How do I love thee, Kiri? Let me count the ways.
1. The yarn.
This KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud (in peppermint) is soft, light, perfectly mottled in color, and rather delicious to work with.
2. The pattern.
What a cinch! Honestly, this pattern has taken no time flat to memorize and execute. I am not using stitch markers or lifelines–neither seems necessary. Of course, I’m going to f*ck up royally on the next row, now that I’ve gone and bragged so shamelessly.
But really–I think of this as a 5-row pattern, and I can see which row I’m on just by working the first few stitches. Though it’s not very consistent nor very logical, I think of it as rows 0 (zero), 1, 2, 3, and 4/6. So on the 0 row, I have no stitches between the first skp and the yok1yo combination. So that means I have the highest number of stitches between the regular skps and k2togs (i.e., 7). On the “1″ row, there’s 1 stitch after the first skp and the yok1yo combo, so I drop the 7 by one pair, to 5. the “2″ and “3″ rows follow suit. In the “4/6″ row you have to knit 6 initially, with no skp, but you have 4 stitches before and after the yok1yos. (Obviously, every row is separated by a purl row. Those are neutral in my book, and don’t require being counted.) This likely only makes sense to people who’ve done the pattern, but maybe, just maybe, someone who’s going to start on this shawl will find this logical as well. Or not, in which case we’ve firmly established my own brain’s wacked-out way of viewing the world and systematizing my knitting. But I can see the whole thing as I go; it’s very crisp for me. I’m apparently very lucid in my madness!
3. The unblocked blumpiness.
I don’t know why, but this makes me smile all the time. It’s textured, it’s blumpy, it’s organic. Stitches are pulling in all directions, it’s kind of an ordered mess. It’s so pretty.
4. The dainty little leaves.
I like how the first yos come out looking bigger than the others, through no real effort of mine.
What I’m not liking so much:
1. The needles.
Damn these Crystal Palace bamboo circs, with their shitty join. After the neutralizing purl row, the stitches move freely, but after a pattern row, the yos stretch out and make the associated k1 tiny around the cable, and because the join is so prominent, the little k1s get caught, and I have to manually push every few k1s over it. This is every other row that I have to do this, people, and the rows only get longer. I will gut it out and not change needles (because, really, what if the new ones weren’t exactly the same size as these, and the whole work started to look different?! Horrors!) but after this, well, ain’t no way I’m doing no more lace on these needles.
2. The time to do one row!
I have nearly 8 rows of leaves (i.e., pattern repeats), and I’m aiming to hit at least 12. (Then I’ll decide if I want any more.) Each row just gets longer and longer. When I had 6 rows of leaves I started to say “I’m halfway done!” but then I realized how very wrong I was. I wonder if I’d prefer a pattern that started with casting on a zillion stitches, but each row got progressively smaller. That’s always so satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m enjoying knitting this so much that the ever-increasing time is in some ways a good thing; it prolongs the whole process. But sometimes I’m about 5 minutes from needing to do something–leave for work, check on a baked good, what have you–and I can’t squeeze one more row in there, so I have to just stop for the duration.
I can’t wait to have this as a finished object. Much as I love the unblocked look, I can’t wait to flatten it all out and wrap it all around me!