Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Never say never.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was frogging my Light of Earendil shrug as I hadn't touched it in almost a year and it was a real shame to have such lovely yarn hiding at the back of my WIP shelf, lonely and forgotten. I decided to knit Chunari instead, because it was (a) free and (b) rectangular. The last thing I wanted, with a laceweight shawl, was to be either casting on or binding off a gazillion stitches. I wanted something I might actually enjoy knitting, something that would actually make it past 20 rows before being abandoned. Something I might even - shock horror - complete in a reasonable timeframe.

I am yet to complete a knitting project in laceweight yarn. The only thing I've successfully made from laceweight was my Jane Austen Shawl, and that was crocheted, and still took me 2 months to complete. So I thought I was setting myself up to fail when I decided that not only was I going to knit Chunari, but I was going to set myself an actual deadline to knit it by. My brother is getting married in August, and I would really like to wear something I've made to the wedding, especially as my own wedding last year didn't feature anything hand-knit or crocheted.

You know what? I'm actually enjoying working on this. I decided to add beads, since I have a ton of them just hanging around now I'm not going to knit Light of Earendil. At first, I looked at the charts with a view to beading the entire thing, but after consulting my husband we decided that insanity would be the end result of that, so as a compromise I am only beading the first and last sections of the shawl. I'm hoping this will add an interesting detail, but also help weight the ends of the shawl down so it doesn't misbehave in the wind.

With only 88 stitches per row, this has a real potential to knit up fairly quickly. The lace patterns are relatively simple and easy to remember, although I have made several mistakes already in the first leaf section! 

In order to keep myself motivated and on track for my August deadline, I made a spreadsheet to track my progress. It tells me how far through the project I am, how many rows I've got left to knit, and projects a finish date based on doing the bare minimum of rows per day (i.e. the total number of rows left divided by the number of days left till the 1st August), and a finish date based on doing a steady 10 rows a day. Of course, I'm not going to robotically knit ten rows a day, every day, from now until it's finished! There will be days when I don't knit on it at all, and then days (most likely at the weekends) when I will do 60 plus rows in one sitting.

At current calculations, I will finish this shawl on the 14th April, doing an average of 10 rows a day. As it is currently my only knitting project on the go, I am unlikely to be distracted by any other knits (although it will have to share my crafting time with the cross stitch projects, which are moving along at a nice pace. More on those next week).


  1. that looks really pretty. I know what you mean about long lace cast offs, the worst are when it's a picot cast off and you want to gnaw off your own arm about a quarter of the way along ;-)

  2. That looks great so far.

  3. That spreadsheet looks really clever. How did you get it to make the calculations?


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