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Posts Tagged ‘knit shawl’

I feel like I jumped in the deep end for this one.

Alpine Lace table runner

This is the pattern “Alpine knit scarf” from the book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. Because I wanted to make a wedding gift, I modified it to make a table runner by changing the proportions and knitting it up on a smaller scale, with size 30 Cebelia crochet thread. This means that I knit it up on size 000 (1.5 mm) needles. Tiny! This was one of those projects that required extremely good light and lots of hand washing before handling the work.

Here it is with my hand for scale.

In order to determine a good length for the piece, I did some measurements and calculated the proper number of lace repeats to knit using the golden mean. This worked out well. For anyone who is interested in reproducing the proportion, this worked out to be 20 repeats of the rose leaf pattern; the rest of the piece was worked as written in the pattern.

I like to give household items for wedding gifts. This means working in a strong fiber like cotton. Wool and silk are both higher-maintenance and will fuzz up over time if left out on a table. Silk will also fade. White, mercerized cotton, however, won’t fade and doesn’t have any fuzzies left to cause trouble. However, I hate working with the stuff. Cotton has zero give or “bounce” and it’s hard on my hands; my left hand is still recovering from this one. Slippery cotton + slippery, tiny metal needles + lace patterning on every row made the first few rows a tad perilous as well. I must say that it was a mentally stimulating project. Blocking the finished work was also something of a challenge. The first time I blocked it, it bounced right out of block the next day. So, I soaked and blocked it again, with lots of starch and a little steam after it was dry. It should stay put now. I hope.

(No, I do not knit every wedding gift. I don’t have the time. Sorry Julie; I’m just not going to be home enough this summer!)

The diamond lace is patterned on every row. You can tell because the threads form straight lines in between the holes. Lace which is patterned on every other row has twisted threads. You can see this in the center "rose leaf lace" panel.

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Garden Shawl triangle, with my fun party dress.

This one’s for Mom.

This is the Garden Shawl. The pattern was written by Dorothy Siemens. I’ve done another of her patterns before, Peacock Feathers. Both were well written, although I liked the Garden Shawl better. I modified this pattern to make a triangular shaped shawl, both because I like knitting triangles better than squares (less edging!) and because the yarn I chose came in 1100 yarn skeins, and I didn’t want to shell out for 2 skeins. I used all but 18 grams of my 100 gram skein, so my triangle shawl used just over 900 yards.

I’m going to refrain from naming the yarn I used in this very public space. Sufficient to say, it is 100% silk, light laceweight (but heavier than cobweb) and looked very pretty in the skein. I found 4 knots in the skein and innumerable slubs, and for the price I paid, this is absolutely inexcusable. On the other hand, my Russian joins are now perfect.

(For anyone not in the know, a Russian join is a tricky but lovely method of joining yarn back together after a break or, in this case, after cutting out a knot.)

I had a lot of fun with this pattern. As I said before, I modified the pattern shape. It was written as a large square, with four triangular panel sections divided by long straight “flower panel” runners, and edged with a lace border. I took it down to a two triangular sections, which together make one large triangle, separated  and edged on the sides by the flower panels, and then edged at the bottom with the lace edging. Knitters interested in the technical details can visit my Ravelry project page here.

This was my 25th lace shawl! Now I’m going to take a break and knit a sweater. Don’t worry, it’s nice and complicated.

 

As and end note, could anyone recommend blogging software for a Mac? In case you can’t tell, I’m having some issues here. The WordPress web interface leaves a bit to be desired.

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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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