Saturday, June 14, 2008

Alright, here's a formula...

Okay, so it seems that this lace pattern is a mite trickier for many than I had expected. So, I'm going to try to make it a bit easier so that all you have to do is plug in the numbers, and voila! There ya go!

So, the fan begins with an open shell in its first row, no? Then, the next row of the fan is (dc, ch 1) in each dc and ch-1 space of the first row. The third row is (dc, ch 2) in each dc across the fan, then another row of (dc, ch-1) in each dc and ch-2 space. The fourth row is the foundation row for the shells, alternating between skipping dcs and placing scs in every 2nd ch-1 space. Clear as mud so far?

As the fan pattern repeats, the number of each fan should increase by one. The first fan is made at the beginning of the pattern. Then, the next time open shells are worked there are two fans; the next time, three, and so on. Each new fan is worked between two fans of the previous set. Between each fan are closed shells, which finish off the fans below.

The number of shells between fans diminish by one each row, until there is one shell left between fans. The following row should be a whole row of shells, then following that row would be a row that begins with either a half-shell or sc, then an open shell, and ends with an open shell and half-shell or sc (depending on which repeat you are working).

Between each shell (no matter the type) and fan, there will always be an sc placed in the 3rd dc of the next shell (except during the second set of fans, where there is a dc2tog, skipping the sc. This is the only exception).

As I have previously mentioned somewhere in a post on Ravelry in the CAL group, I don't believe in mistakes...That's one reason I despise counting with a passion, as I tend to "eyeball" it and make a guess as to placements. Someone in the group mentioned in her projects page that she's enjoying watching this shawl grow organically, and I think that's the whole point of this exercise. This shawl does seem to be organic, and if it seems "off-balance" on some rows, it will inevitably even itself out on the next repeat. Rest assured, it turns out to be symmetric ( *wink* to those of you who constantly need balance!) despite its apparent tendency to be asymmetric. That's the beauty of this pattern. I've enjoyed putting the whole thing together, and crunching the estimations (if I were to say numbers, it would imply that I'm doing row counts, which I don't do :-P ) has been a lot of fun.

A couple of the gals asked me about an edging, which may not be necessary around the body of the shawl, but may be quite necessary if using a fine yarn such as a lace-weight (turns out, I'm using a light fingering, which is bigger than lace. Since I'm not a spinner--yet--I had no idea. I apologize to those who knew better!! :-D ). You can simply work slip stitches across the top of the shawl, or work scs. I wouldn't use a shell edging due to the shells that are all throughout the body--it would prove to be a bit much.

My goal this week is to put all these notes of the last couple weeks--plus YellowDuckie's charts, if she'll let me--into one comprehensive .pdf, which would be downloadable from Ravelry (once I get set up for that), and I'll also post the link here on my blog, perhaps on a sidebar.

I hope this mini-tutorial helps. Basically, this pattern is more of a guideline, and you may do what you want with it. Think outside the box, per se, and be willing to broaden your horizons. Forget about stitch counts, row counts, etc., and if it looks a little wonky, so what? See if you can balance it out with another repeat if you have the yarn. Once I'm finished with my own shawl, I'll try to post pics of it so everyone can see what it may look like.

Well, I'm heading off now. We are going to attempt to attend the Rose Festival at the Park of Roses in Clintonville this afternoon. Might try to take pictures, but we'll see. We all know how great I am at posting pics here. *tongue in cheek* God bless!

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