Never-ending Laceweight

Oh man, the blog posts have been few and far between, even more neglected than the podcast since Nov 2019. Let’s dust off the cobwebs.

So much has happened from late 2019 through the first half of 2020, but I’m not going to get into it again. All of your really should be up to speed on world stuff if you’re on social media at all. The personal stuff I explained in podcast episode 13, and the world stuff… Well, there’s just too much heartache.

I’ve been keeping myself busy with yarn (of course) since Covid-19 isolation, and I have finished quite a few things, including weaving in ends on some of those things (the Ashburn and Birds of a Feather are still waiting their turns).

The sprawling nerdy, knitting covered mess that is my desk.

Since episode 13, when I reminded myself that OH YEAH I should finish my wedding shawl huh, I’ve been a very monogamous knitter.

Almost.

Do vanilla socks count? I feel like they shouldn’t count…

It’s been me and the Heliotaxis (and a vanilla sock) for the last week…or two..? Time is an illusion currently. Just this afternoon I finished off working chart #5 for the 3rd time (needs 5), and moved up my lifeline. This thing of beauty is getting beads added to it, and since my tiniest steel crochet hook took a walk somewhere, I treated myself to a Clover Soft Touch no.8 0.90mm hook.

Clover Soft Touch steel crochet hook, size 0.90mm, used to apply 0/8 size beads

I’m very amused that the color of the handle matches my sushi print project bag. I can’t speak to how well the thing crochets, but it’s great for applying beads to knitting.

This shawl has me all caught up between feeling immensely proud of myself for figuring out where to mark bead placement on the chart just by scrutinizing the sample photo, and holding my breath at the thought that admitting such pride will cause the thing to spontaneously combust.

This is why I have placed SO MANY lifelines in this lace. When you get to a point in your project where there are 500+ stitches in one round, you dread having to tink back even one row. So there was no way in hell I was going to attempt this thing with moving that lifeline up after every chart repeat. Not to say that this completely prevented mistakes, it just makes fixing those mistakes easier if you can bear ripping back 4 rounds to fix a misplaced decrease stitch. Unless if course you are a glutton for punishment like me, and would tackle dropping down to fix those stitches. 36 times. Accross a round of 576 stitches…

If you are unfamiliar with what a lifeline is in regards to knitting, it is when you take a piece of string and, using a tapestry needle, thread it through every stitch currently on the needles in your row/round. Crochet cotton works wonderfully for this, or any yarn that is thinner than what you are currently knitting with (for instance, if your project is in worsted weight, you can totally use sport or fingering weight yarn for a lifeline). Here I have crochet cotton, because not much else will work well when your project is in lace weight.

Inserting a new lifeline through the live stitches. About 2 inches down you can see another lifeline.

I have my new lifeline in, and I’m ready to try to finish off skein 1 of the gorgeous Miss Babs Dulcinea lace that I am using. These skeins are a whopping 800yds of a slightly heavy lace weight, and I have knit the vast majority of this shawl from one skein. It kind of makes me worry that the shawl won’t be as big as I would like it. But then again, I had similar feelings with the Birds of a Feather shawl and that thing is massive.

Based on the progress I’ve made over that last week or so, it wouldn’t be overly ambitious to think I could be on the final chart at the end of this long holiday weekend. Fingers crossed.