Act 1, Scene 1
Casting On - Faroese shawls are knit from the bottom up with borders on either side, two side panels, and a center gusset. I always feel that a shawl that will decrease it's stitches as you progress will be a happy shawl. Maybe that makes this a comedy. Anyway, 421 stitches cast on using the crochet cast on. Sloooooooow, but nicely flexible, and best of all...no guess-timates as to the amount of yarn needed for a long-tail cast on!
I used my friendly stitch markers every 50 stitches to keep my sanity as I really don't like counting and recounting large numbers of stitches as they twist around circular needles.
Then I set things up with different stitch markers as Cheryl points out. My modus operandi is a green marker at the beginning of the RS, since green means GO. Then an orange (for these particular markers) for the last marker of the row, since orange is almost red, which means STOP. Then there are 2 markers on either side of the gusset - green first, then purple.
Act 1, Scene 2
Knitting Begins - This is always an exciting time for knitters. A vast "unknown" lies ahead. Maybe there will be multiple repeats, yarn overs and decreases, maybe even double decreases. The mind boggles with the possibilities!
I begin the shawl with 190 stitches in each of the side panels and after 4 rows garter stitch I am decreasing at the beginning and end of each side panel until I have 170 stitches in each. I will have 12 garter ridges at this point, but I like to double-check that my numbers are correct, and I still hate counting large numbers of stitches. So, I placed two additional markers in each side panel, 10 stitches in from each end. (10 sts, 170 sts, 10 sts) When I'm through with these decreases all of the 10 stitches will be gone, leaving 170. No counting!
It's surprising that at this point I've used almost all of my first of five balls of yarn. 225 m each. I'm almost one-fifth of the way through, which is another beauty of from the bottom up shawls.
The Icelandic wool is interesting to use. It's not unpleasant, but is certainly a coarser yarn. Icelandic sheep continue, after 1100 years, as one of the pure breed sheep, lacking the cross breeding as with many other breeds. They are a dual-coated sheep with a heavier, outer fleece, or Tog, along with a finer inner fiber, or Thel. The Tog is used for rugs and other weaving, while the Thel is used for garments that touch the skin. When blended together, the fiber is called Lopi. (Ah-ha!)
We will now return to our previously scheduled performance.