A shawl complete

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!!

(Well, with the exception of blocking…but the knitting is done!)

It took me 4 months, but I finally managed to finish my Twiddlebug Shawl. It’s 70 inches long and 16 inches wide at the moment – after blocking it should be closer to 75″x20″. Each pattern repeat has 10 rows and I did 46 of those. Every repeat took me about an hour to complete and there was a single crochet border (and I don’t really know how to crochet, so that was fun). I figure it took me about 60 hours in total to complete this shawl between getting used to the pattern early on, fixing problems, and taking 8 hours just to do the border because of my lack of crocheting skills.

The last step in this project before it can be gifted is blocking. I’m not really sure how I’ll accomplish this yet since I don’t have a place where a 75×20 inch shawl can lay flat pinned to a board undisturbed until it dries. Once I figure it out, I’ll take some pics and let you know how I did it.

Oh Twiddlebugs!

In previous posts I’ve mentioned a “dissertation” for Nerd Wars and that probably needs a little more explanation.

The way a Nerd Wars tournament works is that the are 3 rounds per tournament each of which lasts on month. You can participate in up to 6 challenges per round. In addition to this, you have the option to complete a self-selected challenge which is expected to take the entirety of the tournament. This is called a dissertation.

I decided to attempt a dissertation in this tournament and I chose the Hiya Hiya Gardenia Shawl. Because it has a leafy/flowery type of pattern to it, I tied it to my “nerdery” (Jim Henson) by calling it a Twiddlebug Shawl.

It’s a fairly simple semi-lace pattern with cables running the length the shawl. I chose a really pretty alpaca yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Strawberry, that I bought for myself as a birthday present. (It was a great deal too. I got it for half price at a store-closing sale.)

My original plan was to have the shawl completed in time for Christmas in order to give it to my grandmother as a gift, but life got in the way and I missed that goal. It looks like I’m going to miss my official Nerd Wars completion date goal of December 31st as well.

I’ve never knitted a shawl before. Scarves yes, but shawls not so much. I usually stick to smaller items because I have knitting ADD and move from project to project so I don’t get bored.

So I haven’t decided if I’m just going to give my grandmom the shawl as a just because/super late Christmas present or if I will hold on to it for a future gifting opportunity.

Either way, at this point I’m determined to get it done as soon as possible…partially because I’m tired of working on it and partially because I feel like I’ve come so far that I have to see it through.

I have 22 inches and a border left to go. Here’s where I am now:

Just another end of the month push

I missed my goal of finishing my Twiddlebug Shawl before Christmas, but it’s a Nerd Wars dissertation (read: big project that takes an entire tournament to complete) and it’s due by the end of this month.

I have 15 more inches and a border to complete. I’ll still have to block, but I can do that part after I submit the project since it’s the actual knitting that must be complete in order for the project to count. I am working really hard over the next 2 days to try and get it done since I won’t have much time later in the week. And I really do want to get this done, otherwise I will feel as though I’ve completely let the team down…I haven’t done any challenges this month.

Ah well, must step away from the computer and get back to knitting. Later in the week I’ll tell you about the Twiddlebug Shawl itself and the new knitting apps I got for my fancy-schmancy new ipad.

Knitting like a mad woman

Okay…carpal tunnel is feeling better and I’m out of my knitting funk again.

I’ve been working like crazy to get my Twiddlebug Shawl/grandmother’s Christmas present halfway done for this week. I’m almost there. 7 repeats to go. I promise I’ll post some pics & tell you about this project soon.

I also need to get at least one project done for the regular Nerd Wars challenges by November 30th. Technically, I don’t have to get a project done since no one on the team would think any less of me if I didn’t…except me. I don’t want to be a team slacker.

Back to work!!!

I shall now revel in my joy

I made it through one repeat of the Leaf & Acorn Shawl!!  It only took me 2 weeks (and 4, I think) restarts.  And, although I knew I should have been using a lifeline in the first place, I have now learned to love that bit of waste yarn which saves my project, and more importantly my sanity, from having to be unraveled back to the beginning.  Hooray!

Only 5 more repeats to go.

Crap.

Apparently I’m “counting challenged”

In a fit of post-Nerd Wars ambition, I decided that I would tackle my first official lace shawl project.  I looked & looked until I found a pattern that I liked, but that didn’t seem monumentally over-challenging and that would work with the Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Twilight that I already have a bunch of.  And I found a pattern that I think fits those criteria nicely.

Leaf & Acorn Lace Shawl*

From what I can gather on Ravelry, there used to be a Leave & Acorn Lace Shawl pattern specifically for worsted weight yarn but it’s been discontinued.  Instead the pattern link takes you to another very similar pattern that is for a certain yarn on the pattern provider’s site (as they are also a yarn-seller).  The yarn seems to be a much lower weight, as I figured out pretty early on in my first attempt at knitting the pattern.

Yes, I said first attempt.

I’ve been knitting this shawl since September 1st and I’m only on about row 30. (Actually I’m on row 33, but I screwed up – again – and I have to work backwards.)

First I started using only slightly larger needles than were suggested on the pattern – but much smaller than suggested for the yarn weight.  The shawl looked more like a small scarf and you couldn’t really differentiate the lace pattern at all.  So I ripped back to the beginning and started over.

Then I got to about row 15 and something just went horribly wrong.  Stitches were dropped and lost and I don’t even know how to explain how badly messed up it was.  So I started over again.

Now I’m on my third attempt and, again, things are just wrong.  However, as I said, I’m about 30 rows in…I was nearly 40, so there’s no way I’m starting over again unless I have absolutely no choice.  I know that I dropped at least one stitch and I thought I fixed it, but then I counted the # of stitches in my row and I had 4 less than I needed.  I worked one row backwards and it was still wrong.  So, I went back another row…still wrong.  You can guess where this is going.

Now I’m going back to at least row 30 and hoping that I can start moving forward again tonight.

This shawl may mean the end of me.

Well, probably not…but I may have to jump to something simpler for a week just so that I don’t get too annoyed with myself.

 

*You have to register/sign in to view the pattern, but it’s free to do so and it doesn’t appear you need to buy anything.