What is possible

It is with enormous pride (and recognition that the suspense of what happened with S.Kate’s knitting adventure has probably been killing some of you, sorry about that) that I tell you that blogging was missed yesterday to prepare for the grade six graduation of Samantha, the youngest of my daughters. The dress was altered, her hair was done and undone (french braids did not go over as well as expected) and the child in question was delivered on time to her school where she shone like a star.


I have a hard time singing my own praises, or noting my own accomplishments, but it turns out that when it comes to my children, I don’t even flinch. Samantha won a sportsmanship award, the French award and was the Valedictorian of her grade.


This wonderful turn of events follows a year in which Sam was really challenged to get the hang of the cliquey nature of grade six girls, and suffered some consequences as a result of her complete failure to learn to compromise her kindness, common sense and ethics in order to fit in with the other girls. I couldn’t be prouder that Sam found a way to really succeed in the school and win the affection of her peers and the respect of her teachers without losing any of her fair and genuine nature. (I’m also really proud of this families ability to adopt a “loose” relationship with the Toronto Public School Board. Sam has been home when she needed to be this second half of the year, something that was a real logistical challenge some days. We’re all really pleased that this solution worked so well for us.)

Sam’s speech was incredible, and she’s just lovely…inside and out.

Last evening marked the first time in more than a decade that one of my kids hasn’t been in this awesome little school. I’m surprised to discover that as much as I thought I was going to really be happy about them all moving on out of elementary school, I’m actually going to miss it.

Now, S.Kate. Firstly, She’s fine, and so is the shawl.

The shawl in question was Hyrna Herborgar (From Three Cornered and Long Shawls, a really wonderful import book from Schoolhouse Press). Why, some of you asked, did she not just rip back the 16 rows in question? Because:

a) she had already ripped back once (a horrible incident I can hardly stand to think of involving a spider masquerading cruelly as a shetland nep that involved tragic stitch consequences) and there’s only so many times a knitter can reknit something before she weeps openly and feels the cruel breeze of defeat.

b) S.Kate is an intrepid knitter, interesting in learning new things and

c) that’s THOUSANDS of stitches and hours of knitting that we’re talking about ripping out.

S.Kate took the high road. She is intrepid and clever, she remembered that all of knitting is only knit and purl, no matter how challenging it is at times, and she knows way, way more about knitting now. Three cheers for S.Kate!

She sent this update:

The patient lived. However I am still in recovery.


Carpet had been viciously vacuumed. Wine as well as chocolate figured heavily. Attention seeking felines were banished from the area.


…there was color coded swatching to unravel the secrets of a double YO…


Any tool that gets the job done…


Main goal was to correct my blobby mess that sat right before the shawl center “spine” split to three columns of YOs. (Didn’t think to take a before photo.)

Blue lines show visual flow through openwork. Not-quite-right areas circled in yellow figure to be “doctored” to look better at blocking stage.


Preparing for the final stitch-by-stitch crawl…


Adjusting tension across a row so there’s enough yarn for all stitches.


And the knit goes on…

I’m happy with it. As you have shown us, there are dark arts to visually correct the, um, attention lapses in our knitting. But short of breaking the yarn or taking scissors to the offending area, I could see no way of getting nicely aligned yarnovers without total ripback of the 16 rows or as I chose, selective surgery. If the problem was not along the central axis of the shawl it would have been less noticeable and wouldn’t have bugged me like this did.

Don’t tell a person they can’t do something, stand back and see what they CAN do without the mental impediment.

S. Kate

I say we force Kate to send us a picture of the finished shawl. You know, when she feels ready to get up off the carpet.