Busy with summer travel and projects on a deadline, I have been rather neglecting the blog lately. So let's see what we can do to get caught up ASAP...
The big news that has been waiting the longest to be posted is that I finally finished the Evenstar on June 30th. The beaded edging had been dragging along for weeks, a few points at a time, until I reached the halfway point, and then a sudden spurt got the rest done in a matter of *days*. I was eager to see the end of it. Since it was my first circular shawl, I felt nervous about trying to block it, but a coil of spring wire borrowed from my trusty friend Anita (a.k.a. The Fiber Artist) made the whole process a no-brainer. Once I had threaded the wire through the edging points and pinned it out to stretch the fabric, a length of cotton yarn pinned to the center helped ensure that the radius was consistent all the way around. It came out to a diameter of 57". Here are some photos taken while it was still on the wires, including several wide shots and a closeup of the beaded edging. As always, you may click on any of these photos to see a larger view.
I tried to persuade myself that this was a minor flaw that others would overlook, but I found my eye so unerringly drawn towards it when I tried to look at the big picture that I decided it would bother ME even if no one else ever spotted the defect. So I set out to fix it, taking some time to think out a careful plan before attempting the repair.
The first step was to locate and untie the anchoring knot at the point where the edging meets the shawl. Once the right threads were loose (a surprisingly effortless process), it was easy to undo the graft and restore the live stitches on both sides, using strands of crochet cotton to serve as flexible stitch holders. I removed a single row on one side so that the graft would result in a full repeat of the edging pattern without adding anything extra. It took several tries to fiddle the loops into place, advance planning and preparation notwithstanding, and I finally had to call a halt to further manipulation for fear of over-handling the yarn. The faggoting on the inside edge proved especially tricky. Here are two photos that document the "during" and "after" of the repair. What I ended up with is still hardly the most perfect or inconspicuous graft in the history of lace knitting, but definitely represents an improvement over the original ugly blob. Hooray, and PHEW!!