In Which the Pirate Casts on Three Hundred Stitches.

I had planned to cast on for the Dancing Cranes stole on Friday night, but the discovery that my size 7 needles were regular blunt-tipped circs and not Addi Lace needles gave me pause. The last time I tried knitting lace with blunt needles I nearly gave up on lace altogether, and I have no desire to repeat that experience. Saturday was a day for hunting down needles! I went first to Knit and Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, but they didn’t have the Lace circs in size 7. Apparently they’re going to stop carrying the Lace needles; they aren’t selling well enough to justify stocking them anymore. They did offer me the Addi Click Lace set, but that’s unfortunately at $185 that’s out of my budget right now. Maybe in the future I’ll sell off all the Addis I have to fund the Click set, but for now… no. Later in the day I stopped by Needles in the Haymarket and was lucky that they were still open, even though it was half an hour after closing time. I bought the very last size 7 Lace needle they had in any length, and it was even the 32″ I needed. Whew! I guess I could have made do with a shorter cable, but I’m sure I’ll be glad to have the length. If not for this project, then for something in the future.

On Sunday afternoon I got out the yarn and my new Lace needle and contemplated casting on three hundred stitches with the yarn held double. I’d never done a cable cast on before, so I had to look up instructions for that before getting started. It seemed easy enough… I cast on the first three stitches three times but the yarn refused to slide free for a fourth attempt, so I cut off those few inches and began again. This time instead of trying to use the right needle to bring the new stitch through, I used my smallest crochet hook. It worked like a charm! After a while I had gotten into the routine motion of pulling new stitches through, and all three hundred stitches were on the needle, with stitch markers at each ten stitches, which were counted three times each just to be sure. The Silken Kydd is really unforgiving of mistakes, which is typical for fuzzy mohair. I shall simply have to refrain from making any mistakes over the next 35,700 stitches or so.

It was some time before I could bring myself to actually get started on the first stitch. I procrastinated by re-doing the math: the stole has a 28 row repeat and calls for three repeats; I bought enough yarn for four just in case. If I work one row per day, that’s one repeat per month, which means even if I decide to do the fourth repeat the stole will be done in mid-March, well before the end of May deadline.

Before bedtime I’d purled the four-row edging and went off to dreamland feeling quite pleased with my progress. The yarn is actually quite nice to knit with, less slippery than I’d guessed it would be and a *lot* more fuzzy. Tonight I’ll find out if I can concentrate on knitting lace while watching Monday Night Football – it’s the Vikings at the Packers, and it should be a good game.

Do cranes really dance, anyway?

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