I AM VICTORIOUS!!!!! Good GOD that was a pain in the ass. After much belly-aching and whining and way too much time I finally managed to get the Gimli section of my shawl done. Honest to god, those were the most annoying 14 rows ever. I’m both extremely glad that I have successfully finished this section (and put a super secure lifeline in place to ensure I never have to do it again!), but I am also pretty irritated with myself because I have a pretty good idea of what was going on that caused this section to be a painful basket of hellfire:
“Hammer and tongs! I am so torn between rage and joy, that if I do not burst, it will be a marvel!” – Gimli, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- I was stupid and didn’t correctly interpret the pattern. At the end of Legolas it indicated a stitch count of 87, and then at the end of the first row of Gimli it indicated a stitch count of 89. I did NOT register the change in the stitch count, nor did I really register that there was an increase happening. I just kept thinking I was supposed to start Gimli with 89, and I kept thinking I had the wrong number of stitches. This was NOT the pattern’s fault. It was correctly written. I was just being pretty daft.
- I wasn’t using enough stitch markers, nor was I really using them correctly. Again, the problem comes from Row 1 in Gimli where there was that sneaky 2 stitch increase. When I put the markers in at Row 1 they got all out of place after the two stitch increase that happens in that row, and that kept making me think that I screwed up when I hadn’t. This didn’t start to work until I waited until the second lace row to put my markers in.
- I am fairly sure that I wasn’t paying enough attention during my first couple attempts. I am sure I missed YOs, missed some K2Tog/SSKs, and extra super likely is that I didn’t notice some times when stitches were sort of hiding under other stitches, so when I knit them I ended up doing accidental decreases. I started to be super careful and meticulous (especially with the stitches hiding under other stitches thing).
When I posted about my struggles on Ravelry I got a ton of great suggestions, all of which helped me to finally triumph over this section, but one poster suggested I stop using my Wolle’s Colour Change Cotton, suggesting that the yarn was contributing to my difficulties. That was the one bit of advice that I did not take. I don’t doubt that using a high twist wool/wool blend would help some, but this yarn is driver for this project. Part of the reason I bought this Fellowship! The Shawl pattern was specifically for my Wolle’s yarn, to show off the long colour transition. Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot by stubbornly sticking with this yarn, but I don’t think so. The end result will be so amazing in this yarn…
Anyway, its done and I’m really happy with it. It FINALLY looks like it is supposed to so now when I do Gandalf (the next section) it will build upon it perfectly. HURRAY!