FO Friday: Red Seas

2546 Red Seas Shawl

I brought yarn and needles for a number of new projects on my family vacation over the Fourth of July.  I promised myself that I could cast on ONE new project for every TWO that I finished.  Well, I finished socks and a cowl, so I rummaged through my knitting bag (and box, and 2nd bag) and brought out a skein of Stroll Tonal in “Gypsy,” along with the pattern I’d matched it with … at the same time, elsewhere in knitting-land, the Beginner Lace Knitters group on Ravelry chose a tempting pattern for their July Knit-A-Long. I looked at the yarn and needles I had in hand, and realized they were perfect for my very own Rough Seas. Out the window with my original plan! I cast on with glee, and given the results … I’m not a bit sorry. (Shawl is smaller than it appears here, modeled by my almost-9 son.)

2547 Red Seas Shawl

Project: Red Seas

Pattern: Rough Seas

Designer: Preita Salyer

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal

Although I’m in love with my finished shawl — I even wore it while I waited in line for 3 hours for a signing of the new “Game of Thrones” book! outside, in July! — I have to say, with all respect, the pattern as it is currently available is almost unusable.  It is rife with errors, omissions, and confusing instructions.  Were it not for great notes on existing projects on Ravelry, it would have been nearly impossible to follow. Even with those notes, I still had trouble sorting out which parts of the pattern were right and which were wrong.  The lace charts included in the pattern were non-standard and had errors and conflicting design (right vs. left half of shawl). I ended up making fresh charts in excel to show how I decided to do the pattern … I made enough changes that you could argue that my shawl isn’t really a “rough seas” at all.

2551 Red Seas (greenery)

Corrections I used for my shawl:

  • Inserted a WS row between Rows 7 & 8
  • Repeated Rows 1 thru 10, eleven times total — 231 sts altogether, 113 on each “side” (not including 2 edge sts and center spine st).
  • I saw no reason to use the increase rows as written, since I already had the right # of sts.

Lace charts:

  • I used the ssk/k2tog orientation from the “right side of shawl” chart (they are reversed on the “left side” chart).
  • I opted for a s2kp rather than a sk2p, because I like the more centered look with a vertical line.
  • I extended the lace pattern into the corners to avoid a big chunk of un-patterned stockinette.
  • I added an increasing section on the edge (to use the edging YOs).
  • I used my corrected/altered “right side” chart for both sides, thus avoiding the problems with the “left side” chart, including the pattern repeat box being one stitch too large, and also the missing column of ssk’s near the center increases.
  • I decided to do three (rather than two) repeats of the edging to better balance the shawl (and use up more of my skein).
  • I finished with one additional repeat of row #1 to “finish” the points on the pattern.
  • I used a decorative crochet finish rather than just binding off, for prettiness and to avert curling on the FO.

Crochet edge:

  • In the “points” I (DC, ch5, DC) in the stitch below the point.
  • Between points, I (DC, ch3), with the DC going through TWO stitches…
  • … except for the THREE sts at the point of the lozenges, where I (DC, ch3) with the DC going through THREE sts (so it would be centered.

I’ve made my version of the rough seas charts available on Google docs.

2552 Red Seas (point)

I thought this shawl is a great example of how much blocking can change a knitted object.  Here you see the unblocked shawl: you can barely see the eyelet rows in the body, and the lace and crochet edging looks lumpy and curled. You can see that it is about six boards across the wingspan.

2531 red seas (unblocked)

Here is a photo of the shawl while being blocked: you can see that I’ve straightened the top edge, and pulled out the points severely. I kept the triangle shape rather than morphing it into a more curved shape.

2534 rough seas (blocking)

Here is the fully blocked and dried shawl — nearly 10 boards across! The yarn (superwash sock yarn) has held the blocking better than it has any right to. The points especially have stayed crisp and dramatic.  Yay!

2549 Red Seas

Cast-On Monday

While on vacation I finished several projects, which meant I could cast on new projects! I brought several yarn+needle combinations with me, including leftover Swish DK in Hollyberry and Marble Heather that my youngest son picked out for his requested cowl.  He wanted it to be “half red and half grey,” and I wanted it to be cabled (so it would stand up better). I conjured up a way to knit it without seaming ….  and it was so fast and easy I finished it while on vacation! I’ll write up a pattern and test knit it later, but here is the prototype of my Two-Color Knit-Flat In-The-Round Cabled Cowl:

2524 two-color cowl

I also had with me yarn and needles destined to be Bertha’s Mad, Mysterious Mobius, but then the Beginning Lace Knitters chose Rough Seas as there July KAL, and I couldn’t resist!  My Stroll Tonal in Gypsy was too perfect for words, so I gave up the mobius (at least for now) and cast on my Red Seas Shawl:

2505 Red Seas

As of today, I’ve finished the body and done three repeats of the lace edging (I’m weighting my yarn after each repeat — I’ll make it as big as I can). I have to say, there are a LOT of problems with this pattern — confusing parts, mis-count stitches, missing rows, poorly-formatted charts with several different types of errors — BUT, the finished shawl is so pretty, it’s worth the effort to muddle through the pattern + helpful notes to figure out how to get it done.