Friday, June 08, 2007

Voodoo Shawl Update:
Maui Style

Lisa Louie guest-blogs today from Maui, and gives us an update on the Voodoo Shawl's progress. Lisa is test-knitting the pattern before it is offered for sale. The protoptype Voodoo Shawl will be auctioned off soon to benefit an American Buddhist monastery, in memory of designer Lily Chin's mother and sister. If you're a new reader; I designed the pattern and knit the first half of the shawl for this fundraiser, then mailed it to Lisa for completion. For more information about the fundraiser (and earlier photos of the shawl in progress) go to my 4-27-07 post in the archves: "Listen, do you want to know a secret?" --Mambocat

Lisa writes:

Tarnation. Damnation. Ripnation. These words don’t seem to have much in common, and in fact, I made the last word up. But, at least to me they seem to have something in common: me and the shawl for Lily’s family. Tarnation because it’s been quite………… vexing in some regards. Damnation, because that’s probably the least offensive of some of the words I’ve used about it recently, and ripnation, because it seems I’ve been visiting the nation of ripping. As in ripping out rows of knitting. Also known as “tinking” or unknitting stitch by stitch.

I am making progress, however, but have been troubled by a couple of areas requiring extra attention. First problem was the dreaded “color stacking” or “color pooling” problem. This occurs when the individual colors of your variegated yarn start collecting themselves into unsightly blobs on your knitting instead of flowing into graceful and attractive bits of color disbursed throughout your work. This is a simple problem to fix. Once you notice it. It took me a few more rows than I care to admit to before I noticed the problem and ripped back. This, as you may have guessed, lead to the second word of the series: damnation. Some language, which I will not sully this blog with, ensued.

After I fixed the problem, I kept going, and found myself making good progress. I also made a serious boo boo and placed a series of YOs (yarn overs) in the wrong places. Oops. Yes, it was obvious. Yes, it needed to come out (sob, sob) and yes, there was both tarnation at myself for screwing up something so simple, and again, more language politely covered by the word damnation. This time it was about 10 rows that had to be removed. Ouch.

At this point, I can safely report that I am over both roadblocks and find myself rapidly approaching the end of the second skein of yarn. Total yarn usage on this shawl will be about 2 ½ skeins worth of knitting, so significant progress is being made. (Yarn: Blue Moon, Socks That Rock.)

I have come to the conclusion that this shawl seems to have its own agenda and time frame. I was hoping to have it done and for sale by Mother’s Day, but that is obviously not the case. It will be done when it is ready, and not before.

Often when I am knitting, I play a music or concert DVD. My soundtrack for this project seems to be Concert for New York, which is a collaborative effort of many, many famous musicians (think Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi and more) to honor and support the firefighters, police and medical personnel of New York after 9/11. I’m not sure if this is a fluke, but it seems to be appropriate for this shawl to be “born” to a soundtrack created after a tragedy of unprecedented horror which affected New York, and the world. The shawl is, after all, created to honor Lily Chin’s mother and sister and their losses and the hole they presumably left in Lily’s, a native New Yorker, life. At some level, the inspiration and message of the concert and the shawl are the same: Hope, healing and comfort after a terrible loss. Honor those who are here no longer. Comfort and support yourself and go forward. Or, maybe the shawl just likes rock and roll.

Either way, it’s on its way to being done, and just so you know, it right now is about 400 stitches wide, and growing at the rate of 4 stitches every two rows. It’s going to be awesome.

--Lisa Louie

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At 2:53 PM, Blogger KnitterMan said...

Wow, it is BEEEEYOOOOtiful!

And when it is available for the fundraiser, I definitely want to post info at Knitivity, as well as sharing the pattern with my readers!

Lovely work!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Ryn said...

Wow! That is a fabulous shawl! The colours are just delicious. Which STR colourway are you using?

I totally feel your pain on that "ripnation" thing. Tinking back lace is such. a. pain. Hope things go more smoothly the second time around!

PS. Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog. :)


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