Size doesn’t matter

A little Q&A from the comments yesterday, on the bigness of my shawl and the problems and joys of same.

(Since someone will forget to scroll down and then ask me… this is about the Peacock Feathers Shawl – which I will apparently be knitting for a while yet.)

Michelle asks:

Why not just figure out how long you do want it and stop there?

Excellent question – and I would do this, if it made sense for the particular pattern. I’ve been short for a while now, so I’m used to knocking length out of all manner of knits to make them work (although the oversize look of the 80’s did mean that I got a break for a while there. The sweater-dress phase was brilliant for those of us who are making sweater-dresses by accident all the time.) On this pattern however, the design is sort of a picture. A picture of a peacocks tail – so if I stop when I’m ready (which frankly, was sometime early yesterday afternoon) the peacocks tail will be oddly amputated. I suppose I could do a really shocking amount of work to take a whole bunch of stuff out of the middle and rejig the thing, but I’ve already knit the bulk of where I would do the work, and besides… this is art. The designer had a plan, and I somehow feel like whacking stuff out of it isn’t like whacking a couple of cm off a sleeve. Changes to this would be changes to her art… and it’s just so beautiful that I can’t imagine a stitch different. I love this shawl. (Remind me I said that in a few days when I start complaining about it again.)

Anne says:

“As far as I’m concerned, this is yet another reason for there to be a rule made that all designers have their garments photographed on a REAL LIVE PERSON rather than a dress form. I can’t tell how long the shawl is supposed to be from that photo; can anyone else? The tip could hit anywhere from below the hips to below the knees!”

Yeah, that was my initial response too, and then I remembered that the measurements are clearly printed on the front of the pattern in perfectly legible print in a language I read. (Allegedly.) My kneejerk reaction of HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL was immediately answered by the voice of reason in the back of my head (and boy do I ever resent the voice of reason when I’m trying to work up a proper froth of indignation) that said “Well, call me crazy but did you consider reading the measurements?” (Hate that voice.) I don’t think I can pin that one on the designer – and I’m not sure it would solve the problem totally either, unless we could get them to tell us how big the real live person they had it modelled on was. Here’s a line I would love to read on all knitting patterns (were I in charge of the world.) “This sweater is knit in the 38″ size, and is here being modelled by a human who is 5’4″ and has a 36″ chest.” Now that would be helpful.


And where are you going to block this behemoth?

Considering that there isn’t a room big enough in my house without moving furniture to other rooms… I was thinking about the park. Maybe a picnic would be nice.

Kathy says:

I guess you’re at that age where growing into it is probably out of the question, huh?

I live in hope.

Lizbon has more of a statement than a question.

“Give it to Juno. It should be just her size.”

Huh. You wouldn’t believe who else suggested that.

123 thoughts on “Size doesn’t matter

  1. You could block it in my dining room. There is room to move my table and chairs (actually, in my spare bedroom). You wouldn’t have to worry about kids, cats or anything else! We could drink a beer or two!!
    It is a huge project that will be so beautiful once you’re done.

  2. Me, first…how exciting! I, too, hate when the voice of reason speaks. It always takes such an annoying tone with me.

  3. Well, I love the shawl and suggest wearing it on the cold canadian days you’re always blogging about. good reason not to turn the heat on until ian caves, right? you can keep the whole family warm with this behemoth!

  4. I just laughed out loud as I read Marjorie’s ccomment, which I hadn’t looked at before commenting…clearly, “behemoth” is the best descriptive word for this one!

  5. It’s a beautiful shawl, and you have beautiful yarn for it. Don’t change a thing.
    But when it’s done, find a nice large space, put it on the (clean) floor, and roll all over it and in it in triumph.

  6. Is there enough room in your yard? Only thing is, you’d have to be on squirrel patrol til it dried…

  7. See, this sort of thing is so heartening to me–that someone as knittingly skillful, articulate, witty, wise as Stephanie can make a blooper, still, again. Better yet, she’s willing to confess to it, analyze its components, dissect the contributing factors. This is inspiring to me.

  8. There’s cold beer in the fridge and a cathedral ceiling in the open concept living room…c’mon over to Scarborough!
    An alternative to the shawl…..wall art =)

  9. Usually I have the problem in that the things I knit are too small. It is heartening to know that others have the opposite problem.

