Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 27 January 2012

RIP Love Darg Shawl - This is not goodbye

Something tragic occurred the other evening.  [Pause, I will not cry]  I have been working my way through my '2012 to do list' (blogged here) and feeling very smug and happy that I was sticking to my resolutions when disaster struck!  [Cue some happy springlike pictures to keep me going in this dark, dark time, sob] 

I had finished a shawl and a cardigan that had been patiently waiting for some attention and I was feeling virtuous (I, of no self discipline land), I picked up the next unfinished project on the list which happened to be Sharon Millers 1910 Gossamer Love Darg Shawl.  Dutifully I reassessed the pattern, picked up where I left off with the nagging feeling that I had put the shawl down for a reason last time.  Dear people, I cannot stress the importance to you of listening to your intuition when she rears her solemn but intelligent head.  

I swapped out my needles for a more comfortable knit (out go the 2mm prym circulars with the stepped join, in with the bamboo HiyaHiya's with a join smooth as butter) and started.  I was a few rows in when I realised that there was a problem.  My motifs were not lining up and there was a mistake somewhere below my virtuous stitches.  Gah.

So I looked back, trying to figure out where the problem originated.  Flip it anyway, it's several rows back.  Hmmm.  Tink?  Please, no, the stitches are tiny and there are thousands of them.  It would be quicker and more productive to begin again.  Rip?  I would usually be brave and try this option.  Shetland wool is usually sticky enough to be ripped back successfully, but my gossamer 1 ply gets a little fluffy from working it back and forth over the needles and hands, plus as it's a 1ply it gets a little temperamental if you try and untwist in any way (just try grafting a large join and you'll know all about it!!!).  No go, what to do, what to do.

I thought for a little while, making 'the face' as my husband calls it.

It didn't take long (I get ruthless when I'm hormonal) and I decided to rip.  Mega fail.  There were no actual tears, just a steely resolve as I removed my needles to safety and laid my Love Darg to rest in the lit stove (I know, I can hear you all gasping out loud in your offices, buses, homes & waiting rooms).  I told you I get ruthless when I'm hormonal.

I think the photo sums it all up really.  (Thanks to my hubby for all the photos in today's post).

You may question my sanity about burning the remains of my poor little nugget of a shawl.  She had so much potential I know.  I did it because there was no hope of revival and it's better to look forward than to look back.  Now I no longer have the bare bones of a project staring at me accusingly & whispering "you are not capable of finishing me".  I have a clean slate.  When I have a clear head and a month or so to spare and the enthusiasm, I will cast her on again.  For one thing, my conscience is clear.

RIP Love Darg Shawl, we will meet again.

Happier knitting to come!



  1. AAAAAAHHHH! I had to read 'lit stove' several times to realize you were not talking about a cauldron of literary material. The place where you keep material to spark your inner poet. You toasted the poor thing!!!

    However, having knit a shawl, blocked it once, blocked it twice, and then found 13 places where the TWO-ply had parted like roving ... I was pretty close to tossing the thing. It was saved when a good friend told me I could tie knots in the thing while mending.

    RIP Love Darg, and may your future hold happier knits!

  2. Hee hee, yes I toasted my poor little unsuspecting shawl. There was no other way around it, had I kept her, she would mock me silently from my knitting bag. Alas, onto happier knitting in future, I will get back to her!

  3. ooooh!! lots of sympathy ........ only somehow when it's a laid aside project it doesn't seem quite so hard to discard it. Maybe you had forgotten the angst of when it went wrong originally? Feel sure you will do it again one day.

    1. I'm working my way through the other shawls and charts in the book so I've plenty to keep my going until I decide to start again.