Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Pictures...

But I made all kinds of knitting progress during my trip (mostly on the plane, between naps). I also managed to avoid accidentally being on TV--one of my goals in life, in addition to avoiding situations which might lead to alpine rescue, is to avoid being on TV. You can imagine how interesting that was to people in LA--my friend Jen is an actress, and by the end of the weekend she was introducing me to people like this: This is Rebecca. She's an archivist. She doesn't want to be on television.

Anyway. Knitting progress: I finished the veil of leaves socks, knit maybe 16 rows on the purple shawl that may have resumed its efforts to kill me, and nearly finished the body of the secret thing I can't describe (which is still not a baby sweater).

I'm wearing the veil of leaves socks at this very moment, and I'm not sure about them. You may recall that the pattern calls for you to knit the cuff (using a very nifty, new-to-me technique to make a hem), then decrease kind of dramatically (72 to 63 sts), then carry on with the leaf pattern. I did that for the first socks, and whined about how the hem was slightly ruffled (although it fit OK). For sock #2, I cast on 63 sts and worked the cuff, sans decreasing. That fits fine too, and frankly, looking at my ankles now I can't tell which is which (although the bigger cuff looked bigger when I compared the unworn socks). If the difference is noticeable after I wash the socks, I may consider removing the 72-stitch cuff, making a smaller one and grafting it in place... but probably not. Or, I'll probably consider it, but probably not do it.

I'm a bit nervous about the shawl. According to my row tally and Jessica's lovely shawl progress calculator, I'm 46.5% done with the shawl. But, according to my scale and some math, I'm 47.5% done with the yarn. This is troubling. While I hate excess leftover yarn as much as the next person, I do like having enough to finish, and it's not looking good (this is entirely my own fault, as the pattern calls for 1300 yards, I have 1250, and the collective wisdom of Ravelry warns that the yardage estimates in Victorian Lace Today are low).

I have several plans:
1. Ignore the shawl calculator (this is actually not such a bad plan. 1% is less than 13 yards, and think how annoyed I'd be if I did something dramatic to conserve yarn and it turned out that I hadn't needed to?)

2. Decide that the skein might have been slightly less than 4 ounces, so maybe I haven't used 47.5% yet (this is slightly possible since I didn't weight the skein before I started, and can only weigh what's left (2.1 oz) and surmise how much I've sued (1.9 oz of the 4 oz skein). BUT it's not exactly consoling either, since if I started with less than 4 oz, I may have less than 1250 yards, and I'm back to my impending yarn shortage.

3. Work some more, redo my math, reapply the shawl progress calculator, then decide what to so (options 1 and 2 will be reconsidered, along with schemes for altering the stitch pattern slightly to decrease more quickly. Faster decreases = fewer decrease rows to work = slightly smaller shawl = less yarn used.

4. Knit to a division in the pattern (between sections, for example), then introduce a new yarn. I have a semi-solid green, also from Schaefer, which might be great with the purple (or it might be terrible).

I'm currently leaning towards 3, but who knows that I'll eventually do?!

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