As I was blocking Shawl with No. 20 Edging, I saw something I didn't want to see.
My first thought wasn't panic, however. It was more along the lines of, "Haven't I seen something like this in Heirloom Knitting?" One of my bad habits is reading about things that might happen. When I was expecting a baby, I read a fascinating book by a pediatric geneticist about his residency and the children he saw ... learning, along the way, about all sorts of disastrous outcomes and chromosomal disorders. When I delivered (was delivered of?) my firstborn and learned she had spina bifida, I didn't panic. My thought was, "Oh, I've read about this." I knew we weren't dealing with a worst case scenario because in the book, the baby with spina bifida had such a large sac of spinal fluid along his spine that he got stuck and had to be delivered via c-section. Okay, too much information. Still, I saw a large hole in my knitting and knew the world had not come to an end.
I even knew what had happened. I knit the fuzz, instead of knitting the yarn. There's a lot of fuzz to this yarn. I traipsed to my knitting box, got my Lovely Sterling Silver Yarn Needle (makes all unpleasant tasks more lovely), my yarn, and headed back to the shawl. Then I retraced my steps to snag a camera and a piece of white paper.
Have you ever wondered if it makes a difference if you block something upside down? It doesn't, theoretically. But if you find a mistake, and are inadvertently blocking something wrong side up, it entails pulling out a few pins and turning things right side up for fixing. Unless you like fixing lace from the back side? I don't.
I threaded up my yarn needle, admired it's sheen, it's workmanship, it's nice feel in the hand ... and turned my attention back to less pleasant matters. Gaping holes. A bit of study, a bit of stitching, and it's good as new. Because it is new. It's almost as good as knit correctly, to boot. While I was correcting it, I noticed another stitch (which had the courtesy not to run) that was sitting all by itself, with no friendly stitches to hold on to. I marked it with a purple pin, and secured it with much less thought.
It's not invisible, but it will do.
Here's part of the shawl, blocking. Did I mention that, when selecting a space to block a shawl, it's a good idea to think how much space you need first? I ended up rearranging my craft room a bit, since I ran into the chair mat for my sewing table. Small matter ... I just settled myself firmly NEXT TO the pincushion, and gave a big pull. Chair mats must give way before the intricacies of lace blocking.
Here's a close-up of the shawl. You can see a faint tracery of the joins at the beginning and ending of the faggotting. No holes! If you're planning on thinking about this photo very hard, do remember that the wrong side is up.
One other note, with a caveat before the note. Caveat: I am not a crocheter. I can wield a crochet hook. I will use it as a last resort for knitting repairs. But it is not my friend. Okay - caveat over. Note: The directions for the picot edging say to do a row of sc, then to chain three, sc into next sc, etc. Now, when I knit and the directions say to knit the next stitch, I knit the next stitch. BUT if you study the picture in the book, you will see that the 30 stitches of the edging result in only 15 chain-3 loops. Either I don't speak crochet and the pattern is wrong, or I just don't speak crochet.
My edging looks nothing like the lovely edging in the book. A blocking wire through the sc would have helped, I think, but I instead pinned out every second chain loop. It'll look better without the pins.