Some projects are more of a short story, and when they're finished you regard them with a cheerful countenance and say, "I made that."
In the aftermath of Abigail's shawl I find myself not at all inclined to cease knitting lace. On the other hand, jumping right into another shawl of comparable size didn't feel right. Instead, I pulled some sock yarn out of the stash and created Altar Cloth V.2.0. (Version one, which you can see here, went some time ago to live with my grandmother in Pennsylvania. It has since converted to Roman Catholicism and now prefers to be called a doily.)
It took about a week or so, and was fun all the while. Here's the dossier on a simple but satisfying little project.
Yarn: Mysterious itchy sock yarn out of my stash. The same stuff I used to make the Orenberg sample shawl for the Knitting Olympics.
Needles: Inox US 2 3/4 straights
Patterns: The stitch motif used by Cheryl Oberle for the Kimono Shawl in Folk Shawls for the sides. In the center, the knot pattern collected in Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and also to be found, charted, in Meg Swansen's A Gathering of Lace.
Method: Disgustingly simple and wholly unoriginal.
- Using a loose, stretchy technique (I did a knitted cast-on over two needles) cast on enough stitches sufficient to accommodate however many repeats of the Kimono Shawl motif you want, plus three edging stitches on either side.
- Work six rows (three ridges) in garter stitch.
- Commence Kimono Shawl motif, working first and last three stitches of each row as garter stitch.
- When you've made the edge deep enough (preferably ending on a complete repeat of the Kimono shawl motif), knit two rows plain and begin knot pattern. Take care to center it perfectly.
- When knot pattern is complete, knit one row plain and place live stitches on holder or length of waste yarn. Break working yarn.
- Repeat steps 1-3 to create a second piece, identical to the first up to the beginning of the knot pattern.
- Put first piece back on the second needle and graft the two pieces together using Kitchener Stitch.
- Block severely, but with compassion.
It ain't perfect. I rather wish I'd done something more with the plain stockinette areas around the knot. Perhaps in version three.
But the roughness of the yarn, which I would not have appreciated in a sock, looks well on a small, Zen altar and on the whole, I'm pleased.
So pleased that I think it's time for more lace.