  10. Funny, about the “this is modeled on X and X is this tall and wearing this size” Norah Gaughan’s latest pattern book (check errata if you knit from it — that was a painful lesson) does something like that. I think her patterns say something like, “Elizabeth is 5’2″, wears a size 2 and is modeling the XS”
    Did someone say picnic? I’m up for a picnic . . .

  11. This is where blocking boards (like this: Although even this isn’t quite wide enough. I’ve used mine for blocking shawls & the nice part is that you can use wire & pin it out & then prop the board up against a wall. I used an outside wall of our house. It was lovely 70-ish day with a slight breeze – very balmy – & it dried in about 20 minutes. I suppose you could center the shawl on the board & block it & then block the 2 ends afterward.

  12. I’ve been arguing, loudly and impotently, that all knitting patterns should specify the size and height of the model (at 5’11” and skinny, I’ve knit a lot of baggy, cropped sweaters). But no one cares what I have to say. You, on the other hand…you could probably get some attention!

  13. So, it may not help much, but it looks as though the shawl is slightly bunched at the neck on the mannequin. Maybe you could wear it like that? Would probably help the thing stay on, too – sort of a way to make a triangle shawl into a faroese style.

  14. I think its a nice size. I was shocked when I knit a triangular shawl from Victorian Lace Today and it ended up 140 cm (Not making that up!) across the back spine. But I’m 183 cm (6 feet) tall, so I didnt particularily mind. It just was a little shocking.
    I think you should finish it, you can always scrunch it up around you neck to make it look smaller.

  15. I vote for the folding/doubling so you can wear it and keep the furnace off longer idea! That way you can still the the peacock tail, and you’ll have multiple layers over your shoulders and back where it counts!

  16. This is one of the (further) reasons why I love Ravelry. I can look at all the people who have knit a project I’m interested in, seeing if it looks good on my body type, reading about modifications people have made and why, how they’ve substituted yarns, etc. Sweaters that I deemed boring upon first viewing in a magazine suddenly become must knits when I see them on actual non-model women. I’m not sure this helps much with shawls, however…
    A nice couch decoration, perhaps? Frame it and make it wall art?
    As for blocking, I second the folding idea. It halves the blocking space, but makes blocking easier because both sides will automatically be symmetrical.

  17. At 36″ chest, you’ll be able to wrap this shawl around you 2-1/2 times. It sounds like a shawl built for two!

  18. Perhaps once it’s knitted and blocked you could create a complex fanning/folding system with dowels and light weight bamboo or some such and then walk about preening? At least it would keep it from dragging on the ground ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. I like the last suggestion (and I’ve never met Juno so you know I’m not in cahoots with her). It’s what I do with items I knit that don’t fit. I gift them to someone and then pretend that I meant to make it for them in the first place. The banks of De Nile is a happy place to live.

  20. The mere thought of blocking that behemoth of a shawl just made me shudder!! The memory of blocking my MS3-Swan Lake shawl on Saturday is still too fresh in my mind. I followed what you did (reread that post) and I don’t recall drinking wine was mentioned as part of keeping your sanity during the process. Blocking lace should be the new torture, I think.

  21. My Peacock Shawl turned out a few inches smaller in length and width than the suggested size and it is still plenty big enough for my 5’6″ height. It drapes over my fingertips when my arms are spread wide, and it also hangs down farther than my butt, which is a good thing because the tip of a triangular shawl looks better going past the rear end than it does pointing directly at it.
    I love the colour you are using for yours.

  22. A blocking party/picnic in the park sounds good. May there be sunshine, good food, excellent beer and many friends to help.

  23. Can you still block it if it’s folded in half along the centre? Thinking about it, you can block a jumper/sweater which was knitted in the round, and they’re often heavier – and usually with fewer holes ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Even your idea of printing the general dimensions of the model can prove fallable, I must say. I recently bought a pattern booklet that has the same model throughout, and has the same bust measurment throughout, but in some places she’s described as being 5’2″ and in others as 5’10”. Call me crazy but that’s a pretty signfificant growth spurt for an adult woman over the course of a photo shoot.
    My advice (since I’m barely 5’2″ myself)- finish the shawl as is in all it’s glory, and just wear it gathered up on your shoulders as needed to keep it from dragging on the ground. When you aren’t wearing it, use it as a curtain at home.

