around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

More comfort of a different sort

Having basely abandoned my Comfort bedjacket, I am now romping down the rows of my Bigfoot Shawl from Alison Jeppson Hyde's Wrapped in Comfort knitted lace shawl book.

Ok, I haven't completely abandoned the bedjacket. It has just gotten too big and cumbersome to be my traveling knitting. The front and back are complete and I'm in the process of picking up stitches for the sleeves - something I hate doing, which may explain why it's still sitting on the couch.

I'm using that beautiful handspun merino I bought from Mary before Thanksgiving. The Bigfoot Shawl is a fan and feather variation and repetitive enough to make it my new traveling knitting. Although, apparently I have difficulty counting to eight. Or sixteen. I only had to rip it completely back and reknit the yoke three times. The third time I put in a lifeline and didn't need it (all that practice, right?). Now that I'm in the body of the thing I should be ok, since I can make sure each little section is working out right. (But I'm not taking out those lifelines 'til I'm done.)

It was just as well that I did cast on again, as the first time I didn't cast on loosely enough. Also, you're supposed to cast on with 2 strands, and the third time I went ahead and carried that second strand all the way through the first two rows. I like it even better that way.

The funny thing is when I was hunting for a perfect shawl pattern for this yarn, I did a little sketch of what I was after. After I plumped for the Big Foot, I found my little sketch (I had completely forgotten about it) and it was almost exactly the same. Not the lace pattern (I didn't go so far as what lace pattern I wanted), but the overall shape and scheme of the thing. The only difference I had was a collar. Who knows, if I have the yarn and the inclination, I may add a little collar. Or not.

I've got about 1100 yards of the merino and I'm using 5mm needles. Alison presents this shawl in two versions: a little over-the-shoulder one with about 645 yards of fingering weight on 5mm and a larger version with 1000 yards on 5.5mm needles. I suspect I'll get somewhere between the two.

By the way, I really like how this book is arranged. Each pattern has a little story about it or about the inspiration behind it, at least one picture on a model, sometimes a close-up of the pattern stitch, and one picture of the shawl laid out flat. Sometimes there's an alternate version pictured also. The pattern is given in words and in charts. She's got them all ranked for beginner, easy, intermediate and advanced. (Big Foot is ranked Easy.) All the pictures are nice and clear and give you a good idea of what you're getting into.

The Big Deal is happening today at work, so hopefully work will resume it's normal state of chaos instead of the abnormal chaos of the last few months.


Anonymous AlisonH said...

That yarn is gorgeous! And thank you for the kind words.

For whatever it may be worth, if you look at my blog back in October, there's a shawl in black that is the Bigfoot but where, instead of opening up into the wider Bigfoot pattern in the main body, I repeated the smaller Rabbit Tracks stitch pattern that's in the yoke. I needed a totally brainless project, and this way I didn't have to do that counting-to-eleven thing, while still keeping some of that feather-and-fan-variant feel to it, on a smaller scale.

(I can just hear it: Now you tell me! :)

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Carrie K said...

Hopefully the The Big Deal will turn out okay.

I can't really count past three, but can handle four in a pinch. After's ripping and gnashing of teeth. And stitchmarkers.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Traceyleezle said...

Wait a I know where my knitting mojo went to. Cynthia took it! I adore the colors and pattern of the BigFoot Shawl, it's going to be gorgeous.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Traceyleezle said...

Psst, can't find your address anymore to send you some of that homespun I promised.

1:02 PM  

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