Friday, July 02, 2010

Making It Work

I have another shawl off the needles!

Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC, Spring + Summer Knitty 2010
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (100% superwash merino), colorway Kale, less than one skein
Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm) Addi Turbos and US 10 (6.0 mm) Knit Picks Options (for casting on only)
Started/Completed: June 19/June 30
Mods: only by accident (see below)

This shawl was truly an exercise in patience. It starts from the bottom, meaning you have to cast on all the stitches at the beginning. I used a crochet cast on and managed to cast on the correct number only to screw up the first row (because apparently I cannot count to four). The mistake was way back near the beginning of the first row, so rather than tink back, and because it was very close to my bedtime on a Friday night, I decided to frog and restart the next day.

The second time I cast on, I made the same mistake, only this time the error was close enough to the end of the row that I decided tinking back was worth it. I made it through the row successfully and was on my way.

The next roadblock was dealing with the nupps. I've done them before, so I knew they would be easier to work if I did them loosely. However, my previous experience was with five-stitch nupps and these were seven-stitch nupps. It can be tricky to purl seven stitches together -- as I kept discovering rows later, when I'd notice one of the seven loops had been missed and had to drop the stitch down to correct the error.

I finally make it through all six rows of nupps only to discover that I had royally screwed up somewhere along the way, resulting in my omitting two rows of the chart. How this happened I cannot tell you, because my knitting certainly looked like it was supposed to. The result was that my stitch count was off (specifically, I had more stitches than I should have), but at that point I was not about to frog. I decided that I would follow the advice of Tim Gunn and make it work. I can't explain exactly what I did, because frankly I'm not really sure, but it worked out okay in the end.

This was my first time working with the Tosh Sock. For the most part, I enjoyed it, although I didn't find the base to be anything especially wonderful. It reminded me very much of Koigu in feel and twist, although in some respects it reminded me of handspun because there were rather thick spot and rather thin spots. I will say this -- the dye job on this yarn is gorgeous. There were many colorways I loved, but I chose this one because it was the first one that called to me (and frankly I've knit enough in blue and green already). I'm not completely convinced that it was worth the price -- I splurged because I had a gift card from my birthday -- but because it was a little more dear than most sock yarn I buy, I'm glad I used it for something a little special.

All issues with this pattern aside, I think I might knit it again, but next time I'd like it to be a little narrower and closer to a half circle than a crescent. I'll have to do some thinking and figuring to figure out how to make it work, but I'm envisioning it in handspun.

Speaking of spinning, tomorrow is the beginning of the Tour de France -- which means it's also the start of the Tour de Fleece! I don't think I'll be anywhere near as prolific as I was last year, but I am planning on making sure I find some time to spin every day. Before I can start, however, this has to come off the wheel:


  1. I know it wasn't easy getting there, but that shawl is beautiful! And very wearable, too.

    I can't wait to see what you spin in the upcoming weeks. I always intend to join, but I'm not real good with the follow-through. I'll just live vicariously through you.

  2. That shawl is lovely! I have that in my queue, but didn't realize it had nupps. Seven-stitch ones at that. Hmmm, may have to reconsider. :P

    And, as you know, I too didn't feel the tosh sock didn't lived up to the hype. Good thing the color makes up for it!

  3. Holy smokes, I would have chukked that shawl out the window with all those issues. Then again, I'm not a lace person :-) Go, you!