ALCAZAR – FINISHED. LESSONS LEARNED

That’s it! I grafted the final row of the edging to the first row to
make an invisible seam. I’m done except for blocking. That will have to
wait a bit as I am swamped right now, with no prospect for a large
block of free time with a floor to hand in order to play with the thing
before the latter part of July. Still, I’m done. Here’s a shot of my
Alcazar in all its rumpled, squished edge, pre-block glory that we can
use for comparison to the (eventual) post-block photo I promise to
plaster up here as soon as it is available.

Unblocked
it measures about 40 inches across. If worked in the suggested needle
size with the suggested yarn, this shawl is supposed to block out to be
56 or so inches across. I’ll probably make it to 48 or so, tops because
both my yarn and needle were smaller than those recommended.

Lessons learned:

  1. Read the pattern and make sure you understand it before embarking on a project.
  2. Faux
    silk (rayon) is a very unforgiving and unstretchy material from which
    to knit lace. Care must be taken with gauge because it’s very easy to
    knit too tightly.
  3. Did I mention the "read your pattern" thing?
  4. There
    are some minor quibbles in the pivot charts. Occasional one or two
    stitch fudging is necessary to make the edging and corners come out
    right. While I’d rate the majority of this pattern as "quite
    straightforward and quick to knit if you’re comfortable with charts"
    and "a challenge mostly because of size, not because of complexity"
    those little problems might be enough to set a beginner off his or her
    feed. But even a lace knitting beginner, armed with the knowledge of
    where those little nuisances might be and the courage to work through
    them, could complete this project.

Now what?

I have
the opportunity for some serious knitting time over the next week. I
had hoped that I’d still be working on this shawl, but wonder of
wonders – I finished early. I might pick up the Rogue again, but it’s
not particularly convenient for my target window (why will become
evident in ten days).

To be truthful, I haven’t quite licked
the lace/non-wool knitting bug yet. There are lots of options. I’ve got
some lace-weight linen in the stash. I’ve got a Rachel Schelling
pattern collection here somewhere. I could play with them together. Or
now that I’ve got the cotton to knit my North Truro Counterpane, I could restart that project. Other possibilities are the doilies on Yarn Over.
I have as little use for doilies as I have for shawls. They look fun to
knit, but I haven’t the inclination to use them. I could use a table
runner though. Hmmm.

Round-up – Needle sizes and Kitchener Stitch

Finally,
for those that are asking – I will return to the needle summary as soon
as I have time. Those data notes take a bit of research to write up, and
time hasn’t exactly been plentiful.

And on the Kitchener
Stitch documentation project, I’ve been in touch with a couple of
people active in historical British military kit research. They’re
branching out to their own networks, and have recommended some sources
that might confirm (or debunk) the notion that Kitchener’s revised
clothing specifications included seamless toe socks. No one has offered
up any other citations. So I’m still looking…

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