Pattern: Ogee Lace Skirt, Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: Rowan Bamboo Tape, Wode colorway
Needles: 7mm Addi circular; 7mm crochet hook for provisional cast on
Size: I made the largest size so the fabric would overlap more when I wrapped it around my waist.
I've dubbed this "Ganesha Wrap" because my favorite Hindu deity is Ganesha, the god of new beginnings, travelers, wisdom and light. He's also the remover of obstacles and is a purveyor of success. Before a big journey, whether physical or metaphorical, I always like to invoke the spirt of Ganesha for good measure.
This was the my first lace project, and it really pushed the limits of desire, concentration and surrender. If I wanted something so badly, could I really make it happen? If I concentrate, can I get through a row without unknitting. If I surrender and trust the pattern, will it all come together?
There's not a single thing about this skirt that I'd ever done before. New to lace, new to provisional crochet cast on, new to I-chord bind off, new to tape-style yarn. All of it. I've gained a heck of a lot of knowledge and wisdom not only about knitting but also of myself.
I first saw this pattern around the time that I decided that I wanted to change careers and teach yoga as my primary occupation. This skirt is a small homage to this new beginning, and it seems fitting that I managed to finish it on the eve of our return to the Washington, D.C..
And how desperate was I to finish this puppy? Aside from knitting a row or two here and there since early July, I hadn't really found the time to work on this. If I was going to finish this before next Tuesday, I needed to step it up a couple of notches. I threw myself at it all day and night Monday and Tuesday. I needed to block it Wednesday or I was going to lose my blocking surface for 6 weeks.
In the midst of moving chaos, I pushed through and it's done. My blocking surface (AKA dining room table) was one of the first things the movers disassembled and packed.
Aum Gan Ganapatye Namah
I mentioned previously that knitting the lace pattern stressed me out. The first few rows were a bear. The pattern didn't make sense, and it didn't look like anything you'd want to wear. Once I got about 20 rows in, though, it eased up and I could see the overall pattern take shape. However, this is still full-concentration knitting. Each row is a bit different. You can memorize bits of it, but you always have to consult the pattern.
However, the I-chord bind off is super cool, and I was really glad to tick off that new technique. I love how the chord along the top edging morphs into the tie.
But let's talk about the provisional crochet cast on. After you work the entire thing, you're meant to go back to the crochet bits, pick up the stitches and work the I-chord bind off again. When finished, the whole thing looks gorgeous, but...
I'll refrain from saying definitively that I hate the provisional crochet cast on, but my cranky, knitting-stressful-lace-for-two-days-straight self burst into tears as I fought to unravel the crochet chain and pick up the stitches along the bottom. Because the lace pattern starts immediately with the first row, there weren't just simple stockinette stitches to pick up. I couldn't tell exactly what to grab. I know for certain that I didn't always pick up the right bits of yarn, but I challenge anyone to notice.
The project didn't end on a high note, and that's a bit disappointing. Yet, the final result is fantastic, and I love it.
As noted above, this is my first time knitting with "tape" yarn. I realized pretty quickly that when I knit, I twist the yarn a lot. It doesn't take too long before the tape becomes this twisted, ridged string stuff. So, every couple of rows I had to untwist it. That was a bugger.
But the 100% bamboo fabric is beyond soft, and it has a lovely drape. There's more weight to it than you might think, so be careful when knitting up big projects. The skirt is already stretching a bit from its own heaviness.
Take heed. This yarn is a dramatically different animal when wet. It stiffens up like, well, wood. So, if you're thinking of knitting this as a beach wrap, you should consider substituting the yarn for something more water friendly.
It's All Gone
The packers just left. Thankfully our belongings fit in the container with a bit of room to spare. *wipes brow*
Here's a shot of Nigel on our make-shift "sofa". He thought it was great fun following the packers around for two days. I think he's a bit confused now that the place is empty.
And if you're curious how people move their furniture out of typical, Dutch row houses, here's a hint.