  25. Remember the parachute thing when we were kids? Everyone took a little piece and then we waved it up and down, and it was realllll pretty, and fun. And then we’d make it go way up, and everyone would run underneath……
    Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away. I have a voluminous circular that I may not be finishing because I dread blocking it. (I’m not sure)

  26. Hmm. . .what a tricky situation.
    I know! You’re on Ravelry, correct? Why not ask over there? I bet there’ll be people there that could help you. ๐Ÿ˜€
    My suggestion is to use it as a blanket. Yeah. Or just knit it as it is, then send me a photo of it. I have a talent that I can find SOMETHING to make out of a item, whether it’s too big or small for it’s initial purpose. ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. You could totally make a party out of it. Just have people bring like a million and a half blankets and just all pin out your stuff in the sun. It’ll be fun! Unless it rains. Then that’s bad bad news.

  28. Being height challenged myself-I understand your dilemma. Is there someone tall that you love enough to give the shawl to as a present??? I know that’s a lot of burning love but since it will be a nightgown on your petite frame…
    Or ,it could become the sexiest nightgown you own–although with 3 teenagers when would you ever get to use/wear it????

  29. You can be slightly frothfully indignant that the finished measurements were only printed in inches. If needle sizes are always listed in both measurements, surely finished length/width can be, too.
    Just trying to help, as I like a good bit of frothful indignation of my own, on occasion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Please knit the whole pattern, don’t block it to bits, and just fold it over a bit at the top to shorten it. I’ve also seen petite, slender women wearing large, dramatic shawls looking fabulous and not enveloped by the piece.

  31. And a p.s., why not ask Dorothy at Fiddlesticks for her advice. I feel most of these comments are slamming her unfairly.

  32. I love that last suggestion. There’s a picture in my head of you and Juno wandering Rhinebeck, her with the shawl draped neatly over her shoulders.
    I’ve only been once (last year) and was tickled to death to Kinnear both of you there.

  33. I’ve made this pattern twice, (and given both away unfortunately for me) and I totally agree – it is beautiful. Keep going, it is worth it! I blocked mine on a queen sized bed and it worked OK – you just have to wrap it around the edges a bit. Who cares if it’s too big – just sling it around yourself a few times and go with it!

  34. How fast can you knit?
    In 8 days, I’m moving from 560 square feet to 2100 square feet (or something with more closet space than I can fathom). I’m sure it’ll be a bit before I fill it up!
    I’m convinced that one room will be designated for yoga/blocking. I’m planning my own little “blocking extravaganza” for moving weekend. (Boxes? What Boxes?)

  35. I wish you luck in finishing the shawl and in blocking it (by the by, could you move the furniture in a room, block the shawl, and move everything back before your family comes home? You’d have a pick a room where you don’t normally do all that much (the kitchen’s probably not the best idea) but it might work. Not that I’d know, since I’ve never blocked anything before…)
    That was a very strange and I think a run-on sentence. Oops!

  36. There must be someplace local that has the room to block it. If not, I will add myself to the list of people issuing invitations. Come visit and we’ll do it here. I have room. As for using it – tablecloth.

  37. I’m five feet even. I made my first on size 4 needles, it worked out perfect. I gave it to my 4’10” sister and it’s a nice size for her. Yarn was size 2/20 silk.

  38. Isn’t there a university near you with a school of music? You could endow them with the shawl, to be placed on a baby grand for all senior vocal recitals. Very posh!

  39. It’s funny how many tall people came right out and asked for your shawl. I liked the “make 3 more and turn it into a bedspread” comment best.
    P.S. Juno got mentioned 7 times.

  40. As a rather ample knitter (Knitter?) I rejoice in those size patterns, as I know I will have enough wingspan to span and wrap myself in after all that knitting.
    I guess that is why I usually make rectangular shawls–a little more controllable. If you decide this is too large for you–see my e-mail adress if you want to pass it along. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. I totally sympathize. I’m knitting my first shawl, and I’m getting headaches. It’s a simple thing, just garter stitch w/ one YO every row to increase. Pretty, but what a pain in the @#$! The pattern says to repeat the increases until the shawl reaches 34 in, where you should have 143 sts. According to my measuring it on the needle, I have done 35 in., but I am nowhere near the stitch count. When I put it on a long piece of scrap yarn, it measured 28 in. I am perservering, but the next shawl I make is going to be top-down. At least then I’ll know when I am done!
    Your shawl is really beautiful, though. I know you said you don’t usually wear a shawl over your neck and head, but try it sometime. It’ll work well in case of a sudden cold spell. I can’t wait to see the finished project! Good luck!

