Orchid Thief Progress Picture Edition

So I'm in the middle of the 2nd repeat of chart 3. I can't think about the repeats too much otherwise I just confuse myself . So I just look at the stitches and work them as they come. It's obvious where the decreases should be, where the knits and yos go and the spines let me know when my count is right. I've gotten off by a stitch once or twice (probably by forgetting a yo somewhere) so I just fudge it and trudge on. Good thing nobody pays me to do this and have any expectations of perfection.

So anyway, here it is so far. I really like the color quite a bit. But the yarn isn't quite as soft as my first skein of DIC smooshy that I ever worked with. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have enough yarn for this (gauge? what?). I went down a needle size just to be on the safe side after what happened with Hanami and my DIC skein had 450 yards when the yarn in the pattern only has 440. But then again, I'm the girl that ran out of yarn with 1,000 friggin yards to work with.


Orchid Thief - WTF Edition

Ok, so remember how I was raving about how simple the Orchid Thief was in my last entry? That was all a damn lie. Ok, it wasn't a complete lie. Casting on and working charts 1 and 2 were pretty simple and intuitive. No issues there whatsoever. And really, the pattern is very clear and distinctive in your yarn so you can really see what you're doing and can easily tell if you get off track. So that's nice and really once you start one row you don't even really need to look at the chart again to see what needs to be done. It's very repetitive.

The issue begins with chart three and Ysolda's repeat boxes. You do chart 3 a total of 3? 4? times (I can't remember and I'm at work so I can't reference the pattern). There are 4 pink boxes indicating repeat sections of that chart. And this may be me since I'm still a novice with lace knitting and shawls but when I see a repeat box that says to me 'oh I need to repeat this portion of the chart again immediately'. But if you do that when you first start working chart 3 your whole world will turn to shit because that's not what those little repeat boxes mean at all. At least not for the first time you work the chart. I am so glad Virginia pointed me to the Ysolda group over at ravelry when I mentioned I was going to tackle this shawl.

I found a discussion about the errors and errata for The Orchid Thief and the general madness that lies within the charts. I thought the big issue would be on row 86, the beginning of chart 4 but it seems like quite a few people have gotten confused by chart 3 (including myself). So I saved several versions of the shawl in my favorites where beautiful, lovely ravelers have made detailed notes for making your way through this mess. Little Blue Duck's notes for chart 3 are so helpful! I don't think I'd have figured it out if it weren't for her breaking down how the repeats should go. How in the world does one even figure that out to begin with if it's not clearly mentioned in the book? Ysolda is an evil trickster with her charts. I need my patterns to be simple and easy to follow line by line. So far any pattern I've tried by her has involved entirely too much thinking. But her patterns are incredibly beautiful so I'll probably keep subjecting myself to this kind of mental anguish just so I can have pretty things.


Hanami Photos

So here's the infamous Hanami. Overall I have to say I'm pretty damn happy with it. I can see a few spots where I fudged it up a bit, but you gotta be looking for them to notice the mistakes. I LOVE the color. It's such a beautiful shade of purple. It should probably be longer but that's my fault for running out of yarn but it still works ok. I did get it finished before my fitting for my dress so I can take it with me to see how they'll look together. Yay!

Now on to the pictures. There will be a few of them.

My favorite part of the entire shawl is where the basket weave transitions into the cherry blossoms.

My modified cherry blossom ending with just a few rows of garter.

I love it. I'm so proud of myself for tackling this for my first shawl ever.


Shawl Fever

So I had so much fun knitting Hanami I decided to cast on for another shawl straight away. I was browsing around ravelry's popular shawl/wrap patterns listing and stumbled across The Orchid Thief. It's quite pretty and conveniently enough I have the book Brave New Knits so it was a winner. I'm knitting it with the Dream In Color Smooshy in Absolute Magenta. This shawl is knitting up fast too! Coming from lace weight fingering weight feels like worsted to me right now. I'm through the first chart already and the pattern is really intuitive and fun. And so far it's the easiest to understand Ysolda pattern I've done yet.

Hanami Fin.

I decided to finish up the hanami with a few rows of garter stitch. I didn't want to take the chance of ordering new yarn and it not matching the way it should (plus it was $36! Jeez!). I'm a little sad I didn't get to finish it out the way the pattern calls for since it's just so pretty but I've got it blocking out right now and it seems to still look pretty good. It did bleed quite a bit when I put it in water to soak. When I poured the water out it looked like purple koolaid. Hopefully it won't bleed more after that.

The good news is I really enjoyed knitting Hanami. The pattern was interesting but not difficult once I got the hang of it and it changed often enough to keep it interesting even though it was such a long pattern to knit. I'll probably do another one, maybe not quite as wide as a scarf? I like that idea.


Hanami Part Uh Oh

I've hit a hiccup with my Hanami. I'm out of yarn. And I'm not out of pattern. I didn't think that was possible with 1000 frigging yards of yarn. The pattern doesn't even call for 1000 yards of yarn! I thought I was safe! (And no, of course I didn't check my gauge. When have I ever had that much sense?)

This big pile of purple is my Hanami. Please ignore the terrible photo, I was lazy and took it with my phone.

This is how much yarn I have left.

And I've got most of chart F, all of chart G plus the ruffle boarder to finish. What do I do? Do I order more $36 yarn that may or may not match perfectly? Do I just say screw it and knit a few rows of garter and bind off? Do I rip it out? Is there absolutely anyway that I can manage to reknit this whole damn thing in the time I have left? I seriously doubt it.

The one  thing that is in my favor is that it's the cherry blossom end so other than being shorter there is no real noticeable difference of where the pattern ends so I could skip the rest of chart F but I probably still need chart G and the wavy border if I want it to look anything like the real thing. But if I just do garter and bind off it'll probably still look fine. It's not like the beginning of the shawl is perfect anyway.

So...what to do? What to do? I have no idea.