Earlier in the summer, I purchased a shawl pattern sight unseen as a fund-raiser for the families of the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fl. I had no real plans to make the shawl; thought I would be knitting something else. However, I could afford to put $5 into the fund raiser.
Then I followed the discussion as the pattern took shape. I tried knitting several things, and nothing stuck. Donna Druchunas assembled several kits and suggested yarns; I found myself shopping.
However, I don’t like varigated yarn, much, and I don’t really like rainbows as a color scheme. I kept finding yarns that were rainbow-ish, and John kept saying, “If it’s for Pulse, it has to be a rainbow.” I almost bought several yarns, but cash is tight this month, and nothing grabbed me very hard, and I almost thought about skipping the project.
I went digging into my stash. I have a huge bag of assorted whites, rescued from a thrift shop bin. It was supposed to be knit into an afghan. I’ve lost the pattern, and my life does not allow white afghans–we live with seven mud-loving dogs. I had thought about space-dying that yarn several times.
Bingo! I added some colors from stash in a rainbow mix.
The black has a 1974 date; the blue with tinsel came in a grab bag from Webs in 1987 or thereabouts. No idea where the turquoise, red, or purple came from. Added a few other colors.
Cast on in black, move to dark blue blend for the first rings. Didn’t have much of this navy yarn; it’s the same blend as the violet in the next round.
Blending violet into the navy as the shawl grows into Round 3, hearts.
Worked on this while listening to a class about lawn grasses in the Piedmont. Interesting, but not directly applicable to my yard. Expect this violet yarn will just about make it through the end of the round, and then be done. No idea where it came from.
Labor Day Monday, testing turquoise against a real rainbow
Today, working in Ring 5, the second of the Heart Rings.
Donna Druchunas has designed 49 hearts into this shawl, one for each of the victims.
Suspect the teal mohair will not last the ring and will shift to a yellowy green if I run out.
Have a chance to post today; don’t expect to get much knitting completed until sometime next week. Almost done with the fifth ring; 12 hearts in this ring, 18 total. 31 to go.
Need to write a different post about packing for a motorcycle trip overnight; doubled my space when John said I could take a backpack and bungee it to the sissy bar. Regardless, I was going to carry my knitting. Wound off enough black to knit two rounds; hoped to make it into the next hearts round.
LoveIsLove More Work in Progress
I’m knitting ring 7, with 24 hearts. Longmire‘s back on Netflix! Made a lot of progress Sunday evening… This gold mohair blends better than I thought it might and it’s way easier to live with than sunny yellow.
When this ring is done, the shawl will have 42 hearts, and it needs 49. Donna Druchunas has written an intarsia ring for the final 7 hearts, spaced out with honeycomb in the dark yarn.
I don’t like intarsia. 53 people were injured, in addition to the 49 killed. I have some room to do something different:
576 stitches in these rings.
24*7=168 used for the 7 remaining large hearts.
576-168=408 available for something else. I need 53 little hearts. 408/53 is roughly 8. I can use 8 stitches per heart.
On to graph paper. I have 20 rows to play with in this ring; if I stack the hearts top and bottom, I can fit 3 in a 24-stitch repeat. Still playing with the math. Need to test a swatch to make sure it’s stretchy enough. As planned, the hearts will be stockinette stitch with honeycomb in between, but I may need to reverse those stitches.
Color and Light
Two pictures, taken at exactly the same time of day, one in full sunlight and one in shadow.
Color matching is hard enough. Much easier if you can find a standard light and time of day. When I’m working on rugs, I select colors under natural daylight (I have a skylight, which helps) in the middle of the day.
Designing Through Hurricane Matthew
I wasn’t expecting the power to go out in my town; we expected a lot of rain, but not much wind. We only received 7″ of rain (yes, “only;”), and not much wind, and the power went out anyway, for 26 hours.
Once it was clear we were in power-outage mode, I flipped into, “What are the things I need to do that don’t require electricity?” Swatching the lace hearts design for the final ring of #LIL came to mind right away.
The pattern called for seven hearts in the outer ring, bringing the total of large hearts to 49, one for each person killed at the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I didn’t want to knit the rest of a large ring in the mesh design, and besides, a whole lot more people were affected than died.
