Monday, June 20, 2005

Princess Shawl

The picture shows where we are -- the 12th repeat. This breakneck pace will not be maintained over the next fortnight, for today is the first day of Wimbledon and this is not Wimbledon knitting.

If I persevere -- it'll be months yet before I regard myself as committed -- it will definately be with this yarn (Heirloom Knitting's own 2-ply merino lace) and needle size (2.5 mm). So the resulting shawl, if there ever is one, will be bigger than the big prototype.

I did some calculations yesterday. The first three repeats were dressed, as I think you can see, so I've got a more or less accurate piece to measure and calculate from. Trouble is, the calculations involve square roots, and there's no back-of-the-book to look the answers up in.

My edging is 8.5 cm at the widest point, as against Sharon's 7.5. My repeats are 5.5 cm, hers 5 cm. I think my finished shawl (if I knit it as written) would have a hypotenuse of about 11 feet. Sharon's is nine feet. I calculate my perpendicular measurement, however, to be 65", whereas Sharon's is 64". Could that be right?

The answer is, I think, to forge ahead as I am doing -- I am delighted with the look of the fabric, I'm enjoying the knitting, I'm even beginning to get the hang of the fiendish pattern. At some point in the months ahead, I will do the calculations again. I will also calculate how many edging repeats I would need if I were to take two "feathers" out of the border. The answer is,  about 71 repeats, I think (as opposed to 85) -- I worked it out, but didn't keep my working. When the edging reaches that length, I'll dress it again and measure and then decide whether to reduce the pattern or just let the result be very big.

Bridget Rorem's famous wedding shawl for her daughter, described in Piecework, was about 76" square, she says.


I'm down to the last 4 or 5 rounds, and it's awful. Double-pointed needles and colours everywhere. I've just got to set my teeth and do it. I can, I will, I must, to coin a phrase. The next project-- a striped Koigu for Thomas-the-Younger -- is perfect Wimbledon knitting.

Or I could finish off Thomas-the-Elder's socks. He will graduate from Cambridge next week, and turn 21 in August, so it would be nice to send him some socks. His mother Rachel rang up last night to say that he was in a state of great distress about his final exams, now complete. He was reading history, and the question he was expecting and hoping for, for which he had been preparing for a year, didn't turn up. Modern youth, saddled with debt, needs to worry, I gather. Nobody is going to hire you with a lower second degree, I am told. We should have the actual result soon.

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