You’d think that light, airy lace would be light and easy knitting, wouldn’t you? Well, maybe you wouldn’t. I guess just looking at it tells you it’s complicated (and that’s why it’s so much fun!). Still, I had no idea when I started Irtfa’a just how much I’d be stretching my brain. I can practically feel the neurons growing; it’s amazing. 6 rows and I’m done for the night. My brain just stops, and I’m done, whether I want to knit on it obsessively or not. If I try to push it, I just start making silly mistakes, and lots of them. It’s like knitting weight lifting. I guess it should get easier as I go? Even with my currently limited endurance, I have made it to row 17 of the shoulder increases at the top of the shawl. I have about 2.5 inches of good, solid knitting under my belt on this project, which I’m pretty happy about, especially considering how little I can do in one sitting.

It is actually a really easy pattern to see, so I’m not sure why my brain is slogging so much. I guess it’s just that I’m not used to following charts. I actually forgot that the chart rows are reversed for WS rows on my swatch. I thought it was wierd to have a garter stitch lace; I didn’t remember that it looked like garter in Anne’s pictures. Well, that’s because it wasn’t. As with all charts, this one is written showing the stitches from the right side, so when you work the wrong side you have to invert the stitches, and knit every time it says purl, etc. This really isn’t difficult, but I just plain out forgot. So, I have a garter stitch lace swatch. I’ll be interested to see how it compares with the right pattern when I finish this section. There’s definitely a lot of detail that it’s missing, and it has a much fuzzier appearance than the correct pattern that I’ve worked so far. The nice thing about having gotten it wrong in the swatch is that I overestimated how much attention I’d have to pay to the wrong side rows. In the garter version, I really couldn’t see or follow the lace pattern much at all in the piece, so I had to really read the chart for every single row. The stockinette version is muuuuuch easier to see, and I can pretty much do the WS rows without the chart, which does help to speed things up a bit. Once I knew that I needed to invert the WS rows, I realized that I really didn’t need them after all. Funny, huh? I love the lace pattern, and I am really enjoying working it. I find myself fighting not to put it down, even though I know that it is a bad idea to keep going once the brain is gone for the night.

So, now that I have used up any brain cells that made it through the day (today was an uber-Monday after the break…), I think I’m going to work on the sweater; some light knitting should be nice for the rest of the evening. =)