Monday, June 17, 2013

Yep, it's killing me

So there's good news about my Fabergé shawl project: I luuurve how the thing looks with the variegated yarn sandwiching the purple-and-white beaded section:

In progress, 2013-06-16

The bad news is the thin band of white "braid" at the bottom of the beaded section. See how it's thicker than the one at the top of the section? Why the difference? Well...

The braid instructions in the pattern have you work the braid row with one colour of yarn, so that the braid is that colour and so are all the stitches you have on your needles when the braid is done (which of course means that the very next row will be that same colour). And therefore, that's what I did for the first braid at the bottom of the beaded section. However, when the time came to do the second braid, I'd worked out how to do it with two colours so that the braid could be one colour and the subsequent row could be a different colour. And I really like how that looks.

The problem, of course, is that doing the first braid in just one colour and the second braid in two colours means that they don't look the same as each other. And after finishing the eyelet section in the variegated yarn, I looked and looked at this difference, and thought and thought about this difference, and came to the conclusion that I just couldn't live with the disparity. (Yes, I am like that.) However, I was absolutely unwilling to rip out the shawl down to before the first braid, because I REFUSE to do that beaded section all over again.

So what can I do instead?

Surgery!

Oh, yeah.

I extricated the bottom ruffle from the beaded section...

In progress, 2013-06-17

I ripped out and re-started the entire ruffle section...

In progress, 2013-06-16, new ruffle

Redoing the ruffle - which incidentally starts with FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE FREAKIN' STITCHES - is, admittedly, a pain in the a**. But, for the ruffle I had before starting the surgery, I had skimped on the length of it because at the time, I had just one skein of the variegated which wasn't, as I discovered, quite enough to do the whole thing. (Which means, for those of you keeping score, that by the time time all of this is said and done, I will have done the ruffle section three times.) So in all honesty, I'm not too broken up at having the opportunity to do the entire ruffle the way the pattern calls for. Actually, I'm kind of glad, because now the whole thing can be absolutely perfect and I'll probably have almost no yarn left of the variegated when I'm all done. Efficiency at its finest. (Although if I run out of the variegated again before finishing this third attempt at the ruffle, I think I will have to kill something.)

Once I finish the ruffle section, I will have to do the braid row, which is going to be the big challenge, because...

  • I will have to do it in two colours
  • One of the colours (the white) will create the braid, while
  • The other colour (the purple) will have to be GRAFTED TO THE EXISTING BEADED SECTION AS I GO.

That last part in all-caps is going to be the really, really tricky bit. And it has to be done over 281 stitches, too, which makes it even more of a b***h to pull off. However, the thing that (I HOPE) will keep me from going around the bend on this part of the operation is that I've kept the original braid row (with its attachment to the beaded section) intact on the actual shawl. My theory is that when it's time to do the combination braid/graft, I just have to imitate the path of the second layer of white yarn through the stitches of the beaded section, and I should be okay. (And of course I will snip away the original white-and-white braid row from the beaded section when it's all complete.)

But, that's all theory at this point. Heh.

(Yep, that's me...livin' on the edge.)

P.S. Because I don't want to give the wrong impression of why I'm going through all this ridiculousness to finish the shawl...every single issue I have had during this project has been 100% of my own making (either because a) I was futzing around with how the colours are supposed to go and/or b) I didn't have enough yarn in the colours I wanted when I started). Absolutely none of the reasons I've ripped back a gazillion times have anything to do with the quality of the pattern itself. Quite the opposite: the design is a gloriously beautiful thing whose instructions are well-written, easy to understand, and I would recommend it to anybody. If it wasn't a ton of fun to knit, there's no way I'd be doing whole sections of it over and over again!

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