Sunday, July 29, 2007

On the Edge

After a week of unpacking and consuming truly appalling quantities of tentacle-free food, Harry and I finally sat down to work out the edging for the Spider King shawl. We spent almost two full days swatching before hitting upon a pleasing solution.

The shawl itself is complicated, so we wanted a simple edging. But all the simple edgings we tried were visually boring. More importantly, they were insubstantial and didn't frame the shawl very well. It occurred to me that part of the problem was that all the edgings we sampled were real lace knitting, that is, patterned on both sides. After perusing a few lace books, we decided that such edgings looked floopy--they were elegant flat on the floor, but when vertical, the edgings seemed droopy instead of crisp, and detracted from the overall appearance.

We reshelved all the lace books and fired up Excel instead. Within an hour of fiddling, we had a simple, but visually dynamic edging that worked well as a frame for the complex center. And the return row was plain knitting, so it would be easy to knit backwards during the attachment process (I hate turning knitting and avoid it whenever possible). Finally, the 16-stitch repeat fits perfectly into the 32-stitch repeat on the border.



Harry remarked that I had incorporated the Soba Noodle motif that he had originally planned for the edging, and was pleased by the smattering of Pachinko balls that I managed to scatter inside the points.

The next step was to actually start the edging. Where? I didn't want to begin at the corner, because I wasn't exactly sure how many doubles (attach two border stitches to one edge stitch) I would need to go around the point. After two hours of research on and off the Web, I realized that not a single person ever revealed exactly where they started their edging attachment. Weird, considering that long, convoluted paragraphs were spent on esoteric arithmetic calculations that made my brain fizz gently.

I decided to begin after the corner stitches, going clockwise around the shawl. This gives me plenty of practice before I get to the corner.

Here's a diagram:


I am planning 8 doubles on each side of a corner using Fleegle's Easy-To-Remember Rule of Corner Turning, which states that the number of doubles needed to go around a corner equals half the number of rows in the repeat. This rule works fairly well for most edgings. I don't like triples--way too bulky and they put a bit of a strain on the poor corner stitch--so I avoid them.

Anyway, you can finally see a bit of the shawl emerging;


Harry is ecstatic--me too!

22 comments:

2trees said...

I didn't realize Harry travelled with you!

fleegle said...

Well, he had to come this time because we need to collaborate closely on several shawls. Unfortunately, he has my credit card and spends his evenings buying lace yarn off the Internet. We have to have a chat about that, but he can't hear me over the karaoke machine.

MaggieB said...

Love it! Looks great.
(I, too, was just wondering what Harry was doing stateside, luckily he is staying occupied in a constructive way: buying you yarn... :)

Laritza said...

Very pretty! Harry is a keeper!

Anonymous said...

Fleegle says:

Hey! It's me! Doesn't anyone have any nice things to say about me? Everyone is giving Harry compliments, but nobody says anything to poor fleegle. Sniffle.

Jane said...

Beautiful edging! You and Harry can both be very proud of your combined efforts. After all, behind every great Spider there is a Woman and you are Harry's muse. It really looks terrific!

Donna said...

Fleegle, you've done a wonderful job on the edging. I'm sure Harry's input was minimal anyway, and you're just downplaying your own talents. ;)

Nautical Knitter said...

Just Stunning!!

Batty said...

The edging is perfect!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Your shawl is so pretty! I'm glad you kept at it. The edging is perfect! Now, who is Harry? Does he always create lace from images of food?

Carol said...

It looks good! You are right, I have never heard anyone talk about how they decided WHERE to start the edging....Thanks!

Iris G said...

Oh I love edgings, the fancier the better! However I don't agree with Harry this time--the edging doesn't look like Soba to me, too curly, must have been an Instant Noodle motif!
Seriously, thank you for sharing with us the professional discussions that you and Harry had--I'm learning!

LittleBerry said...

without your phenominal knitting talent Harry's design would simply not be a reality....

the border is lovely and reflects elements of the main body of the shawl I look forward to progress photos....

You're right about not being able to find border info out there on the net I looked too.... after perusing the VLT book I've made a note to start just after a corner as well when I get to that stage that is ;o)

Kitty Kitty said...

Thank you both for sharing your knowledge.

I think that what really surprises me with lace is really how little truly valuable instruction there is about the subject. Most of the text are either out of print, going out of print, or were never brought out of there originating country of origin to be translated. Or worse yet nothing was ever written down since it was just handed down in families. I think that Sharon Miller's new book really hits that point home.

So it really doesn't surprise me that you had problems finding info on where to start.

Thanks as always for sharing your beautiful work Fleegle!

missalicefaye said...

I love it! As for the edging, Sharon Miller recommends slipping slipping half of the stitches for one border before starting the edging on the Cobweb Crepe shawl in HK--essentially starting in the middle of one side. That's one of the few examples I can think of where guessing isn't a main component of attaching the edging....

BadCatDesigns said...

I can't wait to see it progress. I look forward to Harry's corner treatment...

Opal said...

I love watching this shawl progress and reading about the thought process behind it. Harry and you are fantastic collaborators!

Lucy said...

Tres tres magnifique Fleegle (sorry about the lack of accents on the tres). You (and of course Harry) are truly amazing - Congrats on the progress!!

Kenny said...

you're just amazing to design this yourself!!

Lucy said...

Fleegle thanks for visiting my blog - Sorry I was unable to post the kittens to you - they have already been snapped up by eager Aby lovers - including me - see my latest blog post!!

Jane said...

Dear 2trees!

You sent me an e-mail about those books and I accidentally erased your e-mail address!!!! Can you please check on my blog. I will post them there! Or please E-mail me again! So Sorry.

Jane

CrazyFiberLady said...

That edging really fits well with the rest of the shawl. I can't wait to see it progress.