I have put the shawl aside for a few days. It is a good thing to do when in the middle of a project that requires a ot of concentration, not to mention eye strain.
I took a little rest to make a lovely circular cloth from a free pattern on the web. Instructions are nice a clear, although I prefer working from a chart. However, each row is pretty short, so I rarely got lost in the middle of things.
I bought Mason-Dixon Knitting when it first came out, and every time I opened the book, I went straight to the picture of the ultimate log cabin afghan -- you know the one I mean. The blue one. The wierd, curvy one. The one lacking a pattern. The one from Woolly Thoughts. I was obsessed with it. It haunted my dreams. I had to knit that afghan.
This weekend I (finally) found the on-line order form. The pattern comes in two versions -- the afghan and a cushion size. There was a notation that the cushion pattern was the basis for the afghan, and that the cushion pattern could be used and expanded for that purpose. This would not have made much difference except for 2 things:
1. Pattern and designers are in the UK, and the afghan pattern has to be mailed from there (It is a booklet). Not terribly expensive, GBP 4 + postage. However, postage from the UK is a mysterious item, and the exchange rate isn't all that wonderful, either. And you have to wait for it to arrive.
2. You can order the same from Amazon.com, but the price is higher, and unless you are ordering a bunch of stuff and get free shipping, postage and handling are almost as much as the item itself. And you have to wait for it to arrive.
HOWEVER, the cushion pattern can be received as a pdf document by email, costs GBP 2, no postage, no wait. It arrives in a very timely fashion in your email, along with a very nice note from Pat Ashford, one of the designers. And I really don't think that expanding a cushion-size pattern to afghan-size is going to be all that difficult, even for a mathematics-challenged person like me.