Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bye Bye Blackbird

Today tastes like ribeye rubbed with chile, garlic, and . . . sand. It was all working so well until the finish, which left a lot to be desired.

I have finished the Irtfa'a, and only just barely avoided adding a "FINALLY!" to that sentence. This project was not the best match for where my head is at right now.

It's a moderately complex knit, a Faroese shape with multiple lace patterns. The designer has you working two long lace patterns simultaneously, and the repeat lengths match up only on the very first iteration (row 1 of pattern A and pattern B). When you come to the end of that section, you are on row 16 of pattern A (out of 24 total rows) and row 28 of pattern B (out of 30 total rows) and ready to start pattern C's transition row over pattern B and if your head is swimming, well, so was mine.

I love how the pattern transitions between B and C. It's a lovely detail. I like how she starts the shawl. There's a lot of thought in this pattern, and it's very well written and explained. It was just not a great match for me right now.

I hated working the edging. Words cannot describe just how much I hated working that edging. Part of it was that I misread how many repeats of that blasted edging there were. I read 38 when the instructions said 58. Those "extra" (they felt like "extra") 20 repeats just about made my head explode. I figured I could work 3-4 repeats at lunch and be finished by October 1. Yeah, not so very much, thanks. Grrr . . .

The edging is perfect for the shawl. I really can't see anything else that reads so much like feathers on the edge. It's also d--d fiddly. I had to start four times to get the first edge going. Grrr . . .

Finally, the designer prefers to keep her lace small and modern. I prefer to swaddle myself in yards of the stuff. Call me old-fashioned. My shawls tend to be bigger than I am to allow for draping and folding, and my other Faroese comes almost to my knees. With something swoopy like this, I'd like it to be below my hips, mebbe halfway down my thighs.

This feels more like a shoulderette/shrug. It isn't, not really, but feelings is feelings. If I make it again, I need to remember to put in a repeat or three of the first border. (Yes, yes, and find an edging I can live with.)

But at least Thorax is finally happy that she gets to model a garment.

She insisted that a fine lace shawl deserved a fine setting. Who am I to argue? So off we went to Scottsdale, where DH Gareth oblingingly posed as her escort in front of one of our favorite restaurants, Tapino. If one holds with the "three times is tradition" rule, then this is where we traditionally have New Years' Eve dinner (a wine paired tasting menu, different every year) before heading out to celebrate the turning of the calendar year with our friends.

Thorax suggested we shoot out in the Red and White Lounge--the restaurant was fairly crowded. She sat down on the couch to ponder the menu while we arranged everything, so I snapped this candid shot.

Then she thought she saw Dave Mustaine (Thorax is a huge Megadeth fan) and dropped the shawl on the couch as she ran screaming after him.

Embarassingly enough, she had mistaken ex-Governor Rose Mofford for the heavy metal star. I guess one big head of hair looks much like the next. Fortunately, Rose was very gracious about the mistake, although she declined to have her picture taken with Thorax.

Currently on the needles? Two sweaters, two lace shawls, and two lace scarves for two dear friends for Christmas 2009. And one lonely Linus binkie.


srsr said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Helen said...

My head's not there either, evidently, as my Irtfa'a is hanging out waiting patiently for me to pick it up again. Not sure whether it's the lace, or my insane insistence on adding beads...
I did make mine a bit longer, adding some repeats in the first section of lace... We'll see how it comes out in the end.