Sunday, September 12, 2010

Finished shawl, with pride.

I finally finished my Pi Are Squared shawl! I can't remember when I first decided to make this, but I think it was while I was living in Chicago which means before 1989. (Coincidentally, I bought this yarn while living in Chicago, too.) I cast this on in July or August 2005, for something to knit while taking a long car ride. It has lasted me through many of them, but it is finally done.

My biggest holdup has been the final edging around the neck/front opening. I started making an applied I-cord edging but didn't like it, and ripped it back in favor of a very plain, very simple single crochet edge. I might put something fancier on later, but I doubt it -- there's enough going on everywhere else.

Here it is blocking:

I just used t-pins stuck into the carpet. I should have vacuumed first; I had to pick quite a few fuzzy bits off the back after it dried. See the tape measure in the middle? I used that to make both sides approximately the same.

Here it is from another angle:

Note the fan in the background? That's because my final impetus to finish was the local county fair -- I pinned this out at 2 in the afternoon and entries were due by 9 p.m. It was dry in plenty of time.

I don't know where the time goes. I decided in early summer that I would finish this in time for the fair this year, and I never really lost sight of that .... but I still ended up weaving in ends up until the last minute (after blocking; you can see some loose ends here). But I love going to the fair and looking at others people's items, so I always try to enter a few myself.

I tell myself that I don't really care if I win or not but it turns out I lie. Because this didn't win ANYTHING and I was really, really grouchy about it. I know it's hardly a masterpiece of design but I think it's quite nice and it is also a huge honking piece of lace. Given our bizarre classes it had to go into the "knitted coats, sweaters and capes" class, and it lost out to a couple of sweaters that really didn't seem all that special to me. But maybe that's my bitterness talking.

Really, I don't think I'd mind nearly as much if there were any explanations at all. There are never any comments on the judging, plus they don't reclass if they think you've entered something in the wrong class. (I think third place in this class went to a baby sweater which IMO should have been in the baby sweater class.) I want to know if the judges really thought this wasn't as well done as the items that placed, or if there was some other reason for their decisions, or (honestly) if they ever even unfolded it.

I also entered a couple of scarves -- knitted and woven -- and a skein of handspun which had to go into "any other crafts". Both scarves placed but they're nothing special.

I do have to say that the woman who knit the winning sweater was there when I was, and she was really really excited and proud, and also seemed to be thrilled with the small cash prize that goes with the ribbon. So that's pretty neat. I'll try to think about that and not about my (apparently wildly overinflated) expectations.

Modeled shots next week, after I reclaim it and bribe my photographer.


Caroline M said...

It looks very like a knitted cape to me, no sleeves = cape. Look at it this way, you might not have won anything but if it hadn't been for the fair then it wouldn't have been finished.

I gave mine away, I'd had it years and never worn it and she was pleased with it.

nornspinner said...

I think it is stunning!! I am not a lace knitter and I am very impressed. I am also not a shawl knitter and am curious about the shape - that interesting neck part. I like it. I also entered skeins of yarn into our local fair this year. they were very much novelty, with lots of texture, and one comment I got was that I should use more evenly spun singles. Go figure. If you are happy with what you made, then it is perfect. And it is stunning!!

Leigh said...

It looks like a winner to me. I'm so surprised that it didn't place. I'm even more surprised that there isn't a shawl category. That is such a common thing to knit. It's beautiful anywa.

Spundun said...

Ohmygoodness, but this is so very beautiful!

Personally, I enjoy entering things, not for the winning but partly for the kicks and partly to get me motivated to finish. Deadlines although I hate them, sometimes they can be used to your advantage!

nornspinner said...

Thank you for your comment today. I will look up that book. Trouble is that anything I suggest tends to get discarded by G - my lovely 17 year old. Typical, eh?
And yes, isn't Mt Day a wonderful tradition. Comes of working at a women's college.