Monday, September 15, 2008

Queen Anne's Lace

So I have cast on for the Queen Anne's Lace shawl. It is a circular knitted shawl that I fell in love with the moment I saw the picture. It is a free pattern available by joining the Yahoo group MMarioKKnits. Here is a picture provided as a sample.

I am using a yarn I got at a yarn swap held by our local weavers and spinners guild. It was originally on a cone, and the label on the inside of the cone had some numbers and the words "Made in Peru." It is a light fingering weight, and it is either llama or alpaca. It's a little scratchy, but not too bad, and should soften up when I wash it. Here is a pic of the yarn after I wound it off the cone. It is comparable in weight to KnitPicks Palette yarn. 
The pattern is fairly straightforward, but it took me like eight tries to cast on, as I wanted to use an invisible cast on. And really, the cast on wasn't that hard, it was getting the eight little stitches distributed to four long pointy needles and knitting the first few rounds without making a tangled mess. I tried and tried, and when I was just about to give in and cry, my knight in shining armor comes to the rescue. The double pointed needles I was trying to use were just too long and unwieldy for me to work with, so my wonderful husband spent hours over a grinder making these:
They are short double pointed knitting needles. To be exact, they are US Size 3, 4.5 inch stainless steel double pointed knitting needles.

Here's a comparison of the length of these vs. standard DPNs. Some of my really nice Skacel stainless DPNs are even longer than the Boyes. They were just too long for what I needed to do. So my wonderful husband got out his stash of stainless wire he keeps for making chainmail, and made me exactly what I needed.

I was able to cast on successfully on the first attempt with the shorties. Hallelujah! Here is a pic after round 6:

And after round 8:

After round 13

And my current progress, at round 32. I have slowly been working up from the size 3s, and now I am on a size 7 circular.
I am making good progress, but I haven't really had a whole lot of time to work on it. It doesn't look like much yet, but it will, eventually.


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