Cope and Change…
Ah, there’s nothing like the thrill of casting on a new project…even if it’s a very long row of long-tail cast-on. More stitches is just more chances to smile at the lovely yarn and the promise of a new shawl.
For me, part of the beauty of knitting is the customization. At six feet, “one size fits all” hardly ever applies–even for accessories.
As knitters, we get lots of choices once we select a pattern. The obvious customization open to knitters is color. If you’re fond of red or know you look ill in coral, you can make the garment of your choice in a color that suits you. Texture is another element at the knitter’s command. If you want that shawl to be a slice of silky, drapey heaven, you can make it so. Or use a tweed and get a homespun look. The very best patterns can give you completely different results just by swapping out the yarn.
Size is the prize for me. I need just about everything longer than it comes, even a shawl like this. Top down sweaters and toe up socks are easy–just keep going. Even some scarves and shawls are a snap to adapt. But you do have to be careful. This shawl is knit end to end, so it wasn’t just a case of knitting more rows like our Multi-Textured Vest. I had to make sure that I added the correct number of stitches to each row to keep the pattern intact. And that isn’t always as simple as dividing the row by gage–you need to take the borders into account. A quick email to the friendly ladies of Quirky Bird Knits informed me that I need to add my stitches in factors of three.
I also needed to be aware that whatever I added in length would decrease the width if I only had the two skeins of Yarn Hollow Brocade to work with. Broad-shouldered gal that I am, I added a fair bit of length to my mantle, so I’ll end up with a more narrow rectangle–which means my mantle won’t go as far down my body. I’m fine with that, but I’m glad to go into this with my eyes wide open.