Although I, like many, always associate the beginning of Fall with Labor Day, (and an associated drop in the temperatures), it officially arrived yesterday—a development I find very pleasing. I like summer in the theoretical sense: that is in January summer is very appealing, but the arrival in June of hot, humid temperatures always dampens my appreciation for the season. Surprisingly this summer, I managed to knit through quite a bit of the uncomfortable days. I discovered if I sat just so in relation to a ceiling fan, I could usually knit contentedly. I had hoped to have at least one new shawl finished fir the start of fall. Rock Island, at least. Instead I have three partially completed shawls. But since one is approaching the finish, one is to the last section, and one I just enjoy a bit too much to care, I’m not disappointed.
If you recall, Rock Island was being employed as an “incentive” knit. I hit my goals for the other two shawls, which should have allowed me to start the lacey mid-section of Rock Island, but I was sucked in by the new chart for Swan Lake. After completing the main section (my goal) for Swan Lake, I looked ahead and noticed that the “wing” is attached similarly to a knit-on edging, only instead of a short repeating pattern, it grows every other row in a triangular manner. It seemed that it would be quick enough to get through the first chart of this new section, so I started. Then decided that I might as well finish off the thing while it’s on the top of the work basket.
I’m approaching the end of this one (although it’s starting to drag as the rows get longish), so Rock Island waits. With the change in seasons, sweaters are beginning to call out my name (this usually starts in August, but I was determined to make progress on the lace this year), so I might turn that direction next, but I would like to get Rock Island finished as well. As for my third lace of the summer, Aeolian: it might just have to wait for a while. The rows are a bit too long right now to encourage me that direction.
So I guess my fall is looking a bit pre-planned: finish Swan Lake, finish Rock Island, finish Ondule (sweater). The real question: will any new project lure me in or am I destined for another round of finishitupitis? Only the knits will tell…
I’ve been very busy knitting lately–it seems that although I’ve felt a certain sluggish reluctance to do much productive or active this summer (perhaps symptomatic of the excess of study I’ve been doing, perhaps it’s a summer thing), I’ve managed to complete more knitting these last few months than I did in the colder winter weather more conducive to knitting. Lace, perhaps, should be blamed. Although it is more likely the fact that I finally made it to a new project, one that hadn’t been hanging over my head for years or that was in some sort of redo stage.
This would be that lace. The edging of Rock Island, 100% complete.
I believe I mentioned in my previous post that this has been serving as my incentive project. I decided to not allow myself to move past the edging until I had finished the Final Agave chart for Aeolian (check) and another 20 rows of Swan Lake (check). So earlier this week, I moved on to the next step of Rock Island.
This is the first pattern I’ve come across which utilizes YO loops to simplify the picking up of knit stitches. In the picture above, you can just see the YO loops on the side of the edging. The instructions next say to pick up and knit in those loops, giving specific guidance as to how many stitches to be created from each loop. I found this ridiculously easy, especially as compared to other “pick up and knit” patterns and especially after I threaded a spare circular through all the loops. Of course, the method only works when a line of yarn overs running through the knitting is acceptable!
A detail view of the picked up YOs:
After all the picking up, a stretch of garter stitch and decreasing to begin forming the triangle of the shawl and arrive at the right stitch count for the next lace chart. At this point it looks rather ruffly on the needle. I can’t wait to dive into the lace chart (I’m only a row or two away), but I think I’ll continue using this as an incentive and try to finish the current chart for Swan Lake first. I’m still hoping to have one or more new shawls for the fall–if I keep on track with this incentive program, maybe I can even have three!
As hoped for, the yarn in stash worked out perfectly for Rock Island. I did waffle a bit—I have a lot of lace weight to choose from!—but in the end both color (more solid than variegated) and quantity (one yarn would have been lovely, but its yardage so much greater than required that it really deserves a larger project) won out for the original selection.
The pattern is worked from outside in, starting with the edging and then picking up stitches for the inner border. It will be incredibly easy to pick up those stitches—there are very obvious yarn over loops to work with. I didn’t even need to include a vertical ‘lifeline’ as I am on my (very stalled) Lerwick. The edging is also a relatively simple repeat—8 rows, with no more than 16 stitches per row. However, there are no “rest rows,” so I don’t suppose I could technically call this an easy pattern. Just about as easy as a pattern without rest rows and requiring picking up of stitches can get, though.
Despite the ease of the pattern, I’ve stalled out a little bit: first, I was worried it wasn’t open enough(!)—a quick pin-out eased my mind on that, and second, I’m trying to balance out my various lace projects this summer—a combination of trying to finish everything and avoiding boredom by repetition. Looking at this picture, though, it’s time to return to Rock Island!
I’m not sure how it happened, perhaps I just needed a project that wasn’t a complete redo, but I seem to keep knitting lace, lace, and more lace! I kept on with Swan Lake from my last post, finishing out the chart. At that point, I was a little bored with the repetition of the cat’s paw pattern, which also made up the next chart, so I decided to switch projects, to another long-suffering WIP. (They’re pretty much all that way around here at the moment.)
Aeolian is actually one of the newest projects I have around. I started it during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but then let it sit until this week. It took some time to find where I had left off (note to self: it helps to read the directions instead of just blinding jumping in to the charts–that’s how you find out that the first and last stitches aren’t actually on the chart), but I’ve been moving right along since. Or as ‘moving right along’ as rows that take +30 minutes each can be. The above picture is actually old, but this is definitely a ‘spaghetti mess’ of lace, so new pictures wouldn’t look much different. That, and I’m mid-row so getting any sort of non-clumped picture isn’t going to be happening soon!
As much as I’ve been enjoying Aeolian, long rows and all, I’m probably going to be starting a new project this weekend. I’ve not participated in Seasons of Lace recently, for the simple fact that I haven’t been knitting much lace, at least not with any speed, but this summer there’s a Rock Island KAL. And despite the fact that 100s of other knitters (according to Ravelry) are making this and despite my pitiful success rate with KALs, I love the edging so much (well, actually, the band between the center and the edging–is that called the border?), that I decided to join both Seasons of Lace and the KAL. I even have the perfect (I hope–swatching to commence shortly) yarn in the stash:
Fibre-Isle Niji, aka Louet Mooi. (It appears to no longer be available under either name?)
So now, just one question remains: will any of these (Swan Lake, Aeolian, Rock Island) actually be finished come fall?