So this weekend Sae and I sat down in front of the computer, looked at lots and lots of pictures of lacey prettiness, and finally decided on a pattern for me to knit for her wedding veil. We decided to go with Torreyana (which also happened to be the poll favorite), and I printed out the pattern. Then I read the pattern. And thought, “Oh, crap.”
You see, the pattern is a bit, well, complicated. You start in the middle and knit up, then knit down to the end. You’re reading and knitting multiple charts at once, and some of them require short rows at the same time as others don’t. There’s multiple options for everything from how big you want the finished product to be to how many times you knit each section to what edging you put on it, and some of them require doing math. Each of the variations seems to have different instructions, except it’s hard to tell what’s specific to one particular variation, and what’s general instructions for all of them. And then there’s the whole beads vs. nupps question (I’m going with nupps since I want the shawl to be light and ethereal, not heavy and drapey). Plus, the directions for the version I’m doing (full-sized shawl with chain link selvage edging) start with telling you to cast on 463 stitches using a cast-on method that doubles the number of stitches you cast on, and then adds that if you want to be cool and have all your loops oriented correctly from the beginning (meaning that when you start the second half of the shawl you won’t have to untwist 463 stitches as you knit the first row) you should do this cast on while twisting your yarn counter clockwise instead of clockwise. To be honest, while I’m familiar with the cast on method (it’s my preferred way to start toe-up socks), I’ve never been aware of twisting my yarn at all, much less which direction I was twisting it. By the time I finished reading through the fourteen pages of instructions (plus charts!) my head was starting to spin.
In general I consider myself a fairly fearless knitter. The first project I ever knit was covered in cables. From there I moved on to short rows, knitting on double-pointed needles, color work, double knitting, lace, and making up my own patterns for things without a pause. I’m confident both in my skills, and in my ability to figure things out when necessary. I don’t know why this particular pattern has me running scared. I know that once I actually start knitting things will probably fall into place, order will emerge from the chaos, and all will be well. Still, for the moment, this pattern has me cowering in the corner while it calls me names and steals my lunch money.
I may take refuge for a little while in something a little simpler. Recently I found out that Fleur is having her First Communion this year, about a month before her dad and Sae’s wedding. (Did I mention that we have a date now? It’s May 28.) I had been thinking of perhaps knitting her a small shawl out of whatever yarn was leftover from Sae’s veil, partly because she loves my lace knitting so much, and partly to help her feel special on that day. But then I had another thought. On Sunday, when she and her dad were up in Dayton for our Family Brunch and Christmas Planning, I asked her if she would like me to knit her First Communion veil. Her face lit up, and she nodded very emphatically. So we looked at a few patterns on the computer, and decided that I would knit her another shawl from the collection of translated Danish patterns on my lace knitting group’s website. Except, since the completed shawl would be too big for small, seven-year-old Fleur, I’m just going to knit the central medallion, or the “pretty sunburst part” as Fleur put it. That will be a relatively small and (hopefully) easy pattern that I can take refuge in when the wedding veil starts to get too much.
Thank goodness I’ve got six months to knit all this in, huh.
In other knitting news, I should mention that on Sunday I finished binding off Mom’s Queen Anne’s Lace Shawl. I am so glad to be done with it! It was a nice pattern, and the yarn is gorgeous, but I’ve been knitting on that thing since May. I’m definitely glad to be able to move on to something else. Also, it took approximately forever to bind off. I worked on it Saturday while watching half of Girl With A Pearl Earring, all of Iron Man 2 (love that movie), and part of Amelie. At that point I’d been knitting for over four hours, my hands were sore, I had a crick in my neck, and I still was only about 2/3 done. I decided enough was enough for one day and put it down. I was able to finish it the next day while we were doing our Family Christmas Planning. I estimate that it took me between 6 and 7 hours of knitting to do the bind off. Crazy.