Back in February, I spent a few days with my grandparents while my grandma had surgery. Not knowing how many days I’d be away for, I filled most of my small suitcase with clothes (winter clothes take up so much room!) and just grabbed a ball of lace weight wool and a size 0 hook to fill in the cracks and fill up hospital waiting time. I’ve used this yarn twice before in shawls, it’s perfectly lovely and I still have 1000+ yards of it. Previous projects: Internet Friend Shawl & Mother’s Day Scarf
I think all of us imagined a long afternoon of sitting about quietly at the hospital waiting for Grandma to come out of anesthetic. Perfect time to start a pretty project that starts with the tedious first instruction: Chain 386+1.
However, we soon learned that nothing keeps my Grandma down, not even major surgery, and she was sitting up and chatting with us within an hour of coming out of the OR. She came home first thing the next morning. No long hours of waiting for her and us!
Still determined to get a little crochet done, I began on my chain, trying my best to keep track of the count while nurses came in to check on her, chat, and read out numbers on her blood pressure or weight or age. (The nurse that didn’t check her chart at first to see her age, and then afterwards inadvertently exclaimed “Holy crap, you’re old!” because she thought Grandma was a good 10 years younger than her actual age was a hilarious moment.) All well and good, but I kept losing track of my count.
My aunt and uncle soon got into the game, calling out numbers at random periodically to throw me off.
Finally I decided that even if I was 20 or so chains short, it wouldn’t make a huge difference, and set about making the first row of single crochets back along the chain. It took a long time.
Eventually I was able to start the lace. By the time I left Michigan a few days later, I was three rows into the pattern. Each row took over an hour, but that’s lace weight and a small hook for you, right?
But I began to realize that something was really wrong. It just seemed so big… maybe instead of undercounting, I’d made too many chains at the beginning?
I checked the pattern to see if it could give me any insight into how far off I was. It says that the first row should have 35 pattern repeats total.
How many pattern repeats do I have?
How far off does that put me?
The pattern repeat is 11 chains. 49*11= 539.
I’m off by 153 chains. That’s impressively wrong!
So that’s why I’ve called this a shawl, not a scarf. And renamed it to be an autumn shawl, rather than summer. I’m making decent progress, but there’s no way it will be finished this season.
Oh well, at least I know I have enough yarn! And that it will be really pretty whenever it is I eventually finish it!