Ishbel, you heartbreaker

Heartbreakingly gorgeous, yes?


It’s been a bumpy road with Ishbel. First, I chose a yarn that I didn’t enjoy working with. Then I switched to a different yarn, and ran out before I was done. (Sooooo close. 1.5 rows, plus bind off.) After a rescue by KellyinTexas from Ravelry, I finished the knitting on Saturday.

Here it is unblocked.


unblocked close

I was pretty pleased, and started the wet block process. I bought blocking wires last year after making my Shetland Triangle shawl. These are a great invention. I love how easy it is to pin out points with these. But seriously, I am going to have to get a plain white towel for blocking. This cacophony of color is just too much!

blocking ishbel

What is it about a blocking shawl that is so attractive to cats?


As I was pinning the shawl out, I noticed this disintegrating section (without the needle in it, of course).

bad corner

I must have dropped a stitch during the bind off. I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do, until the shawl was dry. Which gave me time to think it through. There were bound off stitches on each side of the dropped stitch(es), so that meant the run was confined to a small area. After Ishbel was dry, I picked up all the live stitches I could see, and then removed the blocking wires. I tinked back the bound off stitches (luckily, this was near the end), and then proceeded to recreate the three rows that had ripped out. This took three tries to get the lace pattern correctly. I finished binding off again, and voilà!


See the second from the bottom motif on the left? Yeah, I fixed it. Due to the bit of curl, you can’t see the whole motif, but it’s there. It just needs to be blocked to bring out the point. But no, I’m not going to re-block the shawl right now. It’s just fine the way it is.

But I have a comment, and a question. I never quite memorized the lace pattern, despite the fact that the repeat section is the same in sections A, B, and C. Is it because I was fixating on the holes, and not the solid parts? Which is figure, and which is ground? The branching holes, or the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine? What do you see?

figure ground

Despite all the stumbling blocks, I’d love to knit this shawl again. But I think I’ll make the larger size with the smaller border, or the smaller size with the larger border, to make sure I don’t run out of yarn again! And this yarn blocks like a dream, and is soooo soft. I’m going to love wearing this!

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Larger size, with larger border
Malabrigo Sock yarn in Violeta Africana, one skein plus a few more grams!
Size 6 (4 mm) needles (Lantern Moon ebony circulars)

30 responses to “Ishbel, you heartbreaker

  1. Michele – it’s gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it on you.

  2. that is sooo beautiful – very lacy and feminine…you are the master

  3. Your Ishbel is gorgeous! I love the color you chose. I just started my own Ishbel and am not really looking forward to the lace portions.

  4. Thank you! I like the color more now that it’s blocked; it was so densely purple while I was knitting it.

    The lace isn’t bad; I just read it line by line. The little repeat is easy to remember. I just couldn’t get it in my head on how it all hangs together. Duh!

  5. I see the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine.

  6. ps: go to Goodwill (one of the superstore ones) and check out white sheets/towels/blankets. You pay by the weight, so you can often get them for less than buying a new one. 😉

  7. Yikes! I would have been pulling my hair out. I think the time out for drying was the best thing;) I’m glad it worked out. You can’t see any problems at all.

  8. Hooray! It’s just gorgeous! What a trial though. Good work on saving it.

    I had to think about what you meant but I think I see the solid part as the pattern – like leaves as someone else said. I’m not far enough into the lace yet to have really come to terms with this but I’ll be thinking about it while I knit.

  9. To die for beautiful! I love it! I can’t believe you were able to recuperate those stitches. I probably would have broken down and cried. Well done you!

    I do see the leaves you’re seeing but before you said anything I saw little japanese fans there. This could be an interesting psychology experiment… what does Ishbel tell you? 😉

  10. Good job fixing it, I knew you could do it. I see the leaves but if I look really long I see the holes. It reminds me of those pictures in my psych 101 book. And it makes me a bit dizzy.

  11. Great save! That’s enough to cause even a modern-day lady to swoon!

    Beautiful results – wear it in health.

  12. Your Ishbel is beautiful! I adore that color, too. As for your question, with lace, I always seem to focus more on the open areas as the design rather than the solid areas that break them up, but I guess in reality the two work together, don’t they?

  13. Beautiful work – and a great rescue at the end – well two I suppose including the knitter who rescued it first with a few more grams of yarn!

  14. Nice work on fixing the dropped stitch! I wouldn’t even know from just looking at it that there’d been any problems. By the way, I see the branching holes, and I had to look hard and adjust my focus a little to spot the solid leafy part!

  15. I’m so glad you could save it!! Yay you!

  16. Beautiful! I just started one last night. I hope it’s as pretty as yours!

  17. Beautiful! I have the same yarn/colorway & plan to make a shawl with it as well. Thanks for the inspiration & warning to watch out for yardage. Nice work!

  18. In a word: SPECTACULAR!

  19. I agree with Susie: Spectacular!

    And recreating lace pattern from a unbound edge?!!! You’re my hero!—err… heroine!

    Absolutely beautiful work . It was also fun to have a look at your shawl before you blocked 😉

  20. Gorgeous!
    Nice job on the bind off fix; on one of my very first lace projects, as I was blocking I discovered a place where the yarn had snapped and had a really hard time fixing it up, but yours looks perfect!

  21. That is a gorgeous shawl! Just beautiful.

    Great job fixing it – I’m impressed! I’m not sure I could have – I think I just would have freaked out.

  22. Good save!!! I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to handle it as well.

    It’s gorgeous and the perfect color.

    I guess I’m weird, I see both the solid sections and the holes; they work together to create the whole.

  23. It’s beautiful! Great job on the binding redo!

  24. Your Ishbel came out lovely- great job! I really enjoyed seeing your pre-blocked pictures and your closeup- it gave me hope that my squishy yarny mess of an Ishbel-in-progress will look a lot better after finishing and blocking! Thanks for posting them!

  25. Gorgeous!!! Just lovely!!

  26. I adore Ysolda’s designs. They are so pretty. Great choice of yarn and color. Good on you to stay calm and not shed tears when you found the mistake. It looks wonderful.

  27. fabulous!! i love it. you may have just inspired me to make one…. 🙂

  28. It’s fabulous! I love the colour of it. And well done you for perservering though all those challenges!

  29. Pingback: Curiosity « PDXKnitterati