Disclaimer: All materials (yarn, looms, leaflets) were personal purchases for my own private use.
I’m new to loom knitting. I don’t know how to knit using needles and my crochet skills are very limited. My mother, however, can crochet. She’s been on a crocheting binge for several months, after finishing up a huge plastic canvas project that took over a year to do (20 bags). She had already purchased the knitting looms, but hadn’t sat down to figure it out. There was a hat that caught her interest and she attempted to make it.
Unfortunately, she chose one of the harder patterns. The top of the hat was a weave, similar to those potholder projects I did as a little girl. The instructions were confusing to someone who never worked with looms before. Seeing how frustrated she was, I took over and she went to crochet. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore than she did, but I was interested in the had too, so soldiered on until I got the hang of it. The first hat was somewhat of a success: the weave came out correct, but the brim wasn’t right — it still looks nice though. The second and third attempts came out better. At some point, I may even post pictures of the hats.
After that successful endeavor, I decided that I would make my mother the Mobius Shawl and it would be a Christmas gift (I was giving myself plenty of time to finish it). The pattern looked interesting and simple. No skipped pegs or changing yarn, just “knit” and “purl”. The project suggested Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair, which I thought was very pretty, and I chose “Tundra”. The pictures don’t do the yarn justice. It’s very elegant looking in real life.
Since I had to order the yarn, I also looked over the other projects and decided which ones I would like to do, and pick the yarn I wanted to use. After the yarn arrived, I got off to a rocky start. I was getting frustrated with the casting on part of the project, which is the very first thing you do. I kept making mistakes or the tension was too tight. Eventually, I manage to do 30 rows, which is the base pattern for the shawl. By that point, I needed a break. I found a nice box with a lid, put the loom, yarn, and my notes in it, and set it aside. That was back in March. I didn’t touch it again until the beginning of November.
Crunch time! I was going to be off for a week, so I figured I could get most of it done then. I could work on the remainder, I told myself, on weekends and after work (seriously cutting into my reading time I might add). So, I pulled out the box and re-familiarized myself with the techniques. I was surprised to find that the pattern seemed way easier than it looked back in the spring. I figured that I need 165 rows to have the right size shawl. Breaking it down into groups of 15 made it even more manageable, and less daunting, than just seeing the number 165 when you only had about 35-40 rows done! By the time I return to work (as I reported), I was in the home stretch. I finished the project on 12 November. I was elated! I had a bit of trouble with the finishing (joining the two ends together to make the twist), but it sorted itself out and it didn’t turn out too bad. I even made a major goof (started binding off on the wrong end) that was fixable — and you can’t even tell I made a mistake!
Then I tried it on.
It’s too small.
It needs to be at least 30 rows longer. When I read the instructions, I thought I was 100% clear on the number of times to repeat the 1-30 pattern. And I was, except I counted the initial row of 30 when I sat down to figure out the total number of rows. This is what the instructions said:
- [Rep rows 1-30] 3 (4, 5)
- [Rep rows 1-15] once.
I needed to repeat the pattern 5 more times: 30 x 6 + 15 = 195. Instead, I repeated it only 4 more times: 30 x 5 + 15 = 165
So, what did I do with it?
I gave it to my father’s other “official traveling companion”, Nancy the rat bear. My mother will understand completely (she made a shawl that ended up being the size of a tablecloth):
Below is a close up of the shawl.