Saturday, March 19, 2011

Silk Shawl Beginnings

I learned a new stitch this week and after practicing it on five bookmarks with four different thread types and sizes I was pretty sure I'd found the stitch I wanted to work the silk thread shawl with. The stitch is known as Solomon's Knot aka Love Knot. The pattern I settled on was called The Solomon's Knot Trellis and uses no other stitch. Even the foundation chain is made of Solomon's Knots.

Below I enlarged a section of the picture to show more detail of the stitch. Of all the other threads I tried so far I like the way this stitch looks with the bamboo thread. I think I'll consider making a shawl out of the bamboo with the Solomon's Knot someday. Or a scarf.

So the shawl is going to be shaped like a T-square or an L with equal sized legs. I needed a stitch and pattern that would lay the same on both the vertical and horizontal as the rows will be worked on one long (55'') leg until the desired width (27'') is reached and then the other leg is worked on up to 55" with 27" rows. The V hangs down the back and the legs over the shoulders so the only way both legs would show the pattern symmetrically was if it looked the same horizontally or vertically.

Since the forth row has brought me to approximately one inch high, I'm estimating I'm going to need 100 (give or take a half dozen) of the long rows before I start working the narrow rows up one side.

The stitch can be made any length desired and even though I've started out with a fairly small length around 1/3 inch, I'm considering doing some sections in the middle with longer knots. Probably double so that where there are two on the row below there would be only one. I don't know. It is just an idea I may experiment with. I'm getting all kinds of ideas doing variations on themes, mix and match of stitches and stitch sizes etc since reading in Freeform Knitting and Crochet the last few days. It is in that book I saw the L shaped shawl too. The Solomon's Knot Trellis was in Teach Yourself Visually Crochet.

I made significant progress on the fringe work on the bamboo baby afghan the last few days as well. I worked through several of the kinks that were stalling me--little issues I needed to figure out solutions for, some to do with cutting the fringe pieces, some to do with work station set up, some to do with how to hold the afghan edge properly to keep the already done fringe on one side and the tails from the row work on the other out of the way as I worked to attach a single fringe piece between them. It is quite frustrating to be tightening down a fringe piece only to discover that the tail next door has gotten pulled in and that loosing the fringe loop to pull out that tail invariable causes one or more strings in the fringe to be pulled out a bit or a lot or altogether and the only way to fix it is to pull the fringe piece out and start over.

I've been averaging ten minutes per fringe piece and there are 155 on each side!!!

Thats 25 hours per side!

Another annoying thing I discovered is that I really can't work the fringe while watching TV or videos (except for the talking head segments of news) as I have to keep my eyes on my work with brief glances at the screen. That is the other way around from when I'm crocheting with a stitch and pattern I know well. Which is why I've allowed myself to go ahead and start the shawl before finishing the afghan. Besides the shawl has a late April deadline

Also depriving myself of the other projects until I finished the afghan fringe work just turned out to mean that I watched a whole lot of video and TV with no work at all in hand. I decided that had to change when I once more had nothing new to report on the afghan last Thursday. Just since then I've made five bookmarks, 3 and 1/2 55" rows on the silk shawl and problem solved the afghan fringe issues getting ten fringe pieces attached.

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