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Monday, May 11, 2015

On The Needles - In The Frog Pond

I'm so amazed by the number of books, Beaded Lace Knitting, I've sold in the last week. My first book order came on Friday and I've got 1 book left. So I'm ordering more books tomorrow and hopefully they'll be here by the end of the week.

All the books ordered from my website will be signed by me (in my favourite purple Staedtler pen). Order your signed copy here.  I sent out the first big batch of signed books on Friday and here's some of the feedback I've had so far:

Jeannette: It's a beautiful book with inspirational patterns. Can't wait to try one out.

Gwen:The best knitting book I've bought in a very long time.

Knatters Knits (on Instagram): Got this book yesterday and so pleased I did. So well written and helpful and I will make loads of these. Highly recommend you take a look for yourself.

If you've ordered the book and love it, please share it with your friends and on social media. I really appreciate it!

Remember last week in 'Weekend Happenings' how I told you my Kettle Yarn Co circular shawl was just waiting to be blocked. I eventually got around to blocking it and very quickly realised there was no way this shawl would block into a circle. The beginning of the shawl started out as a circle.  I followed a very old pattern which I adapted slightly, partly because I struggled to understand parts of it.

I then tried one type of shaping which didn't work and I ripped a lot out. I decided to split the shawl into 12 segments and work two increases in each segment on every other row. If I'd used my brain, I ought to have realised that would be way too many increases but it didn't click until I tried to block it. Basically I had way, way too many stitches and had to rip out 2/3 of the shawl. I'd also ripped out the edging once (when I had nearly 1000 stitches) because I was running out of yarn too quickly.

I've now ripped out about 3/4 of the shawl and I'm back to the centre circle I started with. I've divided the shawl into six segments which should work out better. One of the reasons I couldn't check that the shaping would work on the original shawl was because I had all the stitches (nearly 1000 stitches by the end) on one 80cm long circular needle because that's the longest needle I had. Last week I ordered a 125cm cable for my ChiaoGoo internchangeable set which will make a 150cm long circular needle (got it within 24 hours of ordering from Purlescence). Once I've finished the first repeat of the new shaping I will change to the longer circular needle so I can stretch the shawl out and make sure the new shaping actually works. I've done more ripping out on this shawl, than I've done knitting. It's a good thing I love the pattern and the yarn which is Westminster by Kettle Yarn Co.

I sneaked in a bit of knitting on this shawl over the weekend and I've only got a few rounds left of the first pattern repeat of the new shaping. I'm hoping to finish this by the end of May but I've got two other shawl deadlines by the end of May too.

That's not the only ripping out I've been doing. Earlier today, after eating lunch, I sat down to knit on my current deadline shawl. I'm on the edging and I finished a row and only had 2 rows left. I looked at the amount of yarn left and weighed it and I'm now ripping back 6 rows on this shawl too. Basically, because the rows are so long the edging has been using up more yarn than I realised. I try to keep a safety margin of 5-10% of yarn left on my shawl designs. That's means that if I have a 100g skein, I leave 5-10g. This means that those knitters who do not knit to the same tension as me, have a better chance of not running out of yarn. Hopefully, I'll finish this shawl and be able to block it tonight.

Is your knitting going better than mine? I hope it is. Have a good week x

By the way, if you don't know, the frog pond (in the title) refers to ripping back the shawls. Many knitters call ripping back frogging and knitting often ends up 'in the frog pond' when it needs to be ripped back. Why do some knitters call ripping out frogging? 'rippit' sounds like a frog.

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