I am finally, FINALLY onto the second chart of my Icarus shawl. Where I thought I was never going to get. It’s pretty much the only thing I’ve worked on this week, other than the slight detour for the mister’s birthday present.
Those large rings you see are my stitch markers, marking the pattern repeat. They’re actually the really cheap key ring-type thing you can get at the craft store in packs of 50 or 100. I like them because they’re thin, large, and easy to see if I drop one when switching it from needle to needle. For the edge and center markers I’m using small metal rings, and every time I drop one it takes a little while to find it again.
I used to have quite the large collection of dangly stitch markers, including a few I made from hand-made glass beads an ex made me while we were dating in high school. But then I realized I hated them. I hated having to flip the dangles to the knit side when I was working purls, and I especially hated how much they weighed. I have 30 more stitch markers on my needles now then when I was working the first chart, but the needle doesn’t weigh anything more. If I had used beaded stitch markers, I probably would have given up the markers already just because of their weight and then become really frustrated when I screwed up my pattern.
As it is now, the rows feel like they’re both going faster and slower than the first chart. The chart definitely requires more concentration. This is now no longer good TV knitting. I like seeing the patter emerge though, and it’s interesting when before it was all really boring stockinet and a few yarn overs. So, concentration makes it feel like it’s going slower. But the stitch markers make it feel like it’s going fast. It seems like I’m always moving a marker, so I haven’t yet got frustrated with how long a row is taking me now.
One really good thing for me and marking the pattern repeats is that it’s much easier to see where I am, and to be able to put down the knitting in the middle of a row. Without the markers, I know I would be continually referencing the chart, trying to figure out where I am; even though there is fifteen repeats of pattern on each side of the center line of the shawl, it’s only repeated once on the chart, so I’d have to try to not forget where I am in that particular repeat. With the markers, it’s really easy. It also makes it easy to pick back up when I have to stop for some reason, because I only have to read twelve stitches to figure out where I am, instead of counting off the whole row.
I think I might actually finish this on time (deadline is May 1 for a wedding), and so am excited to work on it, which means it’ll get done (hopefully) faster than it would if I was frustrated and thought there was no way I’d make it.
Also, this post is ridiculously longer than I thought it would be.