Sunday, July 26, 2009

Second Shawl Syndrome

Did you notice that I only gave you progress on Fenna up to our departure from Peoria? What, I'm sure you're wondering, did I do for the 3 and a half hours it took us to get home? That, my friends, is a sad story. A testimony to the importance of Myrna Stahman's clever stitch-marker trick. (Can you tell I am completely enamored of my Shawls and Scarves book? The woman is a great unventer. The Elizabeth Zimmerman of shawls.)

First up. The trick itself. She recommends a fine thread. I kind of lazied it and stole some of Marco's sock yarn - it was handy.

See how it anchors the stitch marker in place and keeps it lined up with the yarn overs? Big deal, you may be thinking. You may have noticed that I don't seem to have any problem keeping my yarn-overs in line for the Barn Raising quilt squares. What's so important about attaching a tail to your stitch-marker when you knit a shawl?

Did you ever notice how you can get along just fine doing something until someone points out that it really is, not wrong so much as risky. You may think you like living on the knitting edge, but once you know, once you've been warned, ignore the warning at your peril.

There I was, happily knitting away on my green shawl as we wended our way Chicago-ward. Anticipating showing off all my progress. Idly thinking how amazing it is that different yarns and garter stitch could still be so engaging. Fondly smoothing my knitting out on my lap. And seeing this.

I really haven't even had the heart to repair it. It's going to be ugly. Those are, after all, increases on either side of the crooked spine of my shawl. Three stitches at the top row are going to increase to 5 stitches, then 7, then 9, and so on, and so on, and so on. Insert heavy sigh.

So, is the lesson here a polemic against greed? Unlike socks, mittens and sweater sleeves, is the rule one shawl at a time, madam, one shawl at a time? Or (more likely to my mind) have I stumbled across a corollary to Second Shipwreck Syndrome?

1 comment:

Diane H said...

Really? So tempting to try the crochet hook first -