24,480 Stitches

The ostrich lace is done. That is, I ran out of yarn and there isn’t any more. Sigh.

Seriously, I could’ve knitted on that a while longer if I had more yarn. I won’t say “forever”; not any more. I've done that before; gotten seduced by a project. It’s so desirable, ssooo luscious, you just want to knit that thing and nothing else, if only your resources would allow it.

"Hehehe.” That’s your inner devil. Pay attention; THAT one knows you better than you think. He’s seen you tire of a project you proclaimed (loudly, AND in public) to love the best of all projects. The stitch pattern gets boring after so many repeats, another fetching yarn has caught your fancy and you dream about it at night. Or worse, you dream about it while you’re knitting on the “best project ever,” thus 2-timing a project of waning interest. In addition, your color interests are straying, and you find yourself browsing a whole different section of your stitch pattern books. You alternate between shame and lust, because, really, it’s not THIS yarn’s fault; it’s you. So finally you end it. You cast off the stitches, block it and lay it out on the bed.

And it’s about 27 inches longer than is at all practical (I’m talking shawls here; make appropriate mental adjustments for other garments).

You loved it to death! You killed the desire to wear it, and cancelled almost all opportunities for which it would have been appropriate. You have less than no interest in ripping part of it out, or trying to think of what to do with ravelled yarn that has been blocked.

Well, none of that will be a problem here. In my infinite wisdom, I have learned. I now only cast on projects with yarn that is a) unique and cannot be replicated, b) handspun and dyed fiber from an animal which has long departed this earth, and most importantly, c) has only a snowball’s chance in hell of being enough to complete said project; is in fact, at least 20 percent less than the recommended yardage.

What can I say? (I like the challenge; I am an eternal optimist when I REALLY want something to happen; making half-done projects work as something else makes me feel “creative”; yada yada yada). In point of fact, I dunno WHAT makes me do these things. Oh, I know, I got it: I am a process knitter. That’s it!

Okay, well anyway, in this particular process, I will be lucky if this piece even approaches shawl length in the end, but maybe I’ll be surprised! Anyway, here is the finished piece, all 24,480 stitches (really, not enough! At least it doesn’t seem like it now)

Ostrich Lace Project Un-stretched

It looks sort of nice this way, but then when you see it like this

Ostrich Lace Project Flat

It’s a little less appealing, no? It’s about 54 inches long and I am hoping for at least 72 inches once it’s blocked. That’s the part that’s hard to judge ahead of time; how much will it really stretch? The only proven knowledge we have is that, if you ran out of yarn, it surely won’t stretch enough. And if you are under 5’2″, it will usually far exceed your wildest dreams about stretching.

Tonight I will soak it and stretch it. I’ll take some pictures in the morning and post them. Hopefully it will be a breathtaking transformation (did i mention my facility for building castles in the sky? Oh, it’s HUGE).

Finished pattern: Ostrich Plumes Stole or Scarf

Originally published by Anne Hanson on February 9th, 2006

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