  42. Funny thing about Norah Gaughan’s book, though. It tells you on each pattern how tall the model is, and yet it turns out she was in the middle of a growth spurt. One pattern she’s 5’10”, and the next she’s only 5’6″, and then she’s back up to 5’10”. So I guess maybe you have to stick with just rolling it at the neck…

  43. I plan to block the shawl I’m currently working on by pinning it out on a 4’x8′ (er, 122x244cm?) sheet of foam insulation board. The board is stiff enough I can just put it on the kitchen table while I’m pinning and then prop it up against the wall in the guest room while the shawl dries.
    I’m also planing on stainless steel TIG welding rods for blocking wires, that trip to Home Depot should be interesting. ๐Ÿ˜€

  44. I noticed Heather pointed out that the latest Nora Gaughan books do indeed tell you the size of the model. 5’2″ I could maybe think, yep, that’ll look fine on me. But size 2? Makes me look really hard at them before I decide to go for it. I was a size 2 when I was 2, maybe!
    But your shawl will be gorgeous and it IS art and you don’t have to wear it to enjoy making it. But I have to tell ya, I have the pattern and yarn and I’m now thinking twice about attempting this piece of art!

  45. One word: PIANO. Do you a piano, maybe, which you could drape the shawl over gracefully? I mean, bummer that you can’t wear it, but this way it would always be on display for all to admire!

  46. I hope you manage to find a big place to block it that is squirrel safe. I’d really love to see it when its finished. Your lacework really breathtaking and I always feel very inspired when I see it. I haven’t really done much lacework myself but I know I’ll try something one day, and it inspires me to think that I’ll be able to do something similar.
    By the way? I love the blog and I love your books, but aside from that, I love that in every one of them and often on the blog, I feel like you’ve put into words something I totally feel or think, and can’t explain.
    I have read the books all several times. There are a couple of stories in Secret Life that make me cry every time I read them, the one about Lene’s stash and the one about the one little sock. I wont go into boring detail, but aside from the larger issue of your fantastic sense of humor and ability to make me laugh a lot, but you also can touch me deeply and wring my heart out. That is a real gift.
    I just thought you needed to hear that, since you’re about to go through the wringer again.
    By the way, I still really want you to come back to Texas, somewhere in the Metroplex.

  47. In the picture, did you notice that the shawl top is turned down several times on that headless very tall person (aka mannequin)? You could keep rolling down the upper edge of your Peacock Shawl until it’s the correct length for you. You’ll have a Peacock Shawl with turtleneck edge to ward off those blustery Canadian winter winds! The height of fashion and function!

  48. and in a ‘totally unrelated comments’ division… have the furnace wars started yet this season??? (inquiring minds want to know.. hahah)

  49. Picnic? Canada? September? You had better finish the shawl quickly (I think if you get rid of at least two pattern repeats from the top it would still look Arty) otherwise the weather is going to be so cold, it will be blocked at Auntie Tracy’s place with a cup of hot soup as sustenance.
    You are a stronger woman than I am if you can consider at this early stage giving it away – I would be more likely to leave it as a WIP for a few months while I ponder on it.
    The unfortunate thing about having the pattern measurements if that there is no one else to blame, how did that happen?

  50. I love the shawl. Triloom weavers often work on 7 foot (2meter 10) trilooms. This way they make shawls with a long side of at least 2 meters. Nice to wrap around yourself.
    Now that the girls are back to school, will you please tel use: who does the dishes, Samantha or Joe. Did Samantha learn that gitar solo?

