Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rough and Tumble

Let's say you're not my sister or my daughter and your birthday is coming up at the beginning of April. Perhaps you should stop reading this now...

Behold, the finished Guernsey Triangle, a BEAUTIFUL design that blocked perfectly and actually looks entirely like a triangle (though I didn't really know how that was going to happen given the construction methodology):



Shawls really do look much better in action, but this gives you an idea of the full design...
I freakin' love this thing, which is why I will be making it again for myself as soon as another batch of the Brooklyn Tweed yarn arrives.

A few things about the pattern:
  • It takes a long time and quite a bit of concentration to pull this one off. It's not hard but it's not knowably repetitive. (Well, I suppose for some it is, but I had to look at the stitch chart pretty compulsively).
  • It's a pattern that starts off easily but increases in difficulty. It gets harder because you go from 12-stitch rows to 360-stitch rows over the course of knitting from start to finish. By the end, every row I knit took 13 minutes (I had Scott time me on a variety of occasions, which he really didn't appreciate). It was a slog, knowing that I still had many more to go. It's tough just sliding the stitches around every 4 seconds because there's barely any space left on the needles.
  • This shawl really does turn into a triangle even though, as you knit it, it's just a blob. This is probably a flawed explanation, but I'll try to describe how it comes together: Imagine a button mushroom with a stalk. In your mind, draw a triangle around it so that the top point of the triangle aligns with the centre top of the mushroom cap and the midway point of the bottom side of the triangle aligns with the centre of the mushroom stalk. The triangle represents the triangle-shaped shawl and the mushroom represents the direction of expansion. You knit this shawl starting from the centre line of the base of the stalk, moving up towards the cap and widening out from that centre line as you go. Effectively, as you knit, you are "creating the mushroom" from the base of the stalk (the vertical midline) to the tip of the cap, widening outwards (i.e. giving width to the stalk and then the cap from the midline of each) as you knit upwards. OMG - is this even vaguely comprehensible?
  • The yarn, while it softens somewhat after knitting and blocking, is still a delicate and rough fabric. I wouldn't choose to wear this directly against my skin, but atop other things. Mind you, I have little issue with rustic yarn from the perspective of allergy or irritation, I just like the feeling of soft things against my skin. I briefly considered using a locally-sourced yarn for my next Guernsey Triangle but decided that the spring of the yarn - the bouncy, lofty, lambi-ness of it - is too special to forego. I think it's perfectly suited to the desired weight (affecting drape) of this shawl. You don't want your triangle shawl to turn into a droopy mess under the pressure of gravity. As such, light, springy yarn is integral.

If, indeed, it is the case that US manufactured products (of which this yarn is most definitely one) are exempt from duties at Customs (given the US/Canadian free trade agreement)*, then this is a reasonably priced yarn given its quality. You could order a zillion dollars-worth of it and it would still only cost you 10 bucks (max) delivery fee to Canada. If you order under 50-bucks worth (but hovering around that amount), the shipping fee is 7 bucks. Hilariously, it is SO light that 3 skeins of fingering yarn weigh practically nothing. No wonder the shipping charge isn't crazy.

I can't say I'm looking forward to knitting this again, but I sure am looking forward to the outcome.

Whatcha think?

* The reason I question this is because I know how many exemptions there are to the US-Can "free-trade" agreement.

14 comments:

  1. I think it's gorgeous and you have to knit it again, regardless of the hideousness of 13 minute rows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks E! The last section really took it out of me. I was actually avoiding it!

      Delete
    2. I can imagine. I think I would have been feeding it to the cat!

      Delete
  2. There are so many things I love about this pattern, and now that it grows from the middle makes it so intriguing! I need to go check out if anyone has knit it in a variegated colorway, and how that might develop.. I love the lines of different stitch pattern especially..I need to get over my fear (not actual fear) of small needles and knit with fingering weight..or at least dk..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! Isn't it bizarre? Someone has knitted it in 2 different yarns (diff sections) but she used very similar colours.

      Delete
  3. Your hard work paid off because this is a lovely shawl. As for the duty exemption, while I have never been charged duties for fabric imports from the U.S., I have for yarn. Twice. Each time I've meant to challenge the charge and then life gets on the way and I never did. Just saying: beware of the customs demons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea! Let's not talk about customs. Lalala I can't hear you... :-)

      Delete
  4. Nice work! Love the colour...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh! This is beautiful - totally right about shawls in action vs flat. Lucky not-sister, not-daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks T! Gotta say, I think someone's in for a good present.

      Delete
  6. Oh nice! And how unselfish of you to make it as a gift! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I like to think of myself. Unselfish!! :-)

      Delete
  7. Wow! It's absolutely gorgeous. The clasp is perfect.

    ReplyDelete