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Archive for September, 2012

Fern Glade

The lace motifs are all meant to represent ferns, except for the edging, which is called “snail shells.” Can you see the little helix snails?

This is the Fern Glade shawl. The pattern is from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I’ve knit one of Ms. Siemen’s patterns before, Peacock Feathers, and recalled having mixed feelings about how the pattern charts were presented. The pattern instructions are clear and I found no errors anywhere. However, the charts are all large print, so large that the left half of each chart is not represented and the knitter is required to flip the symbols around in her or his head for the left half of each row. Even then, some of the charts are broken up because they won’t fit across a single page. It’s nice that the charts don’t require magnification or enlargement (unlike, for example, the charts in Victorian Lace Today) but these charts commit the opposite sin by being too large. I can’t visually group symbols together as I would normally do because they are so spread out. What bugs me is that I can’t figure out why the charts are so large. If you can’t see (or use aids such as magnifiers) well enough to read a standard chart, how the heck are you going to see well enough to knit the lace? The pattern is, however, lovely and well-written, and I will be knitting it again.

The topic of seeing well enough to knit brings me to some personal news. In early August I had surgery to repair a detached retina. Eye surgery is nothing if not nerve-wracking, and the recovery hasn’t been much fun, either. My vision in that eye is still pretty messed up and will be for some time… although, if the vision is screwy, it’s because I still have vision on that side, so I suppose I should be thankful. I got back to knitting a few days after surgery, and knitting lace after about two weeks. I was allowed to go running at 3 weeks post-op (!) along with riding my bike, although it was a few weeks more before I felt comfortable with my regular bike commute. As of this writing I’m back to doing everything except for driving and excessive amounts of reading (I’m subscribed at audible.com instead, now I can read and knit at the same time!) and I’m counting the days until I can go and get new glasses to catch up with my new vision.

This is one of the larger shawls I’ve knit, at 36″ deep by 72″ wide. Cat included for scale.

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