2knit — March 19, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

  9. Thanks for the heads up. I’m just itching to buy the Victorian Lace book, but having been so frustrated with the errors in the first edition of Gathering of Lace, I’m waiting it out. It rots my socks to have errata sheets stuck on every page of an otherwise lovely book. It’s sad that you’re going to have to start over. The shawl will look wonderful in either the silk or kidsilk haze.

    I agree that Fiddlesticks patterns can’t be beat. Peacock Feathers was a design that I didn’t find intuitive, but the charts were perfect.

    Comment by Melanie — March 19, 2007 @ 10:41 pm

  10. Hope you’re feeling better. I agree, it’s best to sit on it (figuratively), and then decide to rip back or not. The dec error isn’t very noticeable, but how much does it pull to the left?

    Comment by Charm — March 20, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

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