Monday, 22 August 2011

Cheapo bargain and a questionable endeavour

First, you have probably seen this but just in case you haven’t, you can download the Fall 2009 Interweave Knits Accessories e-magazine (snappy title) for 10 cents which is 7p in proper money, joke. I am not fond of e-magazines as I don’t like having to sit squinting at my laptop, but this is a truly excellent bargain as it has Koolhaas and the Sideways Grande Cloche in it which you might want to knit (I mean, if you knit Koolhaas with all that cabling you deserve having Jared Flood come round to your house, strip naked and do your hoovering, but I bet some of you have greater tolerance for cables than me). Also if you look at the patterns in it on Ravelry a lot of them are selling for $6 each. And an unbudgeted 7p is not too bad. Also if you are feeling slightly more flush, you can get an Interweave Knits (or other magazine) subscription for $18 here; you have to pay $7 international postage (if you are in the UK like me), but I have worked out for you that for 4 issues this means you are paying about £3.75 each, which is cheaper than you would be able to get if you bought them individually.

I give with one hand, I take with the other, because now I need advice. As I said previously, like a fool I now think I can knit lace and it will not make me want to go out and stab someone, so I thought I would have a go at a shawl. Now, although I admire all the beautiful shawls I see people knitting, in terms of my own personal style I do not think many of them are me (my fault not the shawls!) so I thought what I would do is, go through patterns and see if any of them jumps out and says, knit me. So I have looked at shawl patterns until I have gone cross eyed, and the shawl that jumps out and says knit me is Jaali by Kitman Figueroa. I have bought the pattern and looked at it and although it is quite involved it does not look impossible, but, it has patterning on all rows including wrong side ones which is apparently difficult. I am relatively adventurous and I have googled how to insert lifelines, also we have quite a collection of spirits for if things go badly and a secret store of Harveys Bristol Cream which my dad’s neighbour Roger keeps buying him and which he passes on to us when a certain critical sweet sherry point is reached. Would this be a stupid shawl to start with? Whenever I look at beginner lace advice everyone says knit Traveling Woman, but while Traveling Woman is a great pattern and very pretty, it is just not me and I would never wear it, so that seems a waste of wool. What do you think? Am I setting myself up for misery? (In knitting terms. In life terms I often do. I am like this poem but you will be encouraged to hear that it is quite correct, some polish is indeed gained with one’s ruin, and also the ability to knit mittens).

15 comments:

Tink said...

I totally just downloaded that e-zine. It would be rude not to, at just 7p!

I say just go for it and give Jaali a go. What's the worst that could happen? ;)

Denise said...

Well, I have to say, since you said lace makes you a bit stabby, my jaw fall when I clicked on that link. (That's not easy to do these days.)

As one who usually picks the expert patterns to learn a something new, always. Take your time, use lots of stitch markers and lifelines and you should do fine.

Ozzy Blackbeard said...

Yikes! That is indeed a scary pattern! May I suggest a lace-weight scarf or wrap? I made a lace pattern shawl in 4ply, it's called Frost Diamonds by Stefanie Japel. I enjoyed making it, but never wear it as I'm not a shawl person. But I'm glad to read that you're well prepared should it all go horrible wrong!! I do like that poem, I've never heard of it before, but it's very good!

Maria S said...

I've just finished my first shawl - the Swallowtail. My criteria weren't exactly the same as yours: I had to like the shawl; I had to be able to knit it on straight needles rather than circular; it had to use no more than 55g of laceweight yarn (as that's all I had of the most beautiful deep cerise cashmere/silk blend). I'm still waiting to block it, but it looks like it might be quite nice...

Voie de Vie said...

Thanks for the Interweave tip - I did not know that! I think I have a quick download in my future.

In terms of the shawl, I would advise go for it because it's something you really like. However, since I still consider myself a knit lace novice (crocheted lace, well ... I'm pretty expert at that), I was gobsmacked when I clicked on the pattern link. It will be a challenge. I'd keep the Harvey's Bristol Cream really close at hand.

Ros Made Me said...

I have just bought it too... cannot wait to download it.

As the shawl, just go for it, the more you think about it the bigger it will become. Buy the wool, get your needle out and start it... you know you can and remember Harvey's is rather nice chilled with ice.

Anonymous said...

I liked the poem. Thanks for telling us about the magazine - what a bargain. If you hadn't mentioned it and endorsed it, even if I had come across it I probably wouldn't have trusted it and not downloaded it. Not much of a one for hats but I will be making some cuffs (never have I had a pair before), they seem to be in the fingerless glove family, the difference being the lack of hand too. Anyway, very pretty and lots of gloves too. Also some nice scarves which will definitely go on my to do list - which is very very very long. Well worth 7p I would say.

Re the shawl; I would just go for it. Wise up on it before you start, you know read it through, try out any difficult bits before you start and then just get on with it in a zen like frame of mind. Worry not if you have to undo it, just knit it back up again. It's a learning curve and you will feel proud as anything when it is all done. No point in doing something you don't want is there?

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Thanks for the tip and I have no idea about the shawl and lace...I've crocheted 2 shawls, but that is it...

The Foggy Knitter said...

I'd say go for it, as another commenter suggested, lots of stitch markers and lifelines and be prepared to sit in a quiet, well lit room knitting it - I wouldn't attempt it as tv knitting. But actually that sort of knitting can be wonderfully calming and peaceful, absorbing you in the moment.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

I thought you were going to ask for suggestions and I was all ready to suggest Travelling woman, but if you don't fancy it knitting it will not be fun. I would say go for it with the shawl you fancy, just work slowly marking off each bit on the pattern as you go, pins and a cork board can work quite well.

mooncalf said...

That shawl is beautiful but terrifying.

If I look at it for too long I will turn to stone.

However, I like to think knitting is just really all knits and purls and if you put your mind to anything you can do it! Go you!

Stitched Together said...

It is a lovely pattern and it might drive you insane but if you adore it and want to make it, that is the thing that will drive you forward. If something drives you insane and you don't like it, you won't finish it.

I look forward to updates - oh thanks for the heads up about the magazine, I've always wanted to knit Koolhaas and didn't because of the cost. Problem solved!

Wool Free and Lovin Knit said...

knitting is not for the faint of heart -- if this shawl speaks to you, cast on and listen to what it has to say -- should be an interesting conversation even if you eventually decide to tell it to shut up and go away. Of course this from a woman who chose the "Tree of Life" afghan for her first afghan ever. That was QUITE the conversation, but I've no regrets.

Drucilla Pettibone said...

have you looked at ysolda's shawl patterns? she has a number of pretty lace ones. just my 2 cents but i'd start with one of hers as a first and then move on to the one you love! you'll learn so much and gain confidence and that will make you less stabby.

Marushka C. said...

I'm no help at all, I have agreed with everybody on both sides of the issue. (I should add that I have been helping my children with their homework, which is difficult since they are already smarter than me and I have clearly forgotten 95% of the math I ever learned. My brain will be foggy for the rest of the evening).