There are some projects that are a joy from beginning to end, so happiness-inducing that you almost don’t want them to end.
My latest project isn’t one of them.
The pattern is called Soho, and it’s from Ivete Tecedor Lester, a designer that I haven’t heard much about in the past. Some of the Sisters of the Wool decided to do a knit-along, and, since I had some stashed yarn that was calling to me, I decided to join too.
From the start, the project has been a challenge. The yarn that had been calling me was some Peacock Cherry Tree Hill Super Glitz. I’d had it for a couple years or so and, though I thought I’d bought three skeins, I could only find two. So I knew that my yardage was a bit short. I’ve managed to locate some teal and purple that will match, so I’m really hoping that everything will work out.
Knitting has been an adventure so far. The concept is that you start in the middle of the back, knit your way out, forming a square as you go, and then extend two opposing sides of the square for the width of the shawl.
It’s a great idea, and the model shown in the pattern is gorgeous. In theory, this pattern should be a walk in the park, but so far, it hasn’t been.
The cast-on recommended in the pattern is not a good one for someone using magic loop instead of the recommeded DPNs. I ended up with a hole about the size of a quarter. I frogged and started again… several times. Then I had to frog because each of the four sides of the square had a different number of stitches. On each of the try, I tweaked the cast-on and first rows a bit. I eventually ended up with a 4 stitch cable cast-on and then a kfb in each of the cast-on stitches before starting the first row. The result is nice and tight without extraneous bumps or huge holes.
The tricky part of this pattern has been my ability to keep the same number of stitches on each side. It sounds simple, but as the sides get longer and longer, the possibility of losing concentration and throwing in an extra stitch when it isn’t needed increases. (Last night, I sat with my friend Angele, who was also working on Soho, for over two hours. She was cursing because she had an extra stitch on each side. i was cursing because I had four extra stitches on one side.)
The pattern isn’t doing me any favors either. Perhaps it’s a stylistic preference or perhaps I’m just a crap knitter, but having to flip between a page where it says to work a stitch pattern (with four rows) between two rows is making me more than a little bonkers. Last night, as I was holding my partially finished back section against Angele’s, I couldn’t help noticing that our interpretation of the instructions for the Rice Stitch section were completely different. Thank goodness that there are no knitting Nazis grading our work!
I was also thrown by the description of the Eyelet Section, which appears to be missing an explanation of what to do with the last stitch on the Eyelet row. I knitted it, which seemed to make sense at the time. I’ve written to the designer, and she’s looking at it to see if she concurs with my solution (or to tell me if I messed up).
I’m now on the last stockinette repeats on the back section. When i get to the seed stitch section, I’ll be changing to a semi-solid teal Super Glitz.
Here’s a truly craptastic picture of my progress so far.
Unfortunately, every picture that I’ve taken of this project is bad. The yarn is a gorgeous collection of greens, teals, purples, blues, and browns with irredescent flecks of green throughout. Under the lights at borders, those flecks sparkled like stars, and the colors were vibrant without being too garish. It seems that every picture that I take either looks drab or like Martian clown barf. Maybe when I finish it (… if I finish it. Those extra stitches may drive me nuts first!), I’ll be able to take it out in the sun and try photographing it there!