Monday, June 12, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge #2: A Lifeline Runs Through It

When I began several months ago to knit Lyra, I dutifully added two lifelines at strategic points. Since Lyra has been neglected for the past few months, she decided to break one of her lifelines, just to cause me worry. I guess sitting in my knitting basket unattended, a youngster will get into trouble.

For those unfamiliar, a lifeline is usually yarn or thread of a different color woven through all the stitches of one row, using a sewing needle. This is best accomplished after completing a plain row in lace knitting - i.e., a purl row. If I were to drop a stitch or make an error, I could rip back to the lifeline and not lose any stitches. I should add another lifeline, but I keep thinking about the Labor Day deadline and how much time it will take out of my knitting schedule.

So, I'm now on Row 134, and I'm knitting without a net. With 1,004 stitches currently on the needle, that's pretty X-treme. From Row 124 to Row 134, I've knit 12,412 stitches. I don't know if I can keep up this pace. Lyra is running me ragged. Her gauge is tiny, at about 11 sts/inch in stockinette, and she's feisty and particular. She wears me out, but I'm thrilled with her progress.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bad omen

Many comments and emails later from concerned knitizens ... I'm thinking ... are they right? Are 60,000+ stitches too many to contemplate? Can I finish Lyra by Labor Day? I would need to dedicate myself to my Lyra. I would need to dedicate about an hour a day. I'm a competent lace knitter, accomplished in some aspects. But is it too insane?

More numbers ...

With 90 days, I'd need to produce about 666 stitches per day -- an obviously bad omen. To be more realistic, let's guess that I'd skip 30 of those days in favor of other pursuits. That would give me 60 days to knit 1,000 stitches per day. I'll be frank ... it's the chart that makes me dizzy and bugeyed. Many, many, teeny, tiny squares and symbols.

At this moment, I'm still with Lyra. I'm giving her a fighting chance (and me, too).