When in doubt, knit

When in doubt, knit.

Thursday, I did the thing I knew I had to do. I carefully pulled the circular needle from Shipwreck and carefully started pulling out rows. I took out 19 in the end, going back to the all knitted row before the center “vine”. It was easiest to find and recapture. I also discovered updates made to the pattern on Knitty and sent the designer an email asking for help.

After a wonderful response Bethany, the designer of Shipwreck, which helped me get a much better understanding of the left and right leaning decreases, I got back on the horse and went to work.

This time I left my repeat markers in and I trusted the pattern, but also trusted my instincts, and in the end, I finished the second half of Madeira, this time with whole leaves, not chipper-shredded leaves.

Now I am beading. I took the time to string my beads when I was watching television or something that was too involving to knit lace, and so today I started knitting with beads. This, as it turns out, is challenging and slow. Because a couple thousand beads are all clustered together, and I knit up yarn at a faster rate than I use the beads, I am constantly having to slide all my beads further along the yarn. Also, people are constantly asking if she really used 5000 beads on the yarn. I realize now, patently, yes, I bet she did. In fact, if I were going to knit a bead into every yarn over as was my original plan, I would need even more than that. Quick, watch this.

The pattern says knit 13 rows with each consecutively larger needle size. We use 5 needles throughout the “net” portion of the shawl, but lets assume that since the 8mm needle is just for increasing and binding off, that we will only be adding beads with 4 needles.

4 needles x 13 rows each= 52 rows.

52 rows x 580 stitches = 30,160 stitches.

Divide that by just the yarn overs

30,160 / 2= 15,080 beads if we were putting a bead in each yarn over.

My plan has changed. I put a bead in every yarn over on the increasing row after Madeira, then heavily, but randomly beaded the first actual “netting” row (still using 3.5mm despite what the pattern says because I figure one small row one hurt and I let my 5mm needle at home). When I start with the 5mm needle tonight or tomorrow, I am going to alternate between beaded and unbeaded yarn overs. Then for the 5.5 mm needle rows, I am going to drop to a two to one ratio. And so forth.

That is the current plan anyway. I kind of like that the beads will form a sort of corona around the center lace motif, heavily beaded in the middle and decreasing throughout. I thought about doing it the other way, lightly in the center and more beads towards the outer edge, because the weight might make it hang better, but the “corona” idea I had won out.

And plans may still change. I have 9 ounces of size 6/0 beads and I do not know exactly how many that is, but I would guess upwards of 3-4K. I would assume I need a lot more, but if I like it more sparsely beaded, I will go with it.

I am easy that way. Pictures will come soon.

The rest of my weekend was spent in my gardens. I have some wonderful herbs planted (rosemary, thyme, mint, “chocolate mint” which smells oh so wonderful), along with 10 strawberry plants, one blueberry bush, some carrots, peas, and two roses that were transplanted into pots until now. It was a great weekend and I am looking forward to more spring weather and more outdoor time with my flowers and family soon.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Okay, I just ripped out about 5 rows on Shipwreck because the second set of my leaves is wonky. I’m using the corrected pattern on Knitty, but did you still find a mistake in the Madeira pattern section, say around row 30 or 31?


    • Posted by laruse on April 6, 2009 at 7:03 AM

      I don’t know for sure. After ripping back, I put in stitch markers every 20 stitches and trusted my own eyes more than I trusted the pattern and everything came out at least leaf shaped this time, but yes, I think there is something about Row 30 that just doesnt come out like it is supposed to.

      My camera died recently, but as soon as I can, I will post an up close of my re-knit leaves and point out where something is just a little off.

  2. Might I ask what you did wrong exactly? Because mine are looking a bit weird as well and I’m frogging back to row 20 now.


    • Posted by laruse on April 9, 2009 at 3:49 PM

      I wish I knew exactly what went wrong, but I dont know for sure. I got cocky and pulled out all of my repeat markers and I have reached the conclusion that all it takes is to get one or two stitches off pattern (forget just one YO or knit one too many stitches in a row) and the leaves get tattered looking.

      I highly recommend putting in repeat markers to help make sure you stay on count. I put mine in every 20 stitches (2 repeats) except for the last 10 stitches. This saved me a lot of confusion and counting later.

      One assumption I made and I think others are making as well is that the upper leaves will be a mirror opposite of the lower leaves, and this is not the case. In trying to keep my leaves looking like their lower counterparts, I think I trusted my eyes more than I trusted the pattern and that is where I got all messed up, and without stitch markers to help, I was totally lost.

      Happy knitting. Once you get those leaves straightened out, you will be just fine.

      Now I am just trying to stay motivated to keep up with YO K2Tog…to the infinity… :-)

  3. I ended up just using the bottom chart of Madeira and reversing it to get mirror image leaves. Now I’m having trouble with the placement of my beads. For some reason they are not ending up in the floating YO area. RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP once again!


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