Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You take the high road, I'll take the low road

and I'll be in Scotland afore ye.

I’ve finally gotten back to the Saltire and Thistle Shawl. I put it aside because the thistles in the pattern are going to wrong way. I kept thinking I would spend some time working out how to reverse the pattern, which I’m fairly sure is a pretty easy thing. Thing is, though, I’m not and it’s been sitting patiently by my chair with the border halfway done. I’ve finally embraced the fact that I’m not going to do anything with the thistle pattern and have come to the realization that if the thistle pattern wants to be upside down, I’m jolly well going to let it be upside down. Who am I, after all, to tell the thistle which way it has to face. Here’s my ‘prototype.’ I don’t have a new photo but this is what I’m making except this one is where I’ve done the thistle pattern wrong.

Again, don’t get me wrong. It’s pretty and very uniform so that it looks like it was done on purpose – and it was – but it’s not a thistle. It came out more like a shell. Pretty but not a thistle.

So now I’m doing one with a thistle. The other thing I’m doing differently is in the corner sections. In this photo, you can see I just did plain stockinette stitch in this original 'prototype' shawl because I wasn’t sure how things would go. I decided to go plain and figure out how the shaping works.

On this one, I’m doing a Shetland eyelet pattern, in keeping with the Scottish theme – Saltire (Scottish flag) in the middle, thistles and the Shetland eyelet pattern in the border and then I’ll do a wide knitted off border (over the almost 600 stitches there will be around by the time I finish the border. You're right if you're thinking the prototype doesn't have an edging. I was doing it to learn the technique so I didn't go to the trouble of doing the edging, I just crocheted it off.

I figure I should be finished with the border in the next week or so and then the edging will take a while. The last time I did a simple garter knitted edging, it took me about 3 months to do it!! I’m a fast knitter but having to knit the equivalent of 1200 rows takes a while, I don’t care who you are!

It's nice to embrace the realities of life and enjoy the process of knitting a beautiful shawl that will remind me of my life in Scotland. They not facing the wrong way, they're just facing the other way.

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