Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Advent Calendar Scarf, Day 1


It's time for the madness of the Advent Calendar Scarf KAL.  The map above shows where the scarf is being knitted this year.  It is an amazing and wonderful thing to be making a project with knitters from all over the world at the same time.

The spacer section for this year is the same as in the last two years.  It calls for beads, but you can skip those if you choose.  I am knitting from stash, so I was a bit limited in my yarn choices, but, I found some cream Marino/silk lace weight yarn by Cascade.  I knit a cream colored scarf last year, but the yarn was alpaca, so this will look and feel quite different.  I thought I might buy some beads, but I was cranking out my last few projects for HPKCHC, and didn't have time to get to the bead store.  I have a few tubes of beads, so at midnight, when I was packing to go to So. Calif, I grabbed a tube of what I thought were gold beads and dropped them in the suitcase.  When I started knitting the spacer section, I realized that the beads I brought are actually amethyst colored.  I really like how they look with the cream yarn.
The first pattern is a very easy 4 rows.  There are no special stitches, just decreases, Left and Right, and YO's.  Every even row is simply purled.  You repeat these 4 easy rows six times.  It took me about 14 hours to knit.  I am not kidding.  I made every possible mistake a person can make.

The first thing I did was knit back row 2.  Luckily I realized it just as I was starting row 3, so I only had to tink row 2 and re knit (or really purl) it.

Then the trouble really began.  The thing is, if you place stitch markers (the repeat is 9 stitches), you have to move them over 1 stitch every 2 rows.  This is not a big deal, but I am such a professional lace knitter, that I decided to take out my stitch markers, and simply READ my knitting.  Well, I must be dyslexic or perhaps dysnumerate.  I made mistake after mistake.  I think I knit every row at least twice.  Again and again.

I stopped knitting to go to tea with my sister in law and niece.  Actually, I brought the scarf and knit it at the tea shop.  I am so pro, I didn't need the pattern by that point as I was able to memorize two rows of chart.  Except that when we got home, I realized that I had added extra YO's at some point, and I had to tink everything I had knit at the teashop  (yummy tea, at least).

Why didn't I just rip my scarf back to my lifeline?  I am such a pro lace knitter, that I DIDN'T USE A LIFELINE.

I finally got the scarf back to just three more rows, when dinner arrived.  One of the wonderful things that friends and family do for my brother is Meal Train.  People sign up to bring dinner on the days that my sister in law is gone.  I could do the cooking for the family.  But, this insures that there will be lots of visitors as well as yummy meals.  One of the hardest things about having ALS is how lonely and cut off you can get.  When friends bring these meals, they stop by for a half hour or so, and visit with my brother.  This is really important to him.  I get the great benefit of seeing old friends and meeting my brother's new friends.  Tonight, my cousin and aunt brought the dinner.  They live about a hour away, so it is really generous of them to drive up with dinner.  I don't see them very often, and we had a wonderful time.  The dinner was really yummy, too.

After they left, Mark and I watched a Star Trek movie together and I worked on the scarf.  I discovered that I did NOT have three rows left.  Not only am I incapable of counting to 9 stitches, but I can't count row repeats correctly, either.  I had three rows left and then another full repeat to do.  Thank goodness the rows of the chart are super easy!

I finally finished the pattern for Day 1.  It is amazingly clever and beautiful.  The lace looks like Christmas Trees.
I hope tomorrow's pattern goes more smoothly.  Perhaps I should use stitch markers... and maybe a lifeline.

I am adding a bit to this entry.  For the last 2 years, I did photo tutorials of the stitches used in making this scarf.  I plan to do so again this year, but for any stitches covered in the last two scarves, I will just give links to those blog posts.  I hope this is helpful to anyone who is new to lace knitting. 

Stitches in the Spacer: 
The only stitch that might be new is the Left Leaning Decrease :

I will admit that I don't use this stitch.  I just do an SSK.  I tried both of these and can't see any difference in how they look.  My feelings are that you can chose the one you prefer, or is easier to do.  But, try them both and then pick if you want.

The Day 1 pattern has no new stitches.

shaping the planet with Christmas trees.

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