Rabbit Tracks
Thursday November 30th 2006, 11:59 am
Filed under: Knit

This is the first pattern I ever had published, in the Knitting Pattern-A-Day 2005 calendar (and on my website). I’ve decided I like it better with an extra stitch added at each side, the way I did here, so, add two to the count when casting on. This one used six repeats. I know, the eye is more pleased with odd numbers within patterns, but this leaves you with seven scallops at the bottom and seven columns among the yarnovers, so it works.

Once, when I was quite new at lace knitting, I started an ambitious shawl project in superfine cashmere, thin as sewing thread. It looked terrible, like crumpled tin foil, and I finally just bagged it. It wasn’t till several years later that I pulled it out, rinsed it, and let it dry with the stitches settling down into their natural shape: it was about 6″ long, absolutely beautiful, and would have become a gorgeous piece. But, by that point, not even protected in a ziploc bag, it was bugbitten and broken.

I let that be a lesson to me that yes, lace tends to look like a random mess while you’re knitting it: but you can rinse it, still on the needles (keep those tips dry if you’re using wooden circulars like I do) and spread it out in an approximation of its future blocked self over a white towel or sheet so it won’t absorb any dyes. This is an easy way to get enthused about it, and to be able to show it off a whole lot better if you’re going to be working on it in public. So, to demonstrate here, I got this shawl halfway knitted, rinsed it, and then finished it and snapped the photo so you could see the difference.

But what I did not at all expect is that this fingering-weight yarn with 51 stitches on size 5.5mm needles (9 American) could turn out to be a wedding ring shawl. It helps if it’s a big ring, definitely. Mine’s a 7; this is a ring for which my grandfather drove out onto a reservation in Nevada many decades ago, picked out a stone, and watched the ring being made for my grandmother. I wear it for best occasions and it connects me to the grandfather I never knew before his passing and the grandmother I only barely did before hers. It was created just for them.

As this shawl was created just for…someone who hopefully doesn’t know about this blog…

7 Comments so far
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And you say that you wish you could knit like me when you grow up. Sheesh. That is beyond gorgeous.

And I call preblocked lace Yarn Vomit. Because it looks like the skein just hacked up a big old hairball, right there onto my needles, especially if I’m using mohair.

It’s especially fun when I’ve had a very, very long day.

Comment by Kristine 11.30.06 @ 2:04 pm

MoHairBall. Lol! But really, this is a very simple, two-row pattern, a great one for beginners.

Comment by AlisonH 11.30.06 @ 5:38 pm

Seeing that photo, I am encouraged to give this a try. It would be my first lace knitting attempt. It’s beautiful, Alison.

Comment by Mary Anne 12.01.06 @ 7:45 pm

Cool! One thing to know is that on the row you’re doing the yarnovers, there are two extra stitches each repeat from the original count, and then on the following row you go back to the original number.

I blocked that white one last night, looked at it, and went back and undid the last few rows and redid it so that I was casting off at the same time that I did the row with the ssk, k5, k2tog part: this made the top and bottom edges of the shawl look much closer to identical. And then I had to reblock the bottom, but that was no big deal.

Comment by AlisonH 12.01.06 @ 8:34 pm

By the way, I love your new picture, Mary Anne; throw a snowball for me sometime, will you? I only get snow if I chisel it out of my freezer after someone’s left its door ajar.

Comment by AlisonH 12.01.06 @ 8:40 pm

[…] It really WAS a wedding ring shawl! From my Nov 30, Dec 2 and Dec 6 posts to here: […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 06.02.07 @ 8:24 pm

Hi Allison, I love your patterns and your blog. My granddaughter wants to make the Rabbit tracks scarf, which is absolutely beautiful, but we can’t quite figure out what you do about the 2 extra stitches after casting on. You say, “K 1 on each side”. Does that mean K the 1st & last stitch on each row or every other row? And if every other row, right side or wrong side rows? Is this the best way to prevent the long edges from curling? Thanks a bunch. Sue

Comment by Susan Scott 09.21.19 @ 5:26 pm

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