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.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Ysolda's pattern Damson is relatively simple (looking) and yet it has kicked my ass more times than I care to count.

    I will make the Orchid Thief at some point, but I'm not sure I'm ready to take that one on yet... I'm impressed that you're tackling it!