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Posts Tagged ‘evenstar’

Yeah, so lately, I’ve been doing more knitting and less blogging about knitting. This means that once again, I’ve got two finished shawls to show off!

 

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The first shawl is the Evenstar Shawl. The pattern was written by Susan Pandorf, as a “mystery shawl” knit-a-long. For the uninitiated, a mystery project is one where parts of the pattern are emailed to the knitters over a span of time. When you start knitting the project, you don’t know what the finished project will look like – that’s the “mystery.” For this shawl, the pattern parts, or “clues” to the mystery, were emailed every two weeks.

Although this mystery shawl started in February, I fell behind on the knitting sometime in March and didn’t finish until October. I was OK with that; it’s not like the mystery shawl police were going to come and confiscate my needles if I didn’t keep up. DSCN0074

The final project was just lovely. I’m glad that I signed up for this knit-a-long.  The pattern is meant to evoke images from the Lord of the Rings trilogy (hence the name) but it is lovely in its own right.

The yarn that I used for this project was Yarn Place Heaven. As you can see in the photos, it blocked really well. I blocked it out over a month before taking these photos, and the patterning is still extremely crisp. Yarn Place describes this yarn as “cobweb weight” but I think that it’s closer to gossamer. I knit this project on US size 1 (2.5 mm) needles, and I really think that I could have gone down to 2.25 mm or even 2.00 (size 0) needles; close up, the lace patterns are quite open and loose as I knit them on size 1. The size of the skein was very generous, around 3,000 yards. I still have most of the skein and I think that I will be able to get another large shawl out of it, at least. Something nice about this yarn was that it was just a little bit sticky. When I occasionally dropped a stitch, it didn’t tend to unravel quickly, like silk does. Mistakes were easy to fix without ripping back – DSCN0062always nice!

Because I knit this project with such a fine yarn, my shawl came out quite a bit smaller than the other finished shawls from this knit-a-long. That’s OK. Not every shawl needs to be voluminous! The very fine gauge makes the shawl almost ethereal; it wants to float through the air. It was difficult to make it lay flat for the photos.

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The second shawl that I photographed today is also on the smaller size. In fact,  it’s my smallest shawl to date. This pattern is Swallowtail, by Evelyn Clark. I needed something simple to work on during a recent trip, so I pulled some Lacey Lamb out of a drawer and cast this on. What a neat little knit! The size combined with such soft, fluffy yarn makes the shawl nice to wear as a little neck scarf. (Please forgive the poorly lit photo.) This shawl has a nice, classic look to it. It’s not over-the-top in any way. Moderate size, simple, effective stitch patterns and layout, and good wearability. Out of all the shawl patterns I’ve knit up so far (about 25!) I think that this one will best stand the test of time. I will definitely be knitting this one again.

This yarn has a bit of an issue with blocking, however. It is super soft and springy. This makes it easy on the hands when I’m knitting with it, and the final project is wonderfully soft and cushy to DSCN0051 touch. However, all of this soft springiness means that it doesn’t like to hold a block. Here I have a photo of my gauge swatch, knit and blocked 6 weeks ago, next to the shawl, which I blocked last night. You can see that the swatch has seriously bounced back from the block. The stitches have all closed up quite a bit. I knew from previous experience that this yarn likes to behave this way, so I chose a larger needle than I would normally, in order to produce a more open gauge. After a few weeks, the shawl will look like the swatch. Even with the bounce back, the pattern still looks nice in the swatch, so I’m confident that the shawl will still look nice as well without needing to be re-blocked before each wearing.

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It’s embarassing to admit, but I’m not quite sure of how many lace shawls I have knit so far. I think that this is #20. The photo is of the swatch I did to test the yarn I chose against the pattern. I like to swatch out lace patterns on a small scale before I cast on for large projects, to see if the pattern reads clearly and what the proportion of open vs. knit stitches looks like. If I don’t like the swatch, I might change to a larger or smaller needle and thus manipulate the proportions, or I might find a different yarn. I got lucky on this one: I liked the proportions I got on my first try. The yarn is Yarn Place “Heaven” and I am knitting it on US size 1 (2.5mm) needles. (Yikes! This is thin stuff!) The yarn is surprisingly easy to work with, although I need very bright light and a good contrasting backround to work on a scale so fine.

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I have finally succumbed to the mystery-shawl-knitalong craze and signed up for the Evenstar Mystery Shawl. For those of you who are not in the know, a “mystery shawl” is a new shawl pattern. When you purchase and commit to DSCN1061 knitting the shawl pattern, you don’t know what the final product will look like – it’s a mystery! The pattern is released a little bit at a time – in this case, every two weeks. The first “clue” to this mystery shawl was released last Friday; I’ve knit it all up and now I have to wait until next Friday to get the next part of the pattern. According to the designer’s website, there are 757 knitters all signed up for this mystery shawl. So, theoretically, 757 of us are all knitting this at the same time. It’s oddly fun.

DSCN1055 Through the magic of the Internet, I recently was able to swap an unloved shawl for a nice knit blouse, made by another knitter.  I knit the “Cap Shawl” from Victorian Lace Today about two years ago. It was fun to knit, but has DSCN10551languished in a drawer ever since. A few weeks ago, I read about a knitter who had made a short-sleeved sweater that didn’t really flatter her. Would anyone want it? The sweater was my size, so I went out on a limb and offered to swap my unloved shawl for her unloved  sweater. The sweater fits great! It’s just the sort of thing that I would have made, except that I didn’t have to do the work. And I heard back that she really likes the shawl.

A few weeks back, I posted about a flatbed bicycle trailer that I overhauled. My father seemed to be fairly impressed by the photos, so here’s another photo for him:

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The object in tow is my husband’s erstwhile wheelchair! After four long months, he is back to walking (most of the time) on his own. We rented a folding wheelchair (free to us, since we had already hit his health insurance deductible) for several months to help out in situations where crutches weren’t practical, such as at the airport. The wheelchair was great to have on hand, but I was just as happy to haul it back to the medical supply agency.

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