  51. I’m totally with you on they should state the size of the sweater and the models bust measurement. OK comment readers here’s where you contact the yarn companies and magazines asking for this information.I’ve already done this with one when they stated “the sweater is a small and the model is a size 6!” Any one who works in the trade knows that that info is useless as you can make a 6 anything you want (there are suggested standards but no laws that bind you to using them) and if the pattern is old the info goes out of date. What was a size 10 in the 80’s is now a size 6. It’s called vanity sizing (still a 10 after all these years!) and is a North American thing, it does not happen in metric sizing.
    PS I do believe a Canadian 6 is a U.S. 4 and these days is an aprox 36″ bust (B cup)

  52. And surely Fiddlesticks Knitting is so named because “fiddlesticks” is one of the less offensive expletives that one uses when you realise that you will actually be knitting this for the rest of your life. But if you do ever finish it, why don’t you make another one, stitch them down the longer edge and, voila … a bedspread …

  53. I believe the perspective of “shawl” is wrong. According to my dictionary (Oxford Pocket American Dictionary of Current English) a shawl is a piece of fabric usually folded into a triangle and worn about the shoulders. Do you perhaps fold the shawl down the center line to wear? If you wear it unfolded as pictured – is it a cloak?

  54. I noticed in the photo that the shawl is folded along the neckline on the dress form. It’s like “skinny” mirrors at the department store.

  55. Ah, that makes sense then. I see your point about not tampering with art, so then why not do exactly what they’re doing in the photo? With the neck folded up like it is, that would create even more warmth, like having a lovely shawl PLUS a thick cozy scarf. That way you don’t have to give it away to a tall person!
    Short people unite!

  56. One potential remedy is, as has already been mentioned, relinquish said shawl to a person of taller stature and then design a new and different shawl based on this pattern, but smaller. Call it the “peahen.”
    I do agree regarding posting the size of the model, given in inches and centimeters. Or just centimeters. It’s past time we used metric in the States, seriously people.

  57. This is why I really love the Knitting Daily galleries, where they take their model sweaters and show them on several people of different sizes and shapes, giving bust measurements, positive and negative ease. It’s very eye-opening to see how different patterns look on different people.

  58. Your shawl is so gorgeous it should be seen all the time. I would keep it on the couch & wrap myself in all its beauty whenever I could & keep knitting.

  59. You often have contests of one sort and another. How about an Amazon’s contest of some sort with the shawl as a prize? Or auction it off to raise $$ for Doctors without borders. Or drape it over your head, cross and tie the ends around your waist, and set a new fashion in comfort and beauty.

  60. Sorry, but off topic –
    I am doing a research paper on the resurgence of knitting. As a part of that paper I am doing a poll. Would you mind answering?
    Why do you knit?
    When or Where or How did you start knitting?
    Full sentences are not neccesary!!

  61. If it doesn’t work for normal humans to wear, what about using it as a gorgeous valance for a large window? That way, the peacock tail pattern would be displayed, rather than scrunched up because you’d wrapped it around yourself six times to keep it from dragging the ground.

  62. I’m 5’9″ (approx 175 cm) I’ve added length to bodies of sweaters, to sleeves, to socks, and extra repeats or very wide edgings to shawls. You have my sympathy, except you can always drape it such that it doesn’t trail in the street. We should trade. I have a couple of “shawls” that are more like scarves or kerchiefs on me. Face it, that’s a gorgeous shawl, and you can wear it such that it looks beautiful.
    As far as blocking, when short of floor space, I’ve blocked a couple of tablecloths by blocking 1/4 or 1/2 of the item, then folding the other layers carefully on top and pinning to the same size, and putting a fan on it so it dries more quickly.

  63. I think Norah ( Gaughan) must have knit that shawl because in her books your wish is granted- the size 38 on Blah who is 5′ 2″ and a size 6 etc!
    I go with the sofa cover.

  64. I knit a simple triangle shawl from 10 balls of Noro silk garden…and as the peacok, it was well, LARGE! I find that it works very well aa a couch throw when not in use, and a beautiful shawl that I can just grab on my way out the door. I also fold it down at the neckline to avoid stepping on it (and I’m 5’4″, so not REALLY short, just short-ish!) or in windy, rainy or cold weather I just pull it over my head. It is a versitle thing and I love it!

  65. You live in hope? Me too. In spite of my cynicism, I still think out there somewhere where no one can find them are unicorns and fairies. And knomes. Yes, sometimes I am 12.

  66. When you figure out this getting taller thing (and if anyone can, it’s you) let me know. It would totally help with my need to lose 15lbs thing (I always felt I was cheated about 5cm).

  67. Yes, when I was writing my comment about being taller than you it did cross my mind that Juno is at least that much taller than I… but I figured it was not my job to bring that to your attention.
    I must admit to feeling slightly better now about normally thinking in inches and having to convert cm to inches in my head to know how long something is. I remember my sixth-grade science teacher’s telling the class that the US would be all-metric within a couple of years. In a just world that would have actually come to pass, and I wouldn’t have to pull up a converter to tell you how tall I am. (Of course, in a just world… never mind.)

