… the Lace Jacket.
Sigh… not the best pictures, I know. You can’t really get a sense of the light-and-airy texture, and you only get a small taste of the sparkly beads in that last shot. What I wanted to do was get a certain friend of mine to model it for me, because then I’d be able to shoot it the way I really wanted. But she and I have been so busy with other things, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to get something out here.
What I really would love is to learn how to take better pictures of my knitting. This blog and this blog do it so well… what’s their secret? Anyone have any tips?
Just a quick post tonight… much more to come very soon, after I photograph the Lace Jacket.
Yes, my friends, it’s finished. The Lace Jacket is actually done, much faster than I thought, and much, much more beautiful than I ever expected. I tried it on before I blocked it, just to get an idea of how much stretch it would afford me. For the first time in the 8 years I’ve been knitting, I was speechless. This is the best… FO… ever. I can’t wait for the recipient to see it… that is, if I can find a way to part with it.
Sheep To Shawl Contest… I really don’t have any news here, except that it’s getting closer and I really can’t wait. Once again, if you, or someone you know, is on one of the teams that are competing in either the Sheep or Fleece To Shawl contests , and you’d like some FREE PRESS by agreeing to an interview, please leave a comment with some contact info and I’ll be in touch. One team did leave a message about a month or so ago, but maybe they didn’t get my enthusiastic email because I never heard back from them… ? Or maybe I scared them away… ? Try me again, oh Mystery Team!
I’m now about halfway done with the Lace Jacket. I don’t have a picture to show you – it still looks like a bunch of different sized holes that, if you squint, kind of looks like rows of triangle shapes randomly scattered around. But while I can’t exactly see the finished product emerging (yet), I can tell you that I’ve learned a LOT these last few days while knitting it.
I think the most surprising thing is how very close I’ve become with the project. I don’t usually have this kind of relationship with my WsIP, but this one demands 100% attention at all times. Between deciphering the chart, knitting at the loosest gauge I can manage, and constantly counting stitches… LJ is a stern taskmistress. I’m exhausted after 4 rows. I’m exhausted just thinking about 4 rows.
Despite giving LJ all my attention, mistakes occurred. Many… mistakes… occurred. And I didn’t weave in any lifelines. Did I rip the whole thing back and start again? Hell no. I’m thrilled to report that I was able to find every mistake by examining the pattern, examining my stitches, and examining this extremely helpful forum on Ravelry. It took a lot of patience – patience I usually don’t have for knitting or anything, really – but I experienced that wonderful and elusive “A-ha!” moment where everything suddenly made sense, the pattern and I started speaking the same language, and the mistakes became much easier to find and fix. Without being too melodramatic, it was as if everything around me just faded away, leaving me and LJ in perfect harmony, perfectly synched.
Luxury laceweight beaded yarn? $50.00. 3 new sets of circular needles to ensure proper gauge (HA!!!)? $70.00. Hard-fought, well-earned confidence in your knitting, tinking, chart-reading, and plain-old observation skills? Priceless. Truly.
I’m making slow progress on the Lace Jacket.
20 rows. *Sigh*
Never mind that the pattern is really challenging. Never mind that I’m not a fast knitter even on easy patterns. But it doesn’t help when you spend 30 minutes on a row, just to have to un-knit it and do it again.
Half of the "diamond pattern motif". No matter how many times I look at this, all I see is... a bat.
Yes yes yes, I know that I’m supposed to weave a lifeline in there somewhere to make the inevitable mistakes a lot easier to deal with. But actually, un-knitting (aka tinking) isn’t all that scary to me. It just takes careful attention… and time. And for lace projects, it takes even more careful attention… and even more time. That being said, it should be forgiven that over a period of 3 days, I’ve completed… 4 rows. Four… whole… rows. Again with the four whole rows. I think I have to rethink this project as a Christmas gift, and make it more like… a Mother’s Day gift. Oy.
On A Completely Different Note…
Among all the roles I play, one of my favorites is the role of “volunteer”. For the past 7 years, I’ve been honored and humbled to count myself among the many, many Highmark Caring Place volunteers. I’ve met a lot of amazing people through this program, and maybe I’ve even provided some support to those who attended the sessions… at least I hope I have, even in some small way. Supporting grieving children and their families certainly can be daunting, although I can honestly say that we spend more time laughing than crying when we’re all together.
Tomorrow is Children’s Grief Awareness Day, always held on the Thursday before Thanksgiving – a day to help raise awareness of the need for support of children grieving the death of a loved one, and to let these children know they’re not alone. My family and I will be wearing blue to commemorate the day… I hope you’ll join us.
The Lace Jacket project has officially begun. I was a little afraid to start because it’s just such a daunting pattern, but it’s on the needles now… I’m on my way… look at me go…
Four. Whole. Rows. Woo hoo.
Wanna know how long it took me to knit Four… Whole… Rows? Two… Whole… Days. I had to frog Six… Whole… Rows when my stitch count went awry. As of this picture, everything is correct and I’m ready for, at the very least, Four… More… Rows (because on the 5th row, the pattern gets a little crazy with the YOs. Stay tuned.).
P.S. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and as I sat, knitting (socks – the traveling project), and waited for my turn, the nurse informed me that the doctor was running late, it would be at least another ½ hour until he saw me. I looked down at my knitting, looked up at the nurse… and smiled…
… because long delays mean nothing to those of us packing Sticks and String.