July 29, 2012

Summer Blooms

I'm sure I mentioned that I'm participating in the Ravellenic games.  I've had my eye on the Summer Blooms shawl ever since I saw it on the cover of Interweave Knits.  Now, I've got 17 days to make the shawl so I can have bragging rights on the Team Bob page.  (Of course if I don't finish in 17 days, then I have the rest of my life to finish the shawl.)

In preparation for the event, I read the instructions which are clear as a bell.  I strung 275 beads on the yarn even though the pattern says to use a bead hook to pull loops through.  Being aware of any deviations from the instructions is half the battle.

So, on Friday at precisely 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, I prepared for take off.

Day 1: Cast on 417 stitches.

Attempt #1 resulted in not having pulled out enough yarn to cast on that many stitches.  I ran out at 200 stitches.  Rip it out, start again.

Attempt #2: same instructions, but this time I lost count.  I seem to be perpetually stuck at 58 or 59, never sure if I said fifty eight or sixty eight.  Started to count the stitches from the beginning and in the process dropped a bunch of stitches.  Rip it out, start again.

Attempt #3: same instructions, only I still didn't have enough yarn to cast on 417 stitches.  Rip it out, start again.

Attempt #4: again, same instructions.  I got the right number of stitches, I worked the pattern.  Woo hoo, I thought, I'm on my way.  Except that the strung beads did not center on the stitch like they would if they'd been added like the instructions said.  No problem.  I strung the beads on with dental floss.  Time consuming, but the beads sit right and we're OK.

Until I got to the end of the row and had a bunch of stitches left over.  What the ... ?  OK.  I'll just double up the decreases and fudge my way through it.  Row 1 done, I make it to row 3 and guess what? The beads don't line up.  Okaaaaaay ...

Now I'm angry.  I rip it all out and go to bed.

Day 2: clock is ticking.

Attempt #1, 2, 3 and 4 exactly as above, including the getting mad thing and ripping it all out.  Only this time, I took a nap, woke up and worked on this instead, Church Mouse baby wrap sweater:

I'm up to the ruffled collar, but I felt guilty about not casting on - and day 2 slipped by.  

Not only that, but now I'm in a panic because the pattern calls for 875 yards and I only had 800 yards to being with.  I can't even tell you how many times I broke the yarn and threw it in a heap.  The only reason I didn't throw those scraps out is because the beads are still on it and I need them.  Sheesh!  This whole project is already a disaster!

Day 3: same instructions, new resolve.

I cast on 417 stitches.  I counted each stitch on the chart as I went along.  There were no left over stitches when I got to the end of the row.  Hoo-ray!  Beads were put on with dental floss (waxed floss, by the way), and the beads on row 3 lined up with the beads on row 1.  It's a miracle!

Can you believe I'm already up to row 9 (of 48).  I'm on my way!!

Here's a picture I took when I was up to row 5 (I think):

That's all I'm going to say because if I say anything more, my yarn will probably burst into flame.

Go Team Bob!

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