Ok, I'll admit to the use of far too many exclamation marks in the title of this post. But you just don't understand how incredibly happy I am right now. I am victorious! I finished a lace swatch. Not just any lace swatch.... it's one that has been plaguing me for over a year.
Last September I found a pattern on ravelry that was just gorgeous.... gorgeous, amazing, almost impossible to acquire and perfect for knitting to wear as part of my costume for King Richard's Faire. The pattern was the Madeira lace variation on the Medieval Hooded Scarf found in the book 220 Projects for Cascade 220. I had to shell out $30+ bucks to get this pattern book from an obscure seller on Amazon because it went out of print years ago, but that didn't matter because I HAD to make it.
The coveted book arrived, I got some beautiful dark purple cascade 220 and I was ready to go. Did I fail to mention I had never knit lace before? No big deal right? Ha....ha ha ha.... sob. Needless to say things didn't go well and I ripped what I had done out at least three times. Finally I started getting serious and start really paying attention. I counted every repeat twice, made sure everything was lining up, but still things were off. So, in September of 2009 I put the scarf down in disgust. I finally started to think all the problems weren't because of me and there just might be some blame to share with the pattern itself.
Two weeks ago I got the itch to knit for King Richard's Faire again.... and I thought about the hooded scarf. /facepalm
So I dragged out the yarn and book and decided to swatch the lace pattern to attempt to diagnose the problem(s) instead of casting on the 534 stitches for the entire project and deciding to have a cathartic burning of supplies when I inevitably make that fated mistake. The swatch was a good idea. I re-knit it a couple times and the leaves still didn't look right. I was doing this at knit night and some kind soul (I believe it was Heather) suggested I chart out the pattern so I could visualize it better and see any mistakes. EUREKA!!! That did it! I noticed 7+ mistakes just with the number of stitches in each row. So, last night at knit night I started another swatch (#4,354 most likely) and made allowances for the mistakes as I saw fit.
It started working....
This evening I finished my swatch, notating all the changes I made, and it looks beautiful. I just about cried when it was done and all pinned out. I still can't believe it.... so, hopefully I will have this beautiful hooded scarf to wear at Kind Richard's Faire this year. I am going to be so proud of it :-)