Ok, so the Princess (The Princess Shawl by Sharon Miller) is a very patient shawl. She has led a very quiet and unassuming life up to this point. Mostly ignored, hidden away from view at the very bottom of my knitting bag, tolerantly waiting for me to pick her up and give her some much needed attention. My poor Princess, she doesn't ask for much.
So why have I left her languishing so bravely in the bottom of a cotton sack? I cast on in 2009 with about half the knitting and lace experience that I have now. I had needles that I wasn't comfortable knitting with (the threadlike gossamer would stick stubbornly to the gap between needle and cord and I would get frustrated and sweaty fingered trying to rectify it) so every row felt like it was a million times longer than it actually was. I kept having to stop to sprinkle talcum powder on my hands to stop the slickness from the sweat sticking to the yarn and having to jump every stitch over the hump that lay between needle and cord was insufferable.
I did swap needles a few times, from Prym to Addi to Addi Lace (which I know know I have a slight reaction to nickel and the smell of the brass needles drove me to distraction) but nothing felt right. I even added a blob of superglue to the prym needles to close the gap between needle and cord and this worked for a little while, though knitting still felt like work.
Finally after reaching row 39 of the border I gave up and stuffed the poor Princess into a bag :(
Every now and then I would take her out to have a peep and see if she was ok. She would stick her little Princess nose in the air and ignore me. I felt so bad. Back in the bag she went.
Finally after two years of promising myself I would wear her to Christmas dinner (and failing!) I have taken her out, begged her forgiveness (of which she is having none of) and commenced knitting.
This time around I am better equipped. I have knit and more importantly *finished* several gossamer thread projects, I now have the *perfect* needles (Chiaogoo Red Lace in 2mm, the joins are smoother than lacquer and they are pointy and joyful to work with. I bought mine here.) and 800+ stitches per row is a doddle! Ha!
So I am currently at row 87 of the border and moving quite swiftly through the rows. On a *really* good day I can manage 10 rows but the average is about 7. I hope to finish the borders in under 2 weeks and then I can begin the Laurel Leaf insertion.
I'm going to do weekly progress reports from now on as this project has been something of an opus for me and I want to share every step of the way.
Anyone else knitting an opus?
So far so good!