Friday, January 30, 2009

Parade of Christmas FOs - Part Three

And, finally, I knit my grandmother a lace stole: This was the last of the Christmas knitting to be completed - there was definitely some stress there as I was finishing the second half and grafting it the day before I flew home. The grafting? Major hassle and I can definitely see the line. While I like the concept of identical ends, I don't know if I can be bothered with that in the future. Someone remind me I said that as soon as I cast on something that will require it...
Project Stats: Waves of Grain Stole
Pattern: Waves of Grain, by Rosemary Hill, from Knitty Fall 2008. Raveled here.
Yarn: Zephyr Wool-silk, colorway Curry, purchased at Acorn Street.
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony bamboo straights, size 4.
Time to knit: October 15 - December 20, 2008.
Modifications: Aside from making it shorter (only 52"), I also added extra beads on the first row because I misread the chart and thought that the "b" meant bead when it actually meant knit through the back loop. So, I repeated that error on the second half, and I think it's nice actually. I would do it again - it adds extra weight to the end of the stole and it's shiny.
Impressions: This was fun! I really enjoy knitting lace even though (or perhaps because) I do it fairly infrequently and generally complain about it when I'm not physically working on it. I decided that I wanted to knit my grandmother something nice this year, and I had this yarn laying around from the Swallowtail Shawl I made my aunt (her daughter) last year, and it was a match made in heaven. The Knit Picks Harmony needles are great for lace - nice sharp tips, not too slippery. The only problem, and this is likely just me, is that they're 10" and I prefer 9" because I knit with my needles propped on my stomach and 10" is a tad too long. But, I got used to it. You can get a lot of lace out of a skein/ball of Zephyr. I believe I started with 4 oz, knit this and the Swallowtail, and still have a ton left. Probably enough for another thing of similar size, which makes Zephyr an absolutely great deal. I think I paid $17 for the ball and that's a lot of bang for the buck!
My only real issue with this was that I had a tough time with the grafting. It was completely nerve-racking the entire time (almost 2 hours) because I was SO worried about screwing it up/dropping a stitch/not lining it up/etc. Part of that was because I was finishing this close to Christmas and I knew there wasn't really any room for error, but I think it would have been stressful regardless. And I thought grafting was supposed to be invisible, and although my line of stitches matches really well and looks like perfect stockinette, there is definitely a shadow there that I wish wasn't. But, it's certainly not something that detracts from the piece and maybe it's just an inherent problem with grafting in thin, light-colored yarn? Feel free to reassure me on this, or contradict it - if I need to figure out a better way to graft I'd like to know now before I screw it up again!
My grandmother loved the stole, and was totally impressed with it. I'm glad that she liked it - I'm always really happy when people like and appreciate the things I knit for them. I knit this for her because I knew she would both appreciate it and use it, so I'm quite satisfied.
Oh, and these photos, with the actual snow, were also taken when I was in PA, when it snowed again just before I came back to Seattle. The weather was really all over the place...
So ends the parade of Christmas knits - now onto the more current projects, although there will still be gift knitting involved!


Jodi said...

It's just gorgeous! I love the extra beads. It sounds like your grandma's the perfect handknit-gift recipient, too.

Anne-Marie said...

It looks gorgeous! I'm curious about the length. How far down does it drape on each side? do you have any pictures of your grandmother wearing it?

mooncalf said...

I love that. It is really beautiful. Gorgeous!