I like my shawls large. I get cold. I don't like cold. (I don't like dark, either, just for the record.) So I decided to make a large Damask. The pattern comes in three sizes and calls for either 8, 9, or 10 repeats of pattern along the bottom edge. I cast on and started the shawl before the Denmark trip. And I knit on it across the Atlantic. And I knit on it on the trains in Denmark. And I knit on it in the hotel rooms while waiting on the Cuddly Hubby. And late in the Denmark trip, I realized I didn't like the size. It was too small.
The one great flaw in the this pattern is that the shawl is started on the large bottom edge and knit to the top. This means that you need to guess correctly how much yarn you will use so you can guess what size to cast on. Unlike a top-down shawl, you can't just knit until you run out. So the only choice I could make was to rip back what I had knit and start over. I believe I ripped out something like 80g of lace knitting. One of the ladies in the knit night group was appalled that I would do this.
I did have a couple false starts (see my notes on Ravelry) but finally got it going. I ended up using 14 repeats of each pattern, so 28 total at the beginning for a grand cast on of 523 stitches. For an experiment, I used Jeny's Stretch Slip-Knot Cast-on. I chose this because I knew I would block the lace. And I figured the stretchy cast-on would guarantee an edge that would not get in the way of blocking. I am happy to report that in the end, it did behave as anticipated! Hurray!
|Diagram of shawl with 14 pattern repeats on bottom edge.|
Green lines indicate shaping.
Purple region is area not worked on my Damask.
For those of you wondering, here is the math:
Number of pattern repeats on a side -- Total number of area units in a whole shawl
1 -- ½
2 -- 2
3 -- 4 ½
4 -- 8
5 -- 12 ½
6 -- 18
7 -- 24 ½
8 -- 32
9 -- 40 ½
10 -- 50
11 -- 60 ½
12 -- 72
13 -- 84 ½
14 -- 98
As you can see, the numbers take big jumps as the number of repeats of motif increases. Interestingly, the increase is easy to figure. For example, going from 5 motifs to 6 means knitting 5 ½ more units of area. Going from 12 to 13 motifs means knitting 12 ½ more units of area.
Why is the notch so important? See tomorrow's post for more about how the notch affects wearing a shawl and for information about how to size a notch.
P.S. A big thank you to the Cuddly Hubby for working with me to get these great photographs! It isn't easy for an engineer to do photography for an art major.