Or well, so much for surprise. Today, Mom had to see her Christmas present early, because she was helping me fix it. With no more excuses about waiting until Christmas, I decided that I should fess up and just tell and show you what happened to project.

Last Monday night was blocking night. I finished the Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clarke on Sunday, and waited until Monday night when I had the blocking boards and wires that I borrowed from Mom (getting my own is on my Christmas list. Don’t look at me like that) and the thing had to soak in the bathtub because it was so big. It was 555 stitches in casting off. In lace weight. No, I was not on drugs when I decided to make this project. Anyhoo, I was blocking it. The top was strug through with 4 wires, the bottom tip was pulled down, and several of the scallops on the left hand side were pulled out, when I pulled out the middle scallop on the right hand side, and saw this:

Yeah, I balled. Like a baby. For 20 minutes.

That is a shawl, wider than my loveseat with a hole in it! So, I did what any knitter would do after they’d had their cry out. I called my Grandmother, since my mother had the audacity to be on vacation, and confided in her. She thought it could be repaired after seeing those photos, and assured me to leave it pinned in place until Mom could come over and help me fix it, because there was no one else in my circle of knitting friends who had the skills to repair it. The idea was to possibly pick up a crochet hook and make a bunch of joins into the shawl in the back and pick up the stitches and the broken yarn and just crochet some chains together to hold it in place, then weave in the ends and reblock it. But when Mom got here today, she discovered that it was not possible. Instead of the 2 ends that I thought there were, and only one weak spot, it turns out that there were 4-6 ends and a weak spot. She confirmed my fears – a moth was responsible for the condition of the last several yards of my yarn, probably from languishing unprotected in a basket all this time.

But she made my heart lighter again when she said she had the skills to rip it back to just before the hole and pick it back up. Amen to that! I had no problem reknitting the edging and blocking it again, that was doable, I just couldn’t pick up all those little stitches and have it look good. So that is what she did, while I patiently waited beside her, getting her knitting notions, cups of tea and Coke Zero, and making her a gourmet (Kraft Dinner) lunch to keep her fueled and focused on fixing my (her) shawl. After about 3.5 hours, it was done. She had not only ripped back to before the hole (and found another weak spot in the process, which means she didn’t have to come over to fix a second hole after the second blocking would have broken it) and picked it up on the needles and confirmed that all the stitches were in fact there, but she also purled a row on the shawl too!

I felt very, very guilty about her having to fix what is going to be her own garment soon, but I think she agrees that it would have been better than me trying to fix it myself, and messing it up, and then having the edging not align with the rest of the shawl, or me having to rip back to the beginning and start all over again. She saved me a ton of work, and in the end, she got to work on it a little bit, and sometimes, that’s a cool thing to say about a garment. The Heartland Lace Shawl is now languishing in a (plastic) bag that is sealed, waiting until tomorrow when I have let it sit long enough before I pick it back up again and continue on.

So, how about we move onto some more pleasant knitting news? Like procurring the most adorable vintage pattern book in the world!

I paid a lot more than the cover price for the book, but it was still very reasonable as far as pattern book prices these days. And the fact that I actually like, and can see myself knitting a lot of them makes it even more of a happy piece for me. I love to collect little things like that, but I love it even more when my collectables can be functional. There are some beautiful patterns in it, like this:

But also some laughable, dated pieces that make you just giggle out loud, like this:

This book was purchased at one of my local antique shops, the Button Box (www.thebuttonbox.ca) along with two sets of buttons, for my Helix Gauntlets:

It was a little unclear at the beginning which buttons I should use on the gauntlets, but definitely clear that both sets had to come home with me. By the time I left though, I knew in my heart that the gold flower buttons belonged on my gauntlets, and the blue ones, well, they were just too pretty to pass up, so they came home too.

The finger band for the second gauntlet is about half-done now, but I’m going to wait until Survivor tonight to work on it and the body of the glove. Immediately after this post is up, I will be eating a quick dinner, and then sitting down to pick up stitches on the edge of my Snowdrop Shawl. All 438 of them.

I know you’re all probably still reeling from the fact that so soon after having a diaster with one shawl that I’ve been willing to move onto another, but let’s just face it. I’m addicted to lace, and even moth holes in a shawl that ended with 555 stitches isn’t enough to deter me from a project that I have this much love for. Besides, the challenge of finishing my Ravelympics project before I go on maternity leave was too much for me to pass up.

So…with one evening and a full day ahead of me tomorrow, who here thinks that I might be able to finish both these projects in time for Morgan to be dropped off to me sometime late Saturday morning/early Saturday afternoon? We’ll see if I can declare victory again!

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