Monday, August 31, 2009

The end is in sight!

Way back in 2005 I impulsively cast on for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Are Square shawl, thinking it would keep me busy on a long car trip. Well, it did, and it has. Here it is in 2006 and 2007. I set it aside shortly after that because I needed to make some decisions, and didn't pick it up again until July of this year, when I was anticipating another long car ride. Here's what it looked like then:

It took me a while to remember where I was and what I was trying to do. I had run out of the two purples I was using for the body of the shawl, and needed to decide how far to go with the gray and what to do about an edging.

I decided to push the gray as far as it would go, to give me more length. I may regret this when I block it. During our car trip (from Oklahoma to Michigan) I finished the body of the shawl and started the edging. As it turns out, a lace edging is not really the best sit-and-chat sort of knitting, so I didn't get much done during the non-driving parts of our vacation. But there was lots of driving, and once I memorized the pattern I started really making progress. Here's where it is today:

And here is a closeup of the patterning:

I'm not entirely happy with this. In case you're not familiar with the pi-shawl concept, you double the number of stitches at intervals that themselves double. So every line of simple holes you see there is a doubling row -- except maybe the last one, I can't remember if I doubled there or not. There's no puckering (the drawback to this method) so I might not have doubled. I'll figure that out later, when I write the finished shawl up.

Anyways, my overall concept for this shawl was "pi are squared, purple, lacy" and so I just picked patterns at each doubling, and I don't really think my choices were all that felicitous. The first pattern is a madeira fan that was hard to do and will be invisible under my hair. I like the next zig-zag one, and think it works well with both the fan and the pattern below, although I don't think I'm wild about all the faggoting on the third pattern. But my real concern is the print o' the wave. What was I thinking? It really has nothing in common with the others. I think I thought it would further develop the faggoting, but looking at it now I don't think that the visual connection really happens.

And I was intending to use an edging designed by Sharon Miller to coordinate with print o' the wave, but decided not to after all. Both are a stockinette fabric, and on a sort of cardigan shawl the edging needs to look good on both sides. The edging I chose has a double zig zag, which I hope will tie it in with the various other patterns once the shawl is blocked and you can actually see it, but that leaves the print o' the wave flapping alone in the breeze. I'm not going to rip it back, though! I just hope I remember this the next time I think, "oh, it will be a quick knit, I don't need to plan it." And also that very few things in laceweight are a "quick knit."

I am still pondering the front / neck edge. I had planned to just continue the same edging all the way around, but I wonder if it will be too floppy & lacy. Maybe I'd be happier with a plain edge? Maybe I am thinking this because it would be a lot faster? Oh, and perhaps this has something to do with the deadline for county fair entries in 10 days? I had thought it was in three days and was resigned to missing it, but then I learned I had an extra week. I could certainly finish the bottom & do a quick crochet around the inside edges .... but what a stupid reason to make a design decision. So -- things to think about while I knit.

(Another one is -- will I ever wear this? More than once?)