Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rosebud Re-Blossoms

I know, the suspense was killing you, except for maybe Susan, who I told yesterday at the yarn shop. Anyway, the project I am resurrecting is the Rosebud Shawl from Heirloom Knitting. I apparently started this project in June 2007. I took the photo below in October, so I think I was going slowly even back then:

The photo shows the center panel of the shawl and the yarn I am using, which is Makalu Yarns Fine Wool Cashmere, a very close cousin of the Jade Sapphire wool/cashmere laceweight yarn. It is soft and thin. And bouncy. Really feels good, and looks like it will stretch out a LOT when blocked. This is definitely one of those lace projects that will look pretty yucky until it is blocked!

So, why has this project been sitting in a bag since October 2007? Why do good projects go dormant? For me there is usually a good reason, and for this project there were multiples. First, I got engaged and all excited about knitting a shawl for my upcoming wedding. That makes sense. Second, I was using one of the original Addi Turbo Lace needles to do the project. It was a bit too sticky for the yarn and everything kept bunching up. But worse, the brass needle smelled AWFUL. Whenever I worked on the project, I kept smelling this bad metallic smell, and after I worked on it, my hands continued to smell funky even after I washed them. And third, the yarn is so squishy that I had issues doing some of the stitches, including, oddly enough, K2tog.

So, I decided to make a few changes when I re-started, and that included immediately switching to my KnitPicks Illusion needles for the knitting. That has taken care of the smell and the flow of the knitting. And I figured out that if I tug on the stitches, the K2togs go more smoothly. So, that's better, at least.

But wow, it can be a pain in the brain to re-start an old project. I had quite a few frustrations getting re-acquainted with the pattern. First, I started knitting away, only to realize that I was knitting 4 border stitches that weren't really there. I was knitting squares that were just part of the border of the illustration, but not in the pattern. That made me have to rip out 4 rows that included slip 1, K2tog, PSSO. Those are a real bear to undo. Then the yarn itself got tangled, due to the outer end crawling in and twining up with the inner part of the skein. The way this yarn sticks to itself, well, it got all sticky, so I spent a bit of time straightening all THAT out. Sigh.

Yesterday, due to not having any WORK to do, I was at the yarn shop "helping" the owner deal with a virus (it's in quotes because I did not actually fix it)and knitting away with the correct pattern and my happy new needles, when I stretched it out to look at how nice it will be blocked. There, many rows down was a free stitch, waving at me. This happens to me nearly every time I un-do rows of lace with double decreases--I tend to miss one putting them back on. And I don't notice, because my stitch counts are right. I quickly did some weaving and fixing and it looked OK. Then, oh no! I saw ANOTHER one! So, there is an area of the shawl with some extra yarn in it. I tried to duplicate stitch to make sure plenty of yarn is in there holding those stitches where they should be. At least the stickiness of the yarn will help in this case--once I block it, I am betting it will glue together forever and not come loose again. Of course, I spent quite a bit of time checking for additional little darlings sticking up, all unattached. I remember the same thing happened on the Aeolian after I had to take out a bunch of rows. Grr.

I must remember to check carefully after I do the last row to be sure everything is where it should be! Un-knitting in laceweight is not my best skill, apparently. So, I am trying very hard to not mess up any more. I have just 3 more repeats and the center square will be finished. I look forward to the next section, which is a gorgeous lace border. I do love these Shetland-style patterns!

Well, I will now wander off into the cold and see what's up at the yarn shop. I have applied for all the jobs I can find, and if someone needs me, they can call!


  1. And that is why I don't do much lace. :-) You have wayyyy more patience than I do. I would have frogged it long ago! Good for you!! I can't wait to see it.

  2. It must be the year for project revivals. I should post my shawl revival soon.....this is a good reminder. I think your rosebud is going to be gorgeous when you are done!

  3. I hate starting an old project, I'm trying to knit smaller things so I finish them and not have so many wips! Love the socks in the post below. It's been ages since I was in the LYS, I often couldn't find what I needed so I haven't been in. Might have to check the sale though.

  4. That will be really pretty! I dislike picking up old projects because my gauge changes sometimes.


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