Day 6 – 30 Days of Knitting meme

What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?

That’s a hard question, actually. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever knit was Knitty.com’s Shipwreck Shawl, so I’m tempted to say that’s my favorite. I hardly ever wear it, however, because it’s so delicate and fragile; the first (and so far, only) time I wore it, it snagged so badly that I don’t think I can fix it. All I did was walk within a foot of a mailbox, and it managed to catch on the corner.  The wee pearls and occasional faceted crystal are just darling though, in that big mess of misty gray alpaca and silk. And I don’t have even one picture of it that does it justice.

That's right. Rocking the kid foam boards.

Draped across my blocking boards, because my duvet cover is white.

I used four or so balls of Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace in a soft gray, not really caring that the pattern called for sock/fingering-weight and I was using lace-weight yarn. The practical problem there was, simply, that it took for-fucking-ever to make the shawl big enough. I’m short, so I’m accustomed to circular shawls being far beyond my wingspan, and I thought subbing the yarn wouldn’t be that big a deal. Perhaps I would have changed my mind had I known just how much k2tog, YO was involved in the last section, and how quickly I tire of doing something mentally easy that required watching with every stitch. Several times I put it down for months, unable to bear more hours of k2tog, YO with no end in sight, so start-to-finish was a period of years.

Some people found the center to be tricky; I found it compelling.

Some people found the center to be tricky; I found it compelling.

I haven’t even addressed the issue of the beads. Because the beads rest on the YO, or the “float,” the beads must be pre-strung on the yarn rather than added with a very small crochet hook and secured on each random, individual stitch. This meant threading the yarn on a beading needle and sliding each and every damned bead onto the yarn, and because I didn’t know how many I would need for each skein, I just strung a whole mess of them and slid them down the full length of the 440-yard skein as I knit. This meant putting down the knitting, picking up the length of beads, and pushing them down the yarn in sections. It was tedious. I would not do that again, not with that yarn (a 2-ply, with clingy alpaca) and certainly not with those cheap plastic pearl-like beads. The faceted glass ones weren’t nearly as rough, being more expensive, more consistently-shaped, and smoother through the holes and at the holes’ edges.

The beads were a pain, but they're so pretty.

The beads were a pain, but they’re so pretty.

I’ve been thinking about making it again. Without beads, or with only a few (10? 50?), with a sturdier, ropier yarn, something more net-like. Sea Silk, maybe. Something shiny and weathered and blue-green-ish, cool to the touch, heavy and soft. Does such a thing exist?

Cranky’s Shipwreck Shawl

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About crankyfacedknitter

We are a motley collection of cats, cranks, nerds, geeks, hobbyists, humorists, writers, caffeine addicts and one knitter. We have many offspring, but admittedly, most of them are imaginary.
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