Monday, July 14, 2014

We had tasty dish of peas from our own doorstep with lunch yesterday, All is well out there – the first courgette has formed, carrots and beetroot progressing well, lettuce in production, nasturtiums in bloom. This is fun. Even the wounded courgette – the one that had its first true leaves pecked out – seems to be recovering, although it remains much smaller than its fellows. I moved it into a bigger pot yesterday.

And I got Rames and Yowes out and surveyed the scene. Here it is (Ravelry link), if you've forgotten.

The centre is knit as a tube. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through, beginning the final panel of upside down sheep heads. Then comes that innocent-looking border.

The idea is to pick up nearly 800 stitches and knit 36 rounds, 4 in each of the 9 colours, increasing at the corners – ironically enough, in garter stitch, purling every other round. Then insert a hem line and repeat the process, decreasing at the corners, and finally fold on the hem line and join it to the body of the blankie to cover up the ends where the steek was cut. Some applied i-cord figures somewhere.

The pattern has you pick up the same number of stitches on each of the four sides, but I have a distinct memory of Kate D. herself saying that that didn't entirely work for the side edges, and it was better to do a two-for-three (or something) there. Does anyone remember?

I thought about this during Mass yesterday. I don't see why I can't do the border single-thickness and finish it off with a few rounds of ribbing. I've just been reading Kate's own how-to-finish-your-steek tutorial. There are several possibilities there. This would have a number of advantages – starting with the fact that I never succeed when I try knitting live stitches onto a previously-established hemline. It always comes out slant.

The blankie would be a bit lighter without a double-thickness border– it's going to be awfully warm for a DC toddler, as it is. The yarn is very “sticky” – I have no anxiety about the behaviour of the cut stitches. And I would get back to lace knitting a bit sooner.

Monday is a good day for starting things (re-starting, in this case). That sixth ball of lace yarn still isn't finished, but I think I'll take the plunge.

Here's how the shawl looks at the moment.

And here are some pics from Strathardle last week, not very good except to demonstrate our marvellous weather.

James and his daughters trimming and pruning the yew tree:

James starting a bonfire:

Helen phoned from there yesterday evening. They are successfully installed


  1. Shawl is looking excellent!

  2. I see your point about the warmth of the blanker. One thought: how will a single thickness border kook the essentially double thickness of the center? You can always bind off and sew down if that works better for you.

    The shawl looks great!

    1. Ellen1:51 PM

      That was my thought, too. However, I see no need that it be garter stitch if you are making a hem. Garter plus hem facing woul be the equivilent of three thicknesses of stockinette, making the border even thicker than the blanket.
      If I were doing this, I think I would knit a stockinette border with mitered corners, knit a hem row of reverse stockinette, and then stockinette back and sew it all around. That has the advantage of containing the steek (I side with the Norwegians on the convering of steeks, it always looks nicer than the raw edged sort that are more common in fair isle). Kate Davies loves to put Icord around every edge, it's a signature of sorts, and it has a place, but not necessary here I believe.

  3. The shawl is Beautiful!
    What I have done when faced with finishing a hem as you've described is to pick up, on a tiny (but long) circular needle, the sts on the body ahead of time. That way I'm not searching for the right spot to attach!
    I wish I could accomplish as much as you do!

  4. What a pleasure to see a photo of the shawl I read about every day! Lovely work.

  5. I agree, the shawl looks beautiful!

    I've always wanted to try this method of covering the cut ends of the steek:
    I don't know if that would be appropriate on your blanket or not, but it's an idea.

  6. What about creating a casing to enclose the steek in stockenette stitch and then joining the inside stitches with the outside and ending with a rib or garter as a final edging. I did this on something. I picked up stitches on the inside and knit 5 rows...then picked up sttiches on the outside of the piece and knit 5 rows, then did K2 together all around and finished in a nice, flat rib stitch. Whatever you decide, it will be loved and enjoyed!

  7. Further explanation....when I said to Knit 2 tog around, I meant one stitch from the front with one stitch from the back....then finish off. It is a lot of knitting, but gives a beautiful finish.

  8. The shawl is gorgeous! Thank you for showing us a picture of it - it is wonderful to see after reading so much about it!

  9. Anonymous3:41 PM

    I stand in silent awe before The Shawl!!
    Elizabeth A

  10. The shawl is indeed a thing of wonder. I don't think I could contemplate starting one, much less being nearly finished. And then to be well on the way with Rams and Yowes....., well, I dips me lid to you.

  11. Gosh that shawl is amazing. I'm really looking forward to seeing it blocked.

    I've been eating peas from a tub outside the back door but they never make it to the pot as they are so delicious raw when freshly picked. Have you thought about growing sugar snap peas; there are some short varieties available. It always seems such a waste to discard the pods when they are so fresh.

    I too have seen the picture! I hope it's sold to someone who appreciates its loveliness.

  12. The shawl is reminding me of a butterfly emerging from the cocoon, now that the edging is gradually releasing it. So lovely!

  13. I did make my rams and yowes square by having the same number of stitches on each side but it required some serious blocking to stretch it into a square - if you are not worried about the final shape I would pick up fewer stitches up the sides.
    As for the border it is very thick and heavy but the garter stitch in graduated colours does finish it nicely. You could make it half width by knitting two rows in each colour instead of four which would remove the longest of the rows and still enclose the steek. You might like to think about reducing the border anyway as I ran out of several of the colours in the border, luckily on the reverse side so the substitutions don't show but I did order another ball of black.