And it is done! This exquisitely decadent and sensually divine creation is finally finished after two months of blissful torture. Of course, as you may have read, there have been a few hiccups along the way, but overall I would call this a successful project that I have greatly enjoyed!
The last major hurdle to finishing this shawl was probably the greatest challenge along the way. As I mentioned in my most recent post, the Shattered Sun Shawl by Felicia Lo has a selvedge edge that I forgot to remember about 1/4 of the way through, but I didn't notice that I forgot until I was about 9/10 of the way through. I had to experiment to discover the best way to repair this omission before continuing on!
After careful manipulation and re-manipulation of a stockinette swatch, I came to decide that I should leave the edge stitch intact and drop the next two stitches to create a garter stitch column. After I finished the repair I continued on in this fashion as well to keep it from being noticeable. I think the edge works very well now and will lie flat as it should.
After the repair, I was able to continue on with the final stockinette section and finally the edge ruffle. I did shorten this last section considerably, but I added two plain rows to the ruffle. Some very interesting realizations came to me as I watched my little ball of yarn shrinking precariously close to it's end with several rows left to knit... First, a Russian bind-off of almost 700 stitches is actually almost 1400 stitches. And Second, the way a pattern handles increases GREATLY impacts the amount of yarn used if you plan to alter it. This last one is a good one to keep in mind if you (like me) change patterns when you're knitting. Let me explain:
With every knitted shawl pattern-- with the exception of some square or rectangular ones-- increases or decreases are used to shape the structure of the shawl. If coming from the center out as this pattern does, then increases are used. Many lace shawls increase two or four stitches every row to keep a very smooth shape and edge-- think of a triangle getting bigger as it comes gradually to its base. This has been my experience with increases in the past; with gradual increases you can notice how much yardage you are using by watching your yarn ball dwindle. I generally am watching my ball as it's getting smaller to gauge if I have enough to do one more row, etc.
I was super happy when I started this shawl and discovered there were only a handful of increase rows!-- one between each section. This made it soooooo easy to memorize the patterns and knit away contentedly while chasing my son around the yard this summer.
HERE'S WHERE I CREATED MY PROBLEM: every row knit between two increases uses TWICE as much yarn as the section before it. I shortened several sections early on in the shawl (and banked me some yarn), but then I added rows to the final ruffle (which is the most yarn consuming part of the pattern!)
Let's just say LESSON LEARNED. Designers spend a lot of time figuring out these patterns and adjusting them to our many shapes and sizes. The structures and shaping we take for granted (and often complain about) create the foundation for those designs we love so much; they should not be ignored or cast away so lightly. Will I be modifying my patterns again in the future? ABSOLUTELY! But from here on out I will take care to note how a garment is made originally before trying to recreate it.
HUGE thanks to Lucinda at Mont Tricot in Sutton, Quebec for the fabulous (and fun!) photo shoot! Awesome store, awesome people, and an uncanny knack for getting AMAZING shots!