  68. Ok…am I just not getting it??? the pattern says its 88 inches across the that the part that lays around your neck??? if so then it will only be 44 inches down each side..and its only 40 some inches deep..wouldnt that be measured down the middle from the neck to the peak???

  69. I will make no comments on the issue of measurements. Considering that I am the same height as you, and continually under-estimate how long pants, skirts, cloaks, etc., are, I am in no position to throw comments at anyone.
    I did however have an idea. That shawl is truly beautiful. Think about it. We’re approaching the holiday season. Drape that shawl over a simple long dress and you are ready to go anywhere, as the shawl ‘dresses up’ your outfit. I say this as someone who last weekend saw a diner at a local, very very upscale restaurant wearing a long white cotton dress under an elaboratesly colored draped pashmina shawl. She looked very elegant. So will you.

  70. I couldn’t agree more about how cool it would be if designers gave you that line with the model’s details. That’s why I like the galleries on Interweave’s Knitting Daily so much – you get to see jumpers on different sizes and I find it really helpful in deciding how the style would look on me.

  71. I second the idea of it being a Doctors Without Borders prize. Unless of course you finish it and find that you can’t part with it because it is so gorgeous!

  72. To repeat my earlier comment, I think there has been entirely too much slamming of Dorothy and her beautiful pattern, all in the name of alleged humor. It’s not funny, it’s not nice. (And I don’t know the woman, but I am a fan of her Fiddlesticks Knitting designs, and have knit many. Some have even come out smaller than anticipated. In two words, “check gauge.”)

  73. It’s a gorgeous shawl. Wear it up over the back of your head, like an old fashioned Spanish woman! Scrunch it up against your neck to keep out the cold chill. Swirl one end around your neck jauntilly and walk tall. It’s all worth it. Besides, it will keep your tush warm!!

  74. So I’m thinking we should add an International Block-in-Public Day to the International Knit-in-Public Day. The idea of a blocking picnic strikes me as lovely.

  75. I once read that clothing cost should be calculated in cost per wearing: a cheaper shirt that has to be dry cleaned is more expensive than a more expensive one you can launder. In the same spirit, one could calculate cost per hour of joyful knitting, or price per 100 stitches. This project is a bargain.

  76. What amazes me is that there are 169 completed versions on Ravelry (which makes me suspect there are more out there). Hopefully that will give you inspiration. In turn, perhaps you will be inspiring the 91 in progress and 42 hibernating that it CAN be done!

  77. I was just checking the photo of the finished shawl from your link and noticed that it has been folded a few times at the neck, so that (as you’ve discovered) the shawl is actually much longer than it appears. You would probably need a 6 foot tall model to display this at it’s full (unfolded) size. That said, this pattern will definitely be on my ‘to do’ list. But I would probably have to block it from my ceiling.

  78. I am similarly height challenged, and am knitting this shawl for my wedding. Very abitious as I will wed the day after Thanksgiving and am VERY slow kntting lace. I can’t believe how quickly you are able to do it. Kudos. I’ll be draping it any way I can think of to keep it off the ground – the pattern is too pretty to alter.

  79. I hope we can see a pic of it when it’s done? It sounds beautiful…..
    (still giggling about the Truck Cozy idea….)

  80. Use it for a travel blanket, to curl up under on the plane or hotel room or while waiting in yet another airport.
    Don’t think of it as a mistake – it’s research for your next book!

  81. I’m 5’2″ (about 158 cm) and was facing the same problem with the Peacock Feathers when I started it. I noticed how big it was both by the measurements and by the photos on Ravelry (I have a lot of time on my hands, some days). So I thought maybe I could eliminate one repeat. Unless I’m mistaken, you’d have to remove two repeats (for symmetry), which would amount to 48 sts fewer at the edge. I’m sure I COULD have figured this out, given enough time, but who wants to do that? I wanted to cast on.
    My solution was to use smaller needles. So, short girls, don’t despair. Go down a needle size (or two).