I had laid out a tentative pattern on graph paper and wanted to swatch it before committing to seventeen repeats on a 570+ stitch ring.I cast on two repeats (48 stitches) plus five stitches for a steek. After I was done, I realized I couldn’t machine-stitch the steek until I had electricity again, but that was ok.
I was able to complete the test swatch before my body gave up, cramped from huddling within reach of the candlelight. I discovered two dropped stitches which I simply pinned up, not wanting to try and repair the work by candlelight.
I’m reasonably happy with the test. One of the hearts is exactly the way I was hoping they would all be. I’m not sure if the dropped stitches messed up the others; I did make some changes in knitting that had to be added to the lace chart when I finished. The hearts are more distinct on the upper row, where they are bordered by a row of YO, K2T, so I added that to the bottom of the chart as well.
If I were a more perfect knitter, I would knit another swatch to test if my changes worked the way I expect. Instead, I’m off and running on the next ring of the shawl, trusting that everything will work out.
Here’s the lace chart for the small hearts:
Knit at your own risk–it hasn’t been verified yet! It should yield 3 complete hearts in 24 stitches, over 20 rows plus a couple for the YO, K2T above and below, to match the pattern’s existing heart chart.
LIL WIP Ring 9
Moving into the final ring, this in orange blending to red. Had a tiny bit of orange mohair that made a round or two, then moved into a long Nori leftover, blended with a bit of pink alpaca laceweight to shift the color toward red, and to add a bit of bulk.
LIL Ring 9, revisited
That didn’t work. I had some bright red boucle yarn that I was planning to use for the last ring of big hearts. I finished off the Noro shown in the last article, and started with the boucle. Made it to two rows and gave up. Forgot to take a picture; sorry.
The yarn was too thick for the lace–couldn’t see the stitches, couldn’t see the pattern developing, and worst of all, I couldn’t see what stitch I was on–whether I had already done the two K2T (effectively), or only one. Unpleasant.
So I unpicked, and that messed up the Noro rows, so I took them down too.
I slipped into Great Yarns before class last week and found some bright red mohair, as well as a skein of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze in a darker red, both on sale. That counts as “knitting from stash,” right? The Rowan has tiny sequins, and Pulse needs sequins.
Here’s a close-up view of shading the Noro (with a thin strand of pink laceweight alpaca) into the mohair, in alternate rows. The pink flashes are the last of the Noro.
The dull yellow right after the navy is a shortish strand of orange mohair; didn’t have much of that at all. Then I started with the more orange end of a small winding of Noro sock yarn, which shows as the yell to peach in the picture. The brighter pink is the alpaca.
LIL, Ring 9, completed
The last rows of Ring 9 and the beginning of the last feather and fan got me through the election. I was the handler for a candidate; we spent Tuesday driving from precinct to precinct, meeting voters. He drove; I knit. (The shawl is big enough, and baggy enough, that it holds the ball of yarn inside itself, so I could stand at the polling places, tuck the bag under one arm, and continue to knit while we chatted with poll greeters and the occasional voter.)
Very low turnout on election day because in our counties, 70% of the people who vote, had voted early. Divide 30% of the population across 48 precincts in one county, and 18 in the other, and that’s not a lot of traffic at the polls.
Slow, to say the least. He won his county but not the district.
Having a project in hand made the after-election results-waiting event tolerable, as much as that was possible. I found an armchair facing away from the TV and was able to focus on those attention-required fan rows, yet still be polite enough to everyone else at the party.
Tiny sequins in the dark red. Easier to see than to photograph.
Off the Needles
Tested a few lace edging ideas but decided against–too much black, too wide, too finicky, feeling done with this work and ready for something else. Used the stretchy cast off to get the shawl off the needles. (Knit one, pass knit stitch to right needle, knit two off right needle, repeat.)
Washed and Blocked!
I didn’t have a space big enough to pin out all the finer points of the feather and fan lace (the dark rings), but I did want to get this project clean and photographed. Washed the shawl and stretched it out on a full-size bed for a quick block and photograph. Would still like to get a formal, with the shawl displayed on white, so you can see the lace detail.