Hadn't I better keep going?

I managed to get through though last week by deluding myself that I was on the third and final repeat of the hundred row chart on page 38-39 of the Pine Tree Palatine pattern.

It's hellishly repetitive and without any of the usual aids that you find in lace patterns, such as bold or coloured vertical lines to help you determine where you are in the pattern, or numbers printed in the long runs of knit stitches. Russian knitters must view such devices as crutches to proper knitting.

I'm finally getting it though. You're supposed to glance at the chart and think something like, "Oh, for this row, I've got to knit past so many holes and when I get to the Nth yarnover from the row below, then I knit the next row of the Pine Tree motif." Or maybe, "If the Pine Tree motif doesn't start right after a yo from the row below, then maybe it starts right after one from 2 rows below." It's all about knitting the motif rather than about counting stitches. Mostly anyway.

It makes sense, when you consider that the people who developed this tradition were likely not big counters, never mind readers or writers. They were peasants who knit to keep warm and to earn their keep. It makes you think again about mathematics, doesn't it?

And by the way, I was completely deluding myself. I see now that I've only just finished the second repeat of the chart. I have one more to go and then I'm into the border. In addition, I'm on my last ball of the main colour - the "Morning Blues" shade of "Impressions" from "A Touch of Twist." I'm pretty sure it's easy enough to get more. I've run out twice in the past and managed to get more each time at the Hemlock Fiber Fest. Dye lots don't seem to exist with this yarn.

I must now decide - should I try to get more yarn to continue, or should I shorten the shawl by moving on to the finishing border now? If I do that, the piece will end up more or less square in shape. The current measurements, unblocked are 37 inches wide and 30 inches in length. Here's a picture that includes the edges. It makes me want to keep going.


Mary Lou said…
Oh it is nice, but I get it. You should keep going. At least I always regret it, each time I use something, thinking - I should have made it longer. I'm with the Russians on the not much counting. At least they had an excuse, I'm just lazy.
Marjorie said…
That is really beautiful.

My Russian grandmother, who taught me to knit, used to make clothes without measuring anything. I recall that she crocheted more than knitted, and she would take a ball of yarn and just get to work, with something that was perfect when she was done. I may have inherited her fondness for needlework, but not for her innate sense of math.
Helen said…
I think you know the answer really, don't you?
shandy said…
Would it be asymmetrical if you did that?

The colour will make it very wearable, but it must be dark to knit.

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