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The Uncooperative Charlotte Bronte

When it comes to books, I think Charlotte Bronte is a master. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites and I’ve read it many times. Not as many times as I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, but it’s still right up there on my list.

When it comes to shawls, on the other hand, Charlotte and I have a difference of opinion. It’s not that she’s not likable. I actually love the Charlotte Bronte Shawl pattern. It’s just that Charlotte is greedy and wants to use way more yarn than I have. Okay, so maybe the mistake isn’t really with her. It might be is my fault. But still, I had such faith in Charlotte as a writer that I assumed she would be equally good as a pattern.

Here’s my problem in a nutshell – I’m running out of yarn and I don’t seem to be able to get more. I bought 10 balls from elann to start and then 5 more when I realized it was being used up at an alarming rate. Now elann is out of stock. Sigh. Somehow, in a moment of stupidity blindness inattention, I started this shawl on size 3 needles instead of the recommended size 2 needles. What can I say? They were Addis, I was excited, perhaps even over-eager. Frankly, I don’t know what I was thinking. So here I have been, happily knitting away for nearly 2 months, thinking all was right with the world. I had bought extra yarn, after all, and while Charlotte seemed to be insatiable, I was sure it would all work out in the end.
Here’s what she’s supposed to look like when she’s completed.

She’s lovely, yes?

Well. Monday night I measured what I’ve got and Charlotte’s still not long enough. In fact, I’ve got several more inches to go before I’ve completed the center square. Right now I’ve got a center rectangle and that’s just not doing it for me or Charlotte. After the center is finished both the leaf border and the lace border will need to be knit. I’ve got 6 balls of yarn left and am just not sure at this point if that’s enough.


Here’s my dilemma: do I keep going and hope I have enough? Or do I cut my losses and frog her now and start over on size 2s? Comments, please? It’s an awful lot to lose at this point but I imagine I’ll feel worse if I keep going and run out of yarn after I’ve invested even more time. Sigh.

To cheer myself up, I took this picture. This is one of my day lilies and it actually came from the yard of my elderly neighbor at my first house in Brockton. It’s an heirloom daylily and probably over 75 years old now. This woman used to share her perennials with me and after she died her house was sold and slated for bulldozing. The night before the planned destruction, I snuck over to her yard with my wheel barrel and stole dug up this daylily plant. When I moved to East Bridgewater 8 years ago my perennials came with me and that first daylily plant I stole took has been divided 4 times. I think of my former neighbor every time I see them bloom.


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Carole,
    My daughter and I argue back and forth about the relative merits of the Bronte sisters, but we both love Charlotte and Emily. As far as your knitting goes, I thing you have two choices there too. Go on faith and knit the shawl whatever the consiquences, or, you can get out a tape measure and do the painful math to find out exactly where you stand. How may rows do you have remaining? How many yards of yarn does it take, with increases, to make a row? How many yards of yarn do you have remaining? I hate the math version and have been known to frog entire projects, or significant parts thereof, to avoid the dreaded math. For me, the knitting thing is much more faith/feeling than fact. Most sane and rational persons on the other hand, might choose otherwise. Best of luck either way. 🙂

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