Sunday, August 19, 2007

Knitting on the Road

No, this isn't a post about the wonderful book of socks. Rather, it is about some of my knitting while traveling this summer. I didn't finish, or start, anything extraordinary. Rather, I just knit things I didn't have to concentrate on. We were on the road for three weeks exploring northern Idaho and Washington State, on our way to Seattle for the wedding celebration of my step-daughter.

In an earlier post, I showed you the not-lacey wedding shawl on the floor, being blocked. Here are two photos of the finished product.

This is daughter #2 (now 16 years old!!) modeling the shawl at the family gathering that celebrated the marriage of step-daughter #1 (now 40 years old!). You can see how sheer the shawl is. I used laceweight cotton. Never again.
And, here is the front. Pattern is the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark, available through Fiber Trends.

And finally, the bride and groom, cutting the wedding cake, with the shawl draped around the bride's shoulders. I was very happy to participate in the wedding by making the shawl. And, I think that the bride truly loved the shawl. I hope she wears it frequently.

I knit a lot while in the car and on airplanes. For airplane knitting, I decided to take bamboo circular needles and not my 2.5mm circular needles on which socks-in-progress were dangling. On the way out of the door when we were leaving on vacation I grabbed three balls of variegated cotton yarn--I purchased the yarn last summer while in Barcelona, Spain, from a yarn shop owned by a knitting friend in Barcelona. She is American, her spouse is Catalan/Spanish. I didn't know what to do with the yarn at the time. But, I like bright colors. After I get home with bright yarn I question my sanity. However, I thought an airplane ride would be perfect for forcing me to make a decision.

After swatching (I tried the seafoam stitch--doesn't work well with cotton, I discovered) I decided to use the yarn for a fishnet lace scarf, from the Montego Bay Scharf pattern in Summer 2007 Interweave knits. Amy Singer wrote the pattern. It's not difficult at all. A simple four row pattern that is really a two row pattern. But, somehow I managed to get off track at the beginning. Maybe the airplane hit some turbulence. Or the man next needed to climb across me to get into the aisle. Do you see the problem??
I didn't see the problem right away. I just kept merrily knitting along. When I finally realized that my fishnet rows didn't line up in row 6 or so, I had three options:
1) rip out 12 inches of knitting to fix it
2) pretend there was not problem and that no one would ever notice
3) cut off the beginning and knit on a border.

I chose option #2. Denial. Belief that the knitting fairy could come one night and fix it. Pretend that the end of the scarf is supposed to be wonky.

So, I knitted and knitted. About 5 or six feet of knitting. Because I made a garter stitch border on the sides, at the end of the scarf I did 8 rows of garter stitch and bound off. Then, I looked at the beginning again. Option #2 was not the right option. I needed to implement Option #3. Cut it off!!!

By this time, I was in a long distance car ride and hubby was driving. Bless him.

I figured that I could use waste yarn (that I luckily had in my purse) to make a safety line. But, I couldn't seem to follow a straight line. The scarf is really on the bias. And I could not, for the life of me, seem to follow the pattern. So, after multiple false starts, I painstakingly used a needle to pick up the stitches, tugging on each stitch to find out where it led to the next stitch. Painstaking. Real painstaking. Did I mention that I was doing this in the car?




Well, it worked. I used the picked up stitches to do 8 rows of garter stitch, and then cast off! I didn't add the fringe that Amy Singer used. I decided to give this scarf to my Boulder, Co sister and she is only 5 feet 1 inch tall.

Why did I ever think that #2--denial of the problem--was ever an option? I would have been embarrassed to give the scarf to my sister, who would never have noticed the problem. But, I would have known. Why do I do this--pretend that a mistake will never be noticed, when I would notice--even if I never saw the item again in my lifetime??

Ah well, here are some photos from the road trip.
The first one is sunset over either Priest Lake or Pend d'Oreille lake in northern Idaho.



Next photo is not photoshopped! For some strange reason, there is a miniature statue of liberty at the beach in Sandpoint, Id. The sign did not explain.

We stayed one night in Leavenworth, WA. This was a dead or dying former lumber town back in the 1960's. Then, some civic minded citizens decided to save their town by turning it into a Bavarian village. They succeeded and it is now a tourist destination, complete with Bavarian style buildings all over, Bavarian dressed store clerks, and a production of Sound of Music every summer in an outdoor ampitheater near the ski hill.

Last week I attended the 40th high school graduation weekend of my small (33 graduates) girl's convent school. Here are some of us looking grey but happy!!
More of my on the road knitting later.

7 comments:

Kate said...

The shawl is beautiful in action!
The Bavarian guest house photo is a dead-ringer for one I have, taken in Bavaria itself!
Looks like a fun summer so far.

Shan said...

I love that shawl, blinding though it must have been to knit.

Thanks for the comment on Print o' the Wave!

sherriknits said...

We just got back from Leavenworth too! Your pictures are great...I meant to take pics of the different signs to show how much the town had come together in their theme but I put it off too long and missed out.

Oh my gosh, that was brave to cut that back like that but like you, I have done the denial thing and then couldn't live with it even if I'd never see it again.

The shawl is soooo beautiful! What a gift!

Knitnerd said...

love the beautiful shawl and your colourful scarf! and you did a good job fixing the mistake.

Muir said...

¡Qué maravilloso chal, Gail! ¡Qué de horas debes haber invertido en terminarlo!

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