Thursday, August 10, 2006

What I'm Learning from Charlotte's Web

As a child, I loved this E.B. White book, and believe it or not, learned quite a bit from everyone's favorite grey spider-writer. To this day, it's one of my favorites -- I'm the proud owner of the annotated Charlotte's Web, an original pressing, my own childhood copy and even a t-shirt of the "Some Pig" web, complete with Wilbur looking on. Charlotte A. Cavatica teaches about friendship, about the power of even the smallest, and just how fulfilling having a goal in life can be. It seemed only natural that I would do this project for myself, and this was my last-minute cast-on for the marathon.

That said, lessons from Charlotte -- the shawl, not the spider -- have been ongoing since the beginning. So ... what have I learned?

  • I hate to purl. Yes, I knew this going into the project, but thought that forcing myself to purl WS rows might give me an appreciation for the stitch and even perhaps speed up my purling. I was so terribly wrong that it sickens me. But, in the interest of the marathon and my insane desire to wrap myself in this koigu, I'm slogging on.
  • I really do like lace knitting. The only real lace projects I've done have been simple patterns on socks and the concentric circles pi shawl. I haven't yet experienced the miracle of blocking lace (sorry, pi, your turn is coming) but it's fascinating to knit a lace pattern.
  • I can knit from a chart. For some reason, patterns with charts have freaked me out for my entire knitting career. Charts just make things look, well, complicated. Especially when there is more than one to follow. Lucky for me, there's just one for Charlotte.
  • There is such a thing as a crappy chart. When I bought the Koigu pattern at MS&W way back when, I eyed the chart with extreme contempt. I even opened the document to see if the lace pattern had been written out inside. It was, and so I purchased it. As it turns out, I've been using the chart more than I thought, so I'm intimately familiar with its nuances and it's over-complicatedness. The folks who designed this shawl really made it much more difficult to follow than it needed to be. And if you scour the blogosphere, I'm not the only one saying it.

There you have it. Lessons from Charlotte. I'm actually only 20 rows from being at the edging stage, and my plan is to do a simple crochet edging without the fringe (I'm not a fringy kind of girl). I'm actually cutting the shawl one repeat short to keep it at a decent size (I'm not a big person), so I anticipate being done maybe by the weekend.

And the race continues!

1 comment:

vanessa said...

i love koigu yarn, but their patterns suck. my charlotte has a simple shell crochet edge. there's a photo of it (and me from behind) at the threadbear site.