I've tangled with lace before, always enduring crushing defeats. This time is sadly no exception. I've started the damn thing 18 times and still can't get past the first pattern repeat without screwing something up. Part of the problem is the alpaca and tencel Ballet yarn. The alpaca is okay but the tencel is slippery and the blend is just splitty as hell.
I refuse to accept defeat; I'm not going to stop until I master this damn technique. But first I'm going to change the yarn and then I'm going to work on this well before midnight when I can barely keep my eyes open. Here's a picture of what the scarf should look like; this knitter also had trouble but got through it - hopeful evidence of possible success.
However, my main reason for trekking to PA was to get Kathy's feedback about my upcoming projects. I showed her my Augusta cardigan from New England Knits and modeled the perfectly fitting sleeves she so capably taught me how to size. She was proud and I was prouder!
I'm now about halfway up the back. As I mentioned previously, I decided to cable the entire back to avoid knitting miles and miles of plain stockinette. It's still pretty boring though. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to start decreasing for the upper back and things will move more quickly.
Reworking the sweater to my size and shape, adding additional ease so that I can wear this as a coat.
Modifying the pattern to make an A-line shape to accommodate my more-than-ample hips.
Using four sets of buttons instead of three to account for the additional length - I don't do cropped anything!
Skipping the snowflake pattern on the back - for me, less is usually more.
Knitting the left and right fronts to be the same size rather than making one of the panels narrower. I want to avoid the dreaded belly gape.
Adding back neck shaping because Kathy says this is key to getting a good fit.
I showed my plans to Kathy and she blessed my design. I'm looking forward to knitting this with the heavenly Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande. Besides being beautiful, this bulky yarn knits up on size 10 needles - hopefully a very fast knit.
One more new little project to discuss this morning: my new shawl. This wrap will be for everyday use; during the cooler months, I'm always cold and need something around my shoulders when I'm working or knitting. I've been looking at shawls for months, ever since I got together with Chris, my college roommate and fellow knitter, who made the gorgeous Everyday Shawl. I've decided to knit Nancy Bush's Tasha Tudor Shawl using some - gasp! - stash yarn. (I'm making a major dent in that stash these days. I feel so virtuous!) I'm making this warm wonder in my favorite Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Denim Mix. My shawl shares the same garter stitch and applied lace border as Chris', but it's triangular rather than square which will reduce the knitting time, especially since I need to make mine larger.
My only regret: I wish I was independently wealthy. If I were, I'd travel the world visiting yarn shops, buy all the yarn I want, knit in every one, and then blog all about it. What a wonderful life that would be.