What’s Up Tiger Lily?

I got my dander up again last night over the layout of the charts for the Miralda Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia. I finished the Lace Edging Chart on Tuesday, and all of Wednesday was spent working the Lower Border chart, but when I went to start the gathered stitch row, I was plugging along just fine until I found I had SIXTEEN more gathered stitches per side than the pattern indicated I should. I panicked and set it aside. I consulted Ravelry. I consulted Interweave Press looking for errata sheets. I could not figure out where I went wrong until I finally moved the post-it notes I use to keep my place on the chart, and I discovered that the chart I was actually working was the Upper Border and I was supposed to be working the Lower Border, and amazingly, once I was looking at the right chart, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Why am I irritated at the publisher? Let me see if I can demonstrate without breaking any copyright protection laws.
Miralda Charts
Knitting charts are knit from right to left, and bottom to top, exactly the opposite of how we normally read, but it makes perfect sense when you consider that we knit from right to left and bottom to top.

The chart at the very bottom is the first chart knitted, the lace edge chart. The middle chart is larger than the top chart, and so my knitter’s brain just assumed that since this is a shawl that is getting smaller as we go up, and we always work bottom to top, that the middle chart would be the Lower Border chart. Not so. The much smaller chart at the top is in fact the Lower Border and the middle chart is the upper border. It DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE to lay it out like that. At least not to my knitterly brain. Why make the chart that actually covers fewer stitches visually larger than the chart that covers a lot more stitches?

Of course, the simple answer is that I need to read more carefully the title of each chart, and I could say that I will in the future, but I know myself too well. Or, since I am using a working copy anyway, I could cut out the charts, blow them up on the copier, and then put them in order of how they are actually supposed to be knitted. That’s easy too. Still, I just don’t get what someone was thinking as they laid out these charts.

Anyway, for all of that, Miralda is progressing nicely. I am really enjoying the shrinking nature of the rows. Those early hour long rows are a thing of the past, at least until I get to the nupps chart. Nupps are very slow. I will also replace certain nupps with beads, which is also slow work.
One conclusion I have reached with this shawl and this yarn is that I am not personally a fan of dark colored lace. I absolutely love the color of the yarn, which is Midnight Heather; it is a bluish-greenish black and quite pretty just looking at it. However, I just find that once it is in lace form, it is too dark and too hard to really see the details of the pattern. This is the first truly dark colored lace I have worked so it was not a preference I realized I even had before now.

Maybe it will improve with blocking. Maybe it would have been better if I had knit with a fingering weight yarn rather than lace weight. I doubt it in both cases.

While prepping for an SCA event last night, I was out on the porch washing a cooler, when I looked down and discovered the most remarkable moth I have ever seen.
That is a dime below it to try and give you an idea of how big it was. I had a really tough time getting a decent picture of it in the dark. It was very pretty and very large. When it closed its wings, all of the red disappeared and it was just black and yellow. A bunch of hunting around on the internet has led me to conclude it was aParthenice Tiger Moth. Wikipedia says they are common to the eastern parts of North America, and their wingspan is up to 3 inches, which is about how big I would guess this one was. They are also poisonous.

Beautiful and deadly: my favorite combination. It has left me strangely inspired to design some colorwork socks.


One response to this post.

  1. What a wonderful blog! I’ve subscribed, and I look forward to reading more.

    That moth is amazing! Socks would be even more amazing.


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