Finished at last. My new design, the Erebor Shawl. Sorry for the terrible pictures, I haven’t had a chance to take any with anything other than my phone, but I wanted to share something anyway.
I had hoped to have the Erebor Shawl published by now, but I’ve only just finished the sample. The design wasn’t the problem. I had that nailed down by the end of August. It really shouldn’t have taken more than a couple of week to knit the sample, but I ended up having to knit it twice, more or less. My toddler somehow got it into her head to pull the needles out of my work. By the time I discovered her, she was sitting quite happily ripping back row after row after row. The worst part? My husband was sitting right next to her and somehow didn’t notice. Yes, I blamed him more than I blamed her. And yes, I cried.
At the point, this happened, I had nearly finished the main body of the shawl, and was just a few rows of starting the edge. Obviously, I started again. I had to untangle the mess of yarn left behind first: my husband slightly redeemed himself by helping out a lot there. Then I did cast on again straight away, but I found it very difficult to get through the pattern again. I generally don’t like repeating patterns anyway, and for a reason like this. It was just very hard to get motivated to knit, so work was progressing very slowly.
On top of that, I’d decided to change my knitting style from English to continental and that too, slowed me down considerably, at least at the start.
But at last, the shawl is done. It’s turned out to be very, very big, but I’m quite happy with the result. I named it Erebor; in JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, this is the other name for the Lonely Mountain, the kingdom which Thorin Oakenshield seeks to reclaim from the dragon Smaug. I chose this name for two reasons. First, because a considerable portion of it was knit (the second time around) watching the extended versions of An Unexpected Journey and the Desolation of Smaug. Plus all the extras on the dvds. Second, the design features a lot of triangles and angles, and to me has somewhat of a dwarven quality to it. There’s an element of flame in there as well, which also suits the name.
Right now I’m writing up the pattern, which is also a slow process, especially as I’m figuring out latex at the same time. This will make publishing patterns easier in the future, as I’m setting up a template for quick typesetting, but at the moment there’s quite a bit of banging the head against the wall and wanting to throw the computer out of the window going on. (More redemption for the husband there. A mathematician, he’s used latex a lot. Us historians are unfortunately still mostly stuck with word.)