in a forest pitch-dark
glowed the tiniest spark
it burst into flame
like me : like me

another attempt to get the whole thing

Okay, so Bjork’s song Isobel doesn’t exactly fit this situation. This teeny shawlette is Ishbel, not IsObel. But that didn’t stop me from singing that song in my head the whole time I was knitting it.

Not that it’s a bad thing. I big heart Bjork.

isn't it purdy?

My Love Ishbel (Rav it!)
Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague, from Whimsical Little Knits
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 1 skein of unknown colorway (ballband long gone)
Needle: US 6
Started: March 31
Finished: April 9

So tell me if you’ve ever been in this situation.

You see a pattern, and it’s so cute! You must knit it. You glance at the directions, which say something like “…blah blah blah one skein of sock yarn.” And your brain says, “Hey, one skein of sock yarn? I have that!” And you scamper off to the sock yarn stash and retrieve that lovely perfect skein of Koigu that you’ve had forever that’s just been waiting for the perfect thing.

Anybody catch my whoopsie there? I did eventually. And by eventually I mean after I had cast on and knitted for a good long while.

If I had actually read the pattern, I would have noticed that it does call for a skein of sock yarn, yes, but it’s a full-sized skein of sock yarn. Meaning about 350 yards. A skein of Koigu KPPPM has 175 yards. You need two to make a pair of socks. (Which might explain why that single skein of Koigu has been sitting in my sock stash forever.)

So I am the only person ever to have done something like this? Didn’t think so.

Ah, well. Lucky for us knitters, we know how to knit! And we know how to change stuff. Yay us.

So this lovely pattern Ishbel is stockinette at the beginning, then it starts being all lacey. Not wanting complications in my life, I changed the stockinette part. I made it littler.

stockinette bit

It was actually pretty easy to do. It turns out you need a certain number of stitches on the needles before you start the lace part. (Wow thanks, Captain Obvious! You’re welcome, I do try to help.)

Ysolda wrote the pattern for two sizes, a big laceweight and a little sock weight. I don’t remember the exact numbers for each; it was something like 175 stitches for the little and 200 some-odd for the big. But I whipped out my wild algebra skills and figured that this number of stitches was 29 + 16x, where x equals the number of lace repeats. So I plugged in integers for x until I had a number that I thought was sort of right (based on how many stitches there were for the small size). My x turned out to be 6, so I increased to 125 stitches.

Math. Not just for breakfast anymore.


Everything was both hunky and dorey for a bit. Until I ran out of yarn.

Oh, I was so close. I was TWO rows from the end. Two stinkin rows! Well, you can see what I did above. I used a different color for those last two measly dumb pathetic rows. (Okay, so they were really very cute rows. I was just mad at the lack of yarn.)

Ishbel--the arty shot

And actually, I really like how it turned out. As Nicole said when she saw the finished product, “It looks like you did it on purpose!” This was after my knitting group watched me knit and tink those last two rows um…was it three times? I tried a couple of different colors before I found this one, and ripping those trials out was not a pretty sight. (We have beer at knitting group. It came in handy that night.)

middle point

I very much heart this non-point as the center um, point. Beautimous.

But I’m way happy with it. See?

i amuse myselfapparentlysomone has to

So Ishbel with 175 yards of sock yarn? Yes it can be done. It’s a very respectable 37″ across the top, and 13.5″ at center back. Not bad, considering that the Ysolda measured her smaller one at 48.5 x 14.5″. I do tend to block the shit out of stuff, though. But I really love the lace to open up.


Can I just say once again how much I love Ysolda’s patterns? They are beautiful, they are fun, they are easy to knit because of her crystal-clear instructions. If I were a man, I’d be winging off to Scotland right now to try and win her hand.

And on second thought, the lyrics to Isobel maybe fit in some parts.

in a heart full of dust
lives a creature called lust
it surprises and scarves*
like me : like me

my name isobel : married to myself
my love isobel : living by herself

I lusted after it, and I loved it. And now I’m wearing it. Yay.

*okay, so this said scares. Spare a little poetic license?