Knitting lace, I have noticed, is like raising a child. You begin the undertaking with an equal mixture of trepidation, excitement, and anticipation. About halfway through, it's a bedraggled and incoherent mess. It's not at all what you had in mind. You would throw it out–but you've already invested so much time. So you keep working, determined that perseverance and discipline will win out. When it casts off into independence, you feel proud, though you know perfectly well where every fault and fudge is located.
I've been knitting lace today–the Leaf and Nupp Shawl from Nancy Bush's lovely book.
Maybe my lace parenting skills are improving, because this piece got through its awkward phase with a minimum of trauma. Indeed it seems to have raised itself, like one of those Victorian heroines who blossom into spunky, swanlike maidenhood in spite of having been tossed out of a slum and into the streets at age four with nothing but a crust of bread and a button hook.
When I picked it up this morning, I did a quick count of repeats and realized I'm only two away from finishing the center. This seems impossible. I've given it no special attention, as it has no deadline. I've knit a row here or there, in odd moments, usually with my mind on something else. I wondered whether Dolores might have been helping it along secretly, but she seldom does good deeds without trumpeting. (Last time she removed her dirty underwear from the floor without being told, she asked me to hire a skywriter.)
It's not quite ready for the debutante ball, mind you. A review of the instructions reminds me that there's a whole lot of picking-up to do around the long edges, and that's followed a border knit in long (long, long) rounds from the center outwards.
So. Will this shawl marry a rich-but-gentle peer of the realm and retire to a quiet life in the country? Or will it perish at the hands of Jack the Ripper after stumbling out of an opium den?
Time will tell.