“It’ll only take you a month to finish,” my knitting instructor had said. That was over four years ago. At the time, I was suffering from a lot of stress stemming from my workplace, neighborhood, and infertility so I signed up for a lace knitting class to distract myself. In retrospect, this was not a good idea, especially for an early knitter.
There were a few other contributions that added to this miserable knitting experience. The instructor had chosen an intermediate project for a beginner lace knitting class. I hadn’t yet discovered bamboo needles, so I was clumsily working on cheap, metal needles. Lastly, the instructor had modified the pattern, and I didn’t notate her changes anywhere in my copy of the book.
During the class, I was doing really well. I understood the mechanics of knitting, so I could easily follow a chart. It was a different story at home where I had no one to help me fix a dropped stitch. My hands weren’t secure in handling the thin yarn; the loops frightfully fell off those slippery needles quite often. Because I was consistently tearing back four to eight hour increments of work, I learned the value of inserting lifelines frequently. I have knit so many hours into this shawl, I could probably count them in days.
Sometimes I would get so frustrated with this project, I’d have to put it down for a month before I was able to go back and correct my mistakes. At one point, I was so disappointed in this shawl that I wanted to frog the whole thing and re-purpose the yarn. Instead of acting rashly, I put it in its box and stuck it on a shelf.
On New Year’s Day, I dusted off that box. I don’t even know how long I had abandoned it in all. I still can’t believe how quickly I identified three mistakes and fixed them all with a crochet hook. Knowing I’ve learned a lot about knitting in the past four years has been encouraging, and I’ve been happily working on it since.
The pattern is Square Shawl by Kay Meadors. It can be found in the book I Can’t Believe I’m Lace Knitting published by Leisure Arts. As written, the shawl is worked in the round with four sections. However, my instructor had me working only two sections back and forth so it will have a triangular shape when completed.
The lace pattern is growing on me. I am starting to admire the simplistic arrows. However, I’m still having a tough tIme memorizing it so I am relying heavily on my book.
The yarn is FibraNatura Yummy in the color Storm. There are different shades of grey poking through although it mostly a charcoal color. It’s a sturdy, sport-weight yarn which has been discontinued. I hope my two balls are enough.
My New Year’s Resolution is to finally finish this shawl. I can’t help but picture a poetic finish to this shawl: the phoenix rising out of the ashes or a rainbow after then rain. Who knows, maybe it’ll only take me a month to finish!
What’s the longest you’ve let a project sit unfinished?