Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day, and Why 656 Is Not 1032

In case you didn't know, 656 is much less than 1032. Like, almost half. It helps to remember these things, especially in knitting. It can save you much grief... 

But it can also inspire ingenuity.

First things first: It's Canada Day today! Happy Birthday, Canada! This was the first year I've ever watched our local parade. I went over to a friend's house with hubby and Rascal and ate way too much food and enjoyed watching the floats go past and the children scrambling for the candy that was tossed their way.

Here's the ubiquitous Mountie shot.

And the ubiquitous bagpipe shot.

Rascal was a little scared of the bagpipes. I don't blame him. They're not my favourite, but you know, it's tradition.

The local Humane Society cheered him up a bit by bringing over a little friend for him to meet. Parades are great for meeting new friends.

There were a whole lot of other things in the parade, but that would make for a very long blog post. Suffice to say a fun day was had by all.

And now for the knitting portion of this post:

I finished knitting a shawl yesterday that has been on my needles for over a month. It's Romi Hill's Muir from Knitty. I've been so busy with other things that knitting has really taken a back seat a lot of the time, which really makes me sad. Since the acquisition of some new fibre during our trip to Olds last week, however, I've been inspired to work more quickly so that I can can enjoy all my new stuff.

When I cast on to start the shawl, I took a quick look at the pattern, and decided I liked the open work of the lace and thought it would work well with the variegation in the yarn. And, I don't know why, but my brain reasoned that I would get a nice, rectangular stole out of it, even though I had much less yarn than the required amount.

I had 656 yards. Not 1032. Almost half.

I bought the yarn during our trip to the Lake District. It's Filligran Lace No. 1 from Zitron, in a colourway called Taiga. The finished garment is nice, but since it is a singly ply yarn, any time I needed to rip back to redo sections, I would find parts that had already felted together and I would end up snapping the yarn. Luckily, it was easy enough to felt the ends back together, but it wasn't my favourite yarn to work with, by any means.

If I'd actually stopped to think it through a bit more, I could have made it narrower and got more length out of the yarn in the end, but thinking, apparently, is for chumps.

So, I took it off the needles yesterday, put it out for blocking, and saw that yeah, 656 instead of 1032 makes a really BIG difference. I didn't have a rectangular stole, but a big... square.

My momentary despondence disappeared once I took it off the blocking board. The edge brushed against my arms, and I immediately loved the beads I added to the ends at the last moment to give it a bit more drape. I liked the look of them against the back of my hand. Hmm...

I fished out the last few yards of the yarn I'd snipped off after I bound off the shawl, and started sewing...

And voilĂ : I have a shrug!

I don't usually like shrugs that are made from plain rectangles, but I really like how the sleeves look in this case. I'm still not crazy about how the back drapes, but I think I could live with it. I'm pretty sure this thing will get plenty more wear in this incarnation than as a square, unwearable shawl.

I'm now working on something of my own design that I've already ripped out three times during the design phase. Luckily, I've figured out the proportions of this thing with a bit more care this time... I hope...


YarnKettle said...

Mounties and Pipers?! I love Canada Day!
I thought of you yesterday, but forgot to pop over here. So I will wish you a belated Happy Canada Day!
Your shrug looks lovely. I like how the colors interplay.

AdrieneJ said...

Happy 4th of July to you!

Romi said...

It looks great! :)

AdrieneJ said...

Thank you! I'm so pleased you stopped by to take a look!