I blew my knitting rota yesterday. No knitting at all. Well… about half a row on my Son’s vest. Yes, I have finally decided that it will be a vest. And a couple of rows on my new and improved “Joyful!” shawl. All in all, really nothing for me. Besides abandoning my knitting, I have put together every leftover from my fridge, pulled out fancy “American” cookies and opened a few cans. This let me avoid giving more than necessary time to meals, laundry and dishes without feeling too much guilt.
Why did I do all this? The answer is simple – so I could sit and concentrate with my yarn, hook, charts and video tutorials. I briefly mentioned before that after many years of not really crocheting much of anything, I jumped right in into a very advanced CAL for “Kasya”, a lovely crochet beaded shawl. Thankfully, all sanity has not totally left me, so I am doing a non-beaded version. This time around…
The process has been going very, very slowly because I really needed to concentrate on each stitch. With no outside destructions like kids, husband or laundry. This meant that I could crochet only after the kids are asleep. But by that time I am usually too tired for anything other than plain old garter stitch.
Oh, and the pattern is not written out in words. That would be too easy! It is a chart of half the shawl. The other side is a mirror image. I am supposed to extrapolate it myself. This doesn’t faze my Russian counterparts at all. They think that text is superficial and unnecessary. There are video tutorials for the first 15 rows. After that we are on our own. The way this CAL works is that we all paid (a very small sum) for the first part of the pattern. But to get the next part we have to post our photos of the finished first part on Instagram. By February 28.
Now you will understand why after a couple of weeks I was only up to Row 15. A week ago, with hours of work behind me, I finally reached Row 21. Somehow, I thought that first part was 21 rows. Well, I was mistaken! The author corrected me – I have to actually complete 25 rows for the first part. I was confused. My chart only went as far as Row 21! Now going back, I have to say that while video tutorial was wonderful, all along I was frustrated that I didn’t see exact stitch count for each row anywhere. So, I was kind of crocheting in the dark. After looking again through CAL materials, I found not only the second chart for rows 22 to 25, but also a chart for the first 21 rows with, yes, you guessed it – exact stitch count per each row given.
While my shawl looked good, and was similar to the photos other were posting, I still decided to check the stitch count on the last row. And it was off. Yes, and the row before. And 10 more rows down it was still off. It turned out I made a mistake on the first few rows.
I looked at it and thought – this can work. I can make adjustments. It will be OK. It really looked very good. But it was wrong… I couldn’t leave it like that. Then I had an idea and pulled out another cake of Flowers. I thought I will finish this shawl later. Meanwhile I will start another one, strictly following the pattern this time. After about 20 minutes of looking at my embryo shawl and the new and tantalizing cake of yarn I realized, that if I start a new yarn cake, I will never finish the shawl I already in progress. Simply because I will never be entirely happy with it. I thought about it some more, put away new yarn and began frogging. Stitch after stitch I undone my pretty shawl. Row after row disappeared.
It took me another week and three more froggings to get to Row 15. Then, yesterday, on the D-Day, February 28th, I knew this was it! I had to do 10 rows. First part had to be finished! It took me most of the day, but by 9 P.M. Row 25 was done! I feel triumphant! This mountain is mine!
If it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the process, please, understand – it is not so! I love the pattern and will definitely make another shawl, this time with beads!
And I am happy, I was brave enough to start frogging when I did. After all, another few rows and it just might have been too much to redo. And the shawl looks good. Very good. I actually couldn’t wait until morning. I took a picture and posted it on my Instagram. And got my second half of the pattern. Then I sat down and knit on my “Joyful!”. Oh, what a joy it is to have all my stitches on the needle, clearly visible and totally understandable!
P.S. I just spoke the designer of Kasia, if you are interested in buying her patterns she can be contacted on Instagram, just send her a private message.