stops and starts

There’s been a bunch of knitting going on around here.

I started the Cabled Bandeau last weekend when my parents were visiting. I kept twisting the cast on, because the craptastic Crystal Palace bamboo circs were difficult to control. They’re craptastic in other ways, too, and I really need to never ever use them again. I switched to my Addi Turbos. But I digress . . .

cabled bandeau beginnings

I was knitting the size S (not XS) because my gauge swatch (with the Brooks Farm Acero doubled–yes, it’s a fingering yarn, not DK) was a little small, and the XS would have been too small. Or so I thought.

When I got to about 3.5 inches, I put it on waste yarn and tried it on. I realize that this isn’t the most accurate time to measure, but it was enough to see that it is Too Big. The piece will stretch out to excessive proportions, and if it’s a tube tob, I need it to be just a bit more clingy. Not suffocating, of course, just clingy. The solution might be as simple as knitting the XS, but I might actually want to do the math and get the measurements exact. I think it will be easy to adjust to a smaller size–make the moss stitch panels on the sides smaller–but I want to know for sure.

There’s no rush to figure it out, though, because I am now using the needles for something else. My Swallowtail Shawl has begun!


Thursday night.


Sunday evening.

At first, I wasn’t trying to memorize the lace or attempting to read the pattern, but it happened without trying–the motif that’s the body of the shawl is so super simple. Only three pattern rows to remember, two of which are identical except for being offset slightly. As usual, I am too cocky to use lifelines–and last night it nearly did me in. Something was wrong–just one row down!–and instead of tinking like a smart knitter, I pulled it off the needles and ripped. I initially had a lot of trouble getting it back on the needles, and I was cursing my devil-may-care attitude, but then I concentrated just a little bit more and all was well.

The pattern calls for 14 lace repeats after the initial row, and i’ve done 12. I might want to do more, as I want the shawl to be larger, but I haven’t decided for sure yet. I can’t wait to get to the lily of the valley part of the pattern (it’s the motif that I really like; these leaves are ho-hum)!

24 Responses to stops and starts

  1. Penelope says:

    Hey–thanks for blogging about the Swallowtail Shawl. It might be a good alternative for me, since I swatched for the Lily of the Valley shawl in Lace Style book because I love the Lily of the Valley stitch, but the thought of doing a gabillion nupps made my eyes cross. The Swallowtail shawl is just to small for me, but I didn’t know you could just do more repeats and have it work out. See–the balance between leaves and lilies might be just right for me. You rule! What yarn are you using?

  2. Heather says:

    Wow, you are flying on the Swallowtail…and thanks for confirming what I had always suspected about the Crystal Palace circs. I’m always inexplicably drawn to them but know now to steer clear!

  3. Annie says:

    I can’t wait to see the shawl finished! It was fun knitting with you today and talking about how to concur clutter. I wonder if I will ever concur my clutter? Food for thought. Moving on! :-)

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m so excited to hear more about the cabled bandeau. I’ve been eyeing that pattern for a while, and I really do love it. I’d be curious to hear how it knits up. So, don’t rush because you’re working on the shawl and all, but rush please so I can see it!

  5. Jen says:

    Love the Cabled Bandeau pattern — that’s one I’m considering for myself down the line. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out!

  6. pamela wynne says:

    You knit like the wind. The wind! And I’m with you on the CP bamboo circs. Mine wound up in the garbage. The garbage!

    Like everyone else, I’m extra interested to see how the bandeau shapes up…

  7. Specs says:

    You knit way too fast! But I have to say that now that I’m knitting lace for the first time, I’m also coveting everyone else’s. Mmmm, swallowtail shawl.

  8. kelp! says:

    Acero is fingering weight? I don’t know what crack I was smoking when I bought it, but I totally thought it was a DK weight too. I wondered why everyone in the internets kept saying that they were going to use it for socks…

    I like the top photo of you with the newly started shawl. It’s such a happy, springy color!

  9. wendee says:

    Oh the torture to follow your ravelry link and not be able to see the contents!

    Seems like everyone is sold out of the addi lace needles – maybe you’d like those better? Skacel tells my lys that they should be in at the end of May…

    Lovin’ both of your current WIPs!

  10. Diane D. says:

    Yeah you! One of these days I’ll make one too. Can’t wait to see yours. In the mean time I’ve been sucked in by the Chevron Scarf, and I’m with quilt.

  11. Elinor says:

    Oh man, ALWAYS tink lace!!! It’s such a bear to rip and put back on the needles!!! Your WIPs look so pretty. That bandeau is going to be great. And bamboo circs? Sticky with crappy joins in my experience. Unfortunately, I bought a lot of them back in the day when I just learned to knit. Now I’m stuck with them. :-)

  12. nova says:

    Oh, look at you with the confidence to not use lifelines! I think that is a fantastic color for thte swallowtail shawl. And it will be a good break to think on the bandeau top…

  13. Lynne E. says:

    Lifelines are too much trouble. When I need to fix lace, I usually just ravel back the area with the mistake, and “reknit” according to the chart. If I can’t do that easily–usually because there are things like S2,K1,P2SSO in the pattern–I just make sure that I rip back to a row that is all purl, or mostly purl. Then it’s fairly easy to put the stitches back on the needles.

  14. stacey says:

    I love the Swallowtail! It was my first lace so I did do lifelines…til I got cocky in the last 5 or so rows – I could have screamed – eventually I fudged it out and it worked somehow! I loved the nupps as scary as they were!

  15. Ashley says:

    I love that saffron-y color for the shawl. Super-pretty.

    Re: the Bandeau, definitely err on the clingy side on that one. Even if it means the re-knit.

  16. Jessica says:

    I love the color you picked for the shawl. So springy! Hope the first pattern works out for you. You could definitely pull that off without a problem (me, not so much).

  17. tania says:

    wow, I had a craptastic workout today and used that as my screen name o’ the day for IM. hmmm, great minds think alike? ;)

    Looking forward to seeing the finished products…

  18. Rachel says:

    Wow, you’re flying through that. I have a Swallowtail Shawl. Laura made it for me. We’ll have to be Swallowtail Shawl buddies when I’m next in NYC. Everyone will think we are so. cool.

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