Except for a brief return to the never-ending pink socks in order to finish off a toe (and thus complete sock #11 and pair #5), I have been working pretty much exclusively on the lace stole, because I am determined to get this thing done as quickly as possible.
Tonight I finally finished up the 34th repeat of the center panel pattern (it’s a gorgeous pattern and the repeat is easy to memorize, but I am very glad to be done with this part because 34 repeats of the same thing was getting a teensy bit boring), so I moved on to the next part of the process, which is to graft the two center panel pieces together.
Basically the pattern has you knit the two halves of the center panel separately, and then graft the live stitches together in the middle. Not a problem – kitchner graphing is my friend. But the pattern also has you end each half with a purl row, which created a rather visible line in the center (you can see it here) – something which makes me a teensy bit twitchy becaues my feeling is that if I am going to have to go through the hassle of kitchnering 160 stitches, I want the transition between the two pieces to be just as seamless as when I do it on smaller and more mundane things, like, for example, the toes of my socks.
So for my first pattern modification (because what is the fun of doing something *exactly* as it’s written, after all), tonight, after finally finishing the second center panel, I carefully undid the final purl row on the first panel, and then grafted the two together without those two end purl rows. Or in other words, I was grafting yarn-overs to yarn-overs so that the graft itself would form the single purl row that separates the two pieces, instead of having three purl rows like the pattern calls for.
Here’s a progress picture showing the completed (and grafted) center panel. Notice the inclusion of an oh-so-helfpul cat, who made a lunge for the lace about two microseconds after I had picked up the camera.
The ends where I’ve grafted are hanging out on the left. If you look closely you can see a bit of the grafting line. But I think blocking will remove most of it (the key here was to make sure my graft was done loosely) and I am hoping this will avoid that noticable dividing line, and make it a bit less obvious that the center was originally done in two parts.