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A couple of weeks ago I spent a day gathering up my far-flung WIPs. I had bags in my library, in my knitting nook, in the living room, in the bedroom and in my office at work! Seeing everything piled up in one place was a bit daunting but, in the perverse attitude of a fiber freak, fantastically energizing.

Using Ravelry and my Knit Buddy iTouch app, I arranged everything into two categories. The ones that I felt I could get to at least once a week became WIPs. The others went into my Queue.

As I became reaquanted with my neglected WIPs, I slammed head first into the one rule that I just can’t seem to retain. Make REAL notes! Cryptic jottings do not qualifiy!!

My Stonington Shawl is a perfect example. Here is a reproduction of the notes I made on the Xerox copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s instructions.

When I first laid out the shawl, I realized that I was about halfway finished with the second trapezoid. Wow! What luck! With my notes, I shouldn’t have any trouble with this garter stitch segment. I knit and knit and knit. There was a marker in my knitting that I assumed (a word that should be removed from the English language) that it marked a boundary. Once I had worked up to that marker, I would have the 200 stitches that were to form the outer edge. In my defense, I did count the stitches on the first outer edge and they added up to 200.

Towards the top of the second trapezoid, or what I thought was the top, I became curious and counted my stitches – a lot more than 200! And, I still had a couple more rows before I reached the deceitful marker! Blast!!!!

By now I have over 400 stitches loaded onto my 32” circular needle. Time to transfer all of the stitches onto a very long piece of cotton yarn so I can spread out my shawl and figure out just what in the world is going on!! Notice how I didn’t cut a long piece of yarn. If you are trying on a sweater and have a good idea how big around it will be, then you can cut a long piece of yarn with extra to accommodate any errors in your calculation. But, with a shawl, you really don’t know how much yarn you will need so don’t cut until the shawl is spread out. That way you won’t run out of the scrap yarn and you can re-use it later.

Well, then, now what seems to be the trouble?

Clearly I have managed to add many more stitches to the second trapezoid than the first. Since it seems to be a problem from the very beginning, my guess is that my mathematical (let alone geometry) skills failed me much more than my lack of detailed notes.

This is going to require A LOT of ripping out. And, I'm not really that pleased with the way it looks. I absolutely love this colorway - Bayou - so I want a shawl that shows it off. This does not look like the answer. I'm going to go off to eat dinner and spend the evening wandering around in Ravelry and the internet. I have a little idea buzzing around in my head but you will have to wait until tomorrow.

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Comment by Beverly Roberts on April 1, 2010 at 9:54am
P. s., If I hadn't already been sold on the "Bayou", I certainly am now. Love those colors!
Comment by Beverly Roberts on April 1, 2010 at 9:53am
What is this magical I-Touch of which you speak? Low tech household here, still not really sure what an MP3 player or Blue tooth are (seriously). But I love the podcasts in which you talk about methods/tools/equipment to help organize yarn and knitting. I currently have yarn and projects in my office/computer room, my bedroom, living room, kitchen and the upstairs hallway....I'm doomed ;)
Comment by cherie in rgs on March 31, 2010 at 6:07pm
Thanks for the inspiration once again, Kelley! I have been knitting when I should have been documenting. So now I will take the few minutes needed to write down what I have been doing.
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 31, 2010 at 5:50pm
Judith, I agree. I'd rather make sure I have it with me than my cell phone. I use mine so much for my knitting that my DH calls it my knittingPod. ♥c
Comment by parisribbons on March 31, 2010 at 3:27pm
I don't know how I could possibly love my iPod touch more than
I already do. I keep it with me wherever I am. I can't imagine how
I ever survived without it. - Judith
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 10:46pm
Judith, you will love your iPod Touch, seriously.
Comment by parisribbons on March 30, 2010 at 10:31pm
Kelley, Kelley, Kelly!
Thank you so much for the link to the KnitBuddy app. I can't afford an iPhone
but I have a small Macbook and for my birthday I got myself an iPod touch. My
little PDA had died and I was without brain. That touch is really sweet. I've banned
myself from the App Store for a while as I ran amok a bit but I'm making one
exception for this little goodie. It certainly is great to have brilliant friends. I don't
know what I ever did before I found all of you. Your site is the best and such a
gift for a disabled old broad.

Good luck with your shawl and please give Xena a kiss from me.
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 8:27pm
Oh, that's a good idea! Seriously, no sarcasm this time. ♥c
Comment by Didomum on March 30, 2010 at 8:21pm
Keeping note are for the most a good why to go but when your so heaverly in to your knitting it's so easy to let it slip. I have lots of notes just can't find half of them and after a short break I have already forgot. So DH have given me a small hand recorder and I have been using that. Seems to be doing good so fare. Sorry your shawl has not worked out.
Comment by cherylbwaters on March 30, 2010 at 7:44pm
She's a good one to copy! ♥c

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