I’m coming into the home stretch of the Dancing Cranes stole! After a dedicated week of working on it, I am more than halfway through the third and final pattern repeat. This week, too, will be mostly given over to lace knitting (or is that “knitting lace”?) so that I can have the stole bound off, washed, and blocking by the end of the weekend.

The pattern as written says that the finished stole will be around 18″, and I think mine is going to be wider than that – which I’m quite happy with, as I didn’t think 18″ was enough. Originally I’d considered doing extra repeats, and I even bought the extra ball of yarn but now that I’m out of time, however wide it is will be wide enough!

The thought of trying to block this thing with pins was horrifying, so a set of blocking wires from KnitPicks has been ordered and is on its way to me. I can’t wait to see what it looks like once the lace is all opened up! Right now it looks like a fuzzy tangled mess, but I know it will be absolutely gorgeous after blocking.

Dancing Cranes has been an exercise in counting to eleven, over and over and over again. It would have been a much more difficult project without stitch markers every eleven stitches to mark off the pattern. Every return row I counted zero for the knit stitch, then one through ten for the purl stitches, just to make sure I still had the stitch count correct, and I’m glad I paid such close attention because I kept finding little mistakes. Knitting through the stitch below, missing yarnovers, little accidents that were fixable before they’d gotten too far down.

Even so, I wouldn’t say that it was a particularly *difficult* knit, just one that required lots of care and attention. When I concentrate like that, I stick my tongue out like Linus when he’s writing to the Great Pumpkin. And when I do that, it throws my entire jaw off. So, I chew on guitar picks. I’m no good at playing with a pick; I drop them into the guitar half the time, but they’re great to chew on! Between the sticky note marking off the rows and the pick, I kept my place (and my jaw) pretty well indeed.

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