Living on the edge

I’m so excited cause I’m finally casting off the EZ Pi shawl I’ve been working on for the past month or two. But I must say the pi shawl edging has been kicking my a** for the last couple of days. When I started the shawl, I had chosen this lovely lace edging from an older Vogue Knitting magazine. (Don’t remember which one because I got it from the library and made a scanned copy.) The instructions read that you should knit the edging first and then apply it to the garment when it reaches the appropriate length. Well, I just figured I could knit it right onto the shawl. Not so illogical, right? After doing a bit of swatching to get used to the pattern, I cast onto the shawl. My first attempt got totally screwed up was a bit wonky so I decided to meticulously unknit and try again. My second try was masterful, flawless, a thing of beauty… this is until I came to the last row of the pattern. The instruction read “bind off three”. Well, I was on the inside edge of the shawl. I can’t bind off on the inside edge!!! Now, I know I could have started right over and cast on the lace edge upsidedown/rightsidedown.  A knitter with much more experience and time on her hands may have chosen this path, but unfortunately for this beautiful lace edging, I am not that knitter. Having spent the entire evening only to be back at square one, I decided to abandon ship. The next 36 hours or so were spent coming to terms with this sad turn of events and in a desperate search for an alternative. It seems that there is a lot of talk about the Pi Shawl online, in ravelry forums, blogs, EZ fan sites, etc, but not a whole lot of discussion about specific edging options. Sure I saw a lot of photos, but not so many actual patterns. In the end, I decided to do what I never thought I would do… crochet loop cast off. Sort of boring, but really quick and easy and it blends nicely with the progressive holes/YO increases of the shawl. I chose a much smaller crochet hook than my knitting needle size (E hook vs. 10.5 needle) and am doing a slip stitch into every two stitches followed by chain 7. I like using the smaller hook because it makes a nice and neat, tiny chain of loops that probably won’t seem so loopy after blocking. Since I am getting to a point of concern over my holiday knitting schedule, this was really the best choice I think.

In other news, this weekend, while Jill was getting down and dirty with scouring her pygora fleece, I was “finishing” a huge backlog of handspun. I didn’t use any woolwash/soap, just water, a little lavender oil and a sound wacking on the tile counter. I can’t wait to see what “they” decide to be knit into…

I also got a little spinning done. It felt so good to get back on the wheel! Here is my progress on the BMFA Sheep to Shoe kit that Jill got me at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. It’s the Loch Ness colorway.

Not much, but it’s something. I followed the instructions on the kit and this is the first of three long strips, about 80% spun by this point today.

The next three days are going to be super busy for me so I don’t know how much gift knitting progress I’ll make before Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, OG is leaving for a week-long writing retreat, so I will have the apartment all to myself for lots of fibery mischief next week!

xo, JP

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