  82. Thanks for citing my comment! OK, the pattern says the shawl is 41″ long (that’s along the center back line) BUT – it is also folded/scrunched along the dress form’s neck. And the dress form is wearing a dress. THAT is why I cannot tell from that photo where the tip of the shawl would hit on an actual human being.
    Stephanie, if you’d like to come to Philadelphia, I have a lovely roof deck you could block the shawl on! And we could have beer, chocolate, wine or whatever you want while it’s drying. It’s not supposed to rain for the next several days!

  83. last night we took the kids to the olympic oval (in calgary) to skate, and i discovered that the entire walking space of the interior of the oval is about a million of those 4 sq/ft rubber flooring squares that link together. at home i use about 8 of them to block lace on. so i said to dh.. LOOK.. i could block shawls for days!
    this is my suggestion: finish the shawl by the end of october, and when you come to calgary in november, we’ll go… skating.

  84. Interweave Knits now gives things like “size 36″ shown with 2″ negative ease” and the “Knitting Galleries” on the Knitting Daily site show the same item on many models, with good details about their sizing and mods to make. But they’ve never done a shawl.

  85. COMPLETELY agree with you on the full disclosure thing. One of the reasons the Knitting Daily magazine is worth sticking with is that it shows the Interweave stuff modelled on Actual People…
    Having said that, I knitted a full-size Peacock Feathers for someone who tells me she’s 5′ 7″, and she hasn’t managed to jam it in a door or stand on the hem yet, and she is not strikingly more graceful than the average mortal… It’s a gorgeous shawl…

  86. This is completely unrelated to the topic, but I want to knit a “magic scarf,” and have a few questions for Stephanie (whose presentation in SLC, UT I loved): I assume that either garter or stockinette stitch will work, but probably not knit-in patterns? What about horizontal stripes (do the joins impede the magic process)? Does the scarf get narrower as it lengthens? I’d surely appreciate some guidelines here!

  87. You could just take it with you on tour and then block it on a hotel-room bed or carpet ;D Just put up the “do not disturb” sign for your stay, and no one will be the wiser…

  88. I have two suggestions if you want it to be shorter.
    1) In the blocking lay it out so the center is more dense.
    2) Bead the edging – lightly on the ends and center and more heavily on the center of the two side triangles.
    This should shorten it at the center and make it a bit more rounded in keeping with the fan tail of a peacock.
    Lisa B, Somewhere between Poetry and Fate – Texas : sitting here watching the horses munch on the Crepe Myrtles – maybe they are part beaver.

  89. take heart… if you look closely you will note that the model has the shawl folded like a collar!
    this should take up several inches…cm’s…of vertical length and you would have extra wrap width for cold winter nights!

  90. I am constantly amazed at the audacity of the pattern makers to expect me to READ THE MEASURMENTS…and really–they want me to make a guage swatch too? THE NERVE. I’m totally on that other voice’s side, darling–it was all their fault.

  91. I’m looking forward to having a place with a room with enough oomph to block something like this. I look at instructions that suggest blocking on the bed and give them the hairy eyeball. I mean, where would the hubby sleep? I would just be watching the knit block (like grass growing or paint drying), so obviously I wouldn’t need the bed!

  92. “Here’s a line I would love to read on all knitting patterns (were I in charge of the world.) “This sweater is knit in the 38″ size, and is here being modelled by a human who is 5’4″ and has a 36″ chest.” Now that would be helpful.”
    Oh, please, please, please, please! I’ve gotten burned by this enough times!
    But go ahead and finish the shawl–I think it’s going to be gorgeously dramatic!

  93. This may sound nuts, but, if you can find the wall space easier than floor space… block it on the wall. It works best with blocking wires or string-blocking, but it does work. Ask me how I know. =D To anchor the strings at the corners, I used those little hook thingies that hold up to X pounds but come off without damaging the paint.
    Mmm, huge shawl. I’m five feet tall and the thing would dwarf me, but… yeah, I’d totally wear it anyway.

  94. I have this lovely basement, blocking board, new blocking wires and a fan. You can even try to eat my son’s toes, he loves that.
    As for the length, I hear stilletos will be in style this fall.

  95. You could go further with “This sweater is knit in the 38″ size, and is here being modelled by a human who is 5’4″ and has a 36″ chest.” Now that would be helpful.” It should also list the bust to waist ratio. Lots of difference if the woman has a 23″ waist and a 38″ bust and a woman with a 34″ waist and a 38″ bust.

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