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September 21, 2006

Sometimes halfway is enough

The current state of the Shetland Triangle is blob:

While it's still perfectly comfortable to knit the blob on a 24" long circular, all the stitches are smooshed together, entirely concealing the blob's true size.

What's a grumpy girl to do?

Simple: take the blob off the needles and onto a length of yarn, and dry-block it!

Better yet, considering the symmetry of the shawl, dry-blocking only half of it works just fine:

Mmm hmm, measure here and there. Verdict: after 9 repeats of the main chart (I finally counted), it is 37" across and 19" deep.

Measuring is easy. Deciding what I want the final dimensions to be is much more tricky. I don't want it to be anywhere near as large as my mom's shawl (29.5" deep and 64" across). But the current size, 37", seems downright petite. So I did some scientific experiments.

Before you scrunch up your nose and roll your eyes, let me say that there's nothing wrong with the generally practiced methods of "knitting until it seems the right size" and "knitting until you run out of yarn." But considering I want this triangle to work with a close-fitting jacket, I'm aiming for a very precise size: as small as possible without looking dinky, if you know what I mean.

So, I first draped the measuring tape around my neck and stood in front of the mirror - where do I want the ends to dangle? Something like 48" seemed right to me. Second, I whipped out my most favorite silk scarf, and measured it - 52" across. Okay, kiddies, I'm shooting for 50"-ish.

While dry-blocking, I also measured the size of each fir cone - about 1 5/8" wide. Since two fir cones are added with each iteration of the chart, the shawl will widen by about 3.25" each time a repeat is worked. The math is simple:

(desired 50") - (current 37") = 13"
(13" to still knit) / (3.25"/repeat) = 4 more repeats to work.

Whether it will be 3 body repeats and 1 edging repeat OR 4 body repeats and 1 edging repeat I don't know yet. I may need to take the blob off the needles one more time to decide.

Blob, you'll be a scarf soon.


Just checkin' - will I see many of you talented Boston knitters at the 2006 Boston Knit-Out & Crochet Too? If I recognize you, I will say "hi," so I think you should do the same :).

Posted by Kathy on September 21, 2006 03:40 PM


I don't quite understand how you got the 3.25" number. wouldn't you just take the existing 37" /existing 9 repeats and get about 4.1"/repeat? which would mean 3 or 4 repeats left to do?

hmm...I must be missing something...

The blob is looking good blocked. I'll be at the Knit Out. :)

I love it when you get all scientific on me. Lovely scarf, by the way. I can't wait to see it go from blog to shawl.

To much math my head hurts. Looks great though - regardless of how big it turns out!

I will be there (I read your blog in silence) I will be at the info booth from 1-2 hope you stop by and I can meet you in person!

nice blob.

i won't be there on sunday so you don't have to go looking for me to say hi.


Oh Kathy, I want you to come live with me and do all my math. I will make you a quilt if you do :)

I'll be there, too - hopefully the weather forecast will stop looking so grim!

After all that measuring and calculating, I hope the shawl doesn't grow too much when you wet block it.

The "blob" looks great! It is always amazing to me just how big shawls get once blocked. They always look so small, but they just grow and grow...it gives me hope for my poor, shrunken shawl. :)

Love the color for the blob! It's very rich, and hey! It even matches the sides of your blog... Can't wait to see it finished!

I love the fact that you think with back of the envelope calculations. In fact I totally do it myself.


PS. I will be at the Knit-out too.

Lovely shawl! Sadly I will miss the knit out but several of the ladies from my stitch n bitch are going. Say hello to my friend Peta if you spot the Yarn Safaris booth and keep an eye out for a small pack of roving librarian knitters. :)

Lovely blob! I do scientific experiments with my knitting like that too. I am also a scientist, but I thought everybody did that kind of math. I guess I'm a bigger geek than I thought. I love the color you chose.

I am always in awe of your knitting. The shawl is shaping up wonderfully!

I'll be there! I'm one of the volunteers teaching knitting, and then I'll probably hang out for the rest of it because school started and I haven't knit a single stitch in days and the knit out is probably just what I need to get going again.

I'll be there! I'll probably recognize you from your photos and say hi if that's ok. Knowing me I'll be a groupie hanging out by the Woolcott people.

I'll be at the Knit Out. See you there!


The shawl looks great!

I won't be able to hit the Knit Out this year, because I've got a Rosh Hashana event. But I wish I could be there!

Love your shawl, both all scrunched up and stretched out.

Thanks for that! I'm on the 9th repeat of my Flower Basket Shawl--another design by Evelyn Clark. My 'baskets' measure about 2", so I can, with a quick conversion (about 25% larger than your fir cones), determine the proper size of my shawl. One more repeat for me before the edging, maybe?

Well, I must say that your oh-so-scientific-mathematical way of going about your knitting is very refreshing.
I'd like to think that I can use mathiness and scienciness to make my knitting great, not just craftiness...
So.. kudos to Kathy!

The shawl looks marvelous!

And I will indeed be at the knit out if this good weather holds - hope to see you there!

Heart the blob. See you at the Knit Out!

I'll be at the knit out bright and early, at 8:30am - uh, someone want to remind me again why I volunteered to set up? :P Anyway I look forward to seeing you and the blob there!

I am coming to Boston very soon, though not soon enough for the knitout. Any good Boston yarnstore recommendations?

That is a pretty blob.

The shawl is shaping up quite nicely!
Wouldn't it figure that I would miss my first Boston Knit Out because I have to go back to NY. (And I missed NY's Knit Out because I'm in the Boston area.) I need to get my timing right. ;)

Take them all off the needles and block?!

No m'am, I would rather wait for the suspense finale! [grin]

Jayme, I'm guessing there was a setup chart that added some width before the 9 repeats. Looks like there are 10 leaves on the spine, at least. It'll be beautiful!

What yarn are you using for the shawl? I love the color. Judging from the ball I'm imagining it's a merino......

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