My first lace shawl...aka "WTF" shawl...

So Ive decided to name my first in progress lace shawl my "WHAT...THE...FUCK" shawl....why? Because it is playing tricks on me I dont understand. I had to frog it 4 times today before I could even get past row ten because the pattern instructions werent clear as to whether or not to do a double YO in the center between the two sides. Once I got that concept clear in my head, I got to the END of the first repeat of the pattern...on my second to last row, and then all of a sudden I find at the end I am missing a stitch...How? I dont know, I even undid my knitting back halfway (at this point there is a good 80 stitches on my needle) and tried it again...same thing...So as of right now I have had it with this thing for today, Im going to bed and will work on it tomorrow with a clear head. The pattern is "Gail (aka Nightsong)" on Ravelry if anyone cares to look it up and give me some helpful hints. This is my first shawl and first time doing lace and perhaps a little too advanced for me...But im determined to finish it. So if anyone has any ideas as to where my phantom stitch went please let me know cause Im going to give it a good talkin to.


HuskerChub's picture

I hope that you have had a little rest and are ready to look at this again. OK, so you are on row 33 or 34...row 33 SHOULD have 82 sts. Stop and count the total number of sts that you have. The next thing I would do, if I were you, is to round up some safety pins, paper clips, lockable stitch markers or just short lengths of yarn and separate EACH repeat of the motif. I would place a marker between sts 2&3, 3&4, 20&21, 23&24, 40&41, CENTER (double yarn over) pm between yo's on row 34, 42&43, 59&60, 62&63, 79&80, 80&81. Breath deep.

Since you are missing a sts somewhere, finding the above marker placements will help you to determine where the one missing stitch should be and if it is a yo or a knit st that is missing. Remember this is a mirror image from left to right so you could begin counting sts at each edge working toward the middle (my choice). This is how I would do it saying it aloud as I physically move the sts toward the edges, K2, YO, dec, k2, yo, k3, yo, k1, yo,k3, yo, k2, dec, yo, dec, yo, dec, k2, yo, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2, dec, yo (you are at center). As soon as you find the trouble spot, HOLD it and find something (a marker?) to mark the area so you don't lose it and have to go looking again.

My best guess is that you missed a yo somewhere. If that is the case, you can unknit to that point and put it in or if you missed the yo in row 33 and found it missing on row 34; work to the place it should be, and lift the bar where the yo should have been and work it WITHOUT twisting it so that is opens up. This "yo" will not be as open as a real yo but once block noone will ever know the difference.

Lastly, let me recommend that you start using a lifeline. Lots of new lace knitters find it a true lifesaver. Get some fine cotton or silk or nylon or something slick and a blunt needle with a large eye. Thread the lifeline through all of the stitches every few rows. This allows you to unravel a few rows of knitting and then pickup the live sts from the lifeline.

I hope that these tips help, if you have ?'s please feel free to email me.

Kerry's picture

Welcome to the world of lace. What works for me is to count the stitches at the end of each row, it is so easy to miss a yo. I also use a lifeline. Tedious I know but better than ripping out and starting again.

HuskerChub's picture

One thing I forgot to mention, THANKS. Thanks for the link to the pattern. I've been itching to start a new lace project, as if I don't already have 4-5 started! But I was looking for something easy enough to pump out, yet challenging enough to keep me interested and motivated...I looked through my library of lace patterns and books 3 times last weekend and could not find anything I wanted to do. I felt like an 8 year old walking around saying "I'm bored, I wanna do something." Well, I started tonight and have gotten through 2 repeats of the pattern so it is growing nicely. That's the fun part of starting lace, it grows quickly, the reverse side of it is that as it nears completion you feel like you're never going to get a row completed because there are so many stitches, LOL.

MMario's picture

Have you done Birch? Or a similar pattern? The initial enthusiasm for a project gets you through the beginning - and then since each row grows SHORTER the project speeds up as you go.....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation