Friday, 19 September 2014

FO Friday: The Blue Dahlia

Phantomwise Tarot

So I am feeling especially triumphant, having finally beaten into submission conquered the Blue Dahlia Shawl that provoked my temper tantrum a while back, resulting in it being flung into a Serious Time-Out on the naughty step while I regained the normal, natural sweet temper for which I am renowned.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

So anyway. I am stubborn and unwilling to admit defeat, so I picked it up again, determined to complete it. I ran into the same problem, and even on the same rows as before - in spite of having made the charts larger, trimmed and taped them together so there were no gaps.

I emailed the designer, Andrea Jurgrau - who was very approachable, friendly and helpful: she worked out that one of the problems was the placement of my stitch markers, so that was easily resolved. Later I had a query, and wrote out the chart to demonstrate my problem - she immediately identified that the stitch I'd seen and been working as ktbl (knit through the back of the loop) was actually a K2tog (knit 2 together) ..... proof that if you add bad eyesight to badly formatted, small charts which are smudgy when enlarged you get simple errors that drive one to insanity.

This was in no way the fault of the designer, but rather of the publisher who chose to format large charts in Portrait instead of Landscape, miniaturizing them in the process,  and placing them across the middle of the book creating a break in the middle of the chart. I would have had even more trouble if a kind friend hadn't sent me large versions of just the charts.

There are beads involved, but not as many a there should have been. If I were to escape the strait jacket and make this ever again, I would add loads more - there are lots of opportunities in the pattern for placement.

All in all, it was a rather miserable experience which has put me off trying any of the rest of the quite beautiful shawl patterns in the book. But I know you know that its little voice is seeping through the mental locked dark room in which I have bunged it ....

Here is the evidence of success:

The yarn was West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in 'Bubblegum'; it was a slightly scratchy bouncy, springy yarn that was quite splitty during the crocheted bind-off; a lovely intense color, fortunatel the yarn was softer after a good soak in fabric conditioner.

So while I sit here and gloat, you can pop 'FO Friday' into Google to see lots more pretties .....


  1. So glad you muscled through it and finished. It is gorgeous!

  2. Lovely! One would never, ever guess that you had trouble with the patterns. It looks absolutely perfect. Why in the world would the publisher print the charts that way? Are they morons?

  3. No mere pattern can defeat the knitting powers of Vivianne! Not only do you conquer every challenge with your mighty needles and mightier gin bottle, creating amazingly gorgeous works of fiber art, but with MKAL Monday, WIP Wednesday and FO Friday, you keep me informed that two more days have passed without my housework getting done.

    We mere mortals can only stare in awe, and say Thank You, Vivianne, Thank You.

  4. You have produced yet another stunning piece, Vivianne, and had you not fessed up I would never have guessed there'd been 'words had' along the way. I hold you in awe. Tis a good colour too...

  5. I am tempted to push caps lock so I can make it clear how BEAUTIFUL I think your shawl is. Nice work!!


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