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Posts Tagged ‘Zephyr’

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It seems like a long time since I finished my last shawl. Usually I knock one off every five weeks or so, but this one was an unusually slow knit, and has had a few issues as well.DSCN1167

Still, it is lovely.

It is also, as you can see, quite large! It measures 34″ from neck to point, and 80″ from tip to tip. I knit it in Jaggerspun Zephyr, on US size 4 needles. The pattern calls for a cobweb weight yarn. Zephyr is on the thicker side of laceweight, which explains the 20″ difference between the pattern measurement and what I got!

The color of Zephyr I used is called “blueberry.” It is a lovely, smoky blue color. I might have to get some more and make something else in this color. This is my third shawl using Zephyr. It really is everything that it’s cracked up to be. DSCN1161 Easy to knit with, enough bounce to handle crazy lace stitches, a nice sheen from the silk content, and enough silk to make it block and stay blocked really well while still having enough wool to still handle like a good wool yarn should. Yes, there’s more Zephyr in my future!

One of the reasons I chose this shawl pattern was so that I could ease my way DSCN1157into two-way lace knitting, where there are lace stitches on every row. All of my previous lace projects have used lace stitches on every other row, with a plain “rest” row in between. One of my long-term goals has been to knit a traditional Shetland shawl, which will mean a lot of two-way lace. After I finish the shawl I just cast on, the Shetland is next!

LMP is destined for a friend in Nashville. I wore it a little last week, but last night I folded it, wrapped it up in a box and addressed it, and today I’ll go to the post office and say goodbye. However, it is going to a great home, so it’s not too hard to send it away.

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Pattern: Wing-‘o-the-Moth Shawl

Materials: 3 oz Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight (see below for color)

Needles: US size 5 32″ circulars (or maybe 4s?)

Cast-on: November 21, 2007

Finished: December 6, 2007

Wow, was this a fast knit! I cast on over the Thanksgiving holiday and never really worked all that hard on it, but somehow it was finished the first week of December. Usually, a lace shawl takes me about 5 weeks of fairly intensive work. I think that this went quickly because the pattern repeats were easily memorizable. The last 50 rows or so were very long, taking 20 minutes or more each to knit, but the patterning was simple enough that I could take it everywhere and work amid almost any distraction.

Simple did not translate to dull: almost every stitch is shaped, with only a few channels on the border going straight up-and-down. Both the shawl-in-progress and the finished piece were visually interesting, and I received tons of compliments on the work both before and after I blocked it.

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Pre-blocking, I thought that it looked a bit like the egg-carton foam that you can buy to put on your mattress.

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The pattern called for a size 6 needle, but I have worked with Zephyr before and knew that I would not be happy with the lace on that large a needle. I started out on 5s, decided the lace was still too large, ripped back and started in again with 4s. It was a good decision. The lace motifs looked nice, and the finished shawl measured 68″ from tip to tip.

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I made two small changes. The more obvious change is in the bind-off. The pattern calls for a regular, straight-edged bindoff, but I decided to try a crochet chain bind-off. It is a bind-off that I have used before and liked. It is nice and stretchy, a bit less tedious than my normal stretchy bind-off, and complemented the shawl edging. I also substituted a purl stitch for the K1tbl stitch that was specified for the center channel of the return rows. I think that the K1tbl stitch is supposed to draw in the YO stitches in the center channel, but I found that for me it made them look loose and sloppy. I’ve never had that problem before, so I decided to forget about the twisted stitch and go with a straight purl. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

I’ve knit with Zephyr before. It’s a nice soft cuddly lace yarn with just a bit of sheen from the silk content. I wound the yarn off of a cone that a friend bought, so I don’t have the color name. Maybe she will leave a comment and tell us what that color name is? I thought that the gray was quite flat, but many of my friends have commented that the color was interesting and had depth, so perhaps we are perceiving the color differently.

One last item: I’ve noticed that I get a lot of hits from people who Google the names of the projects I’ve written about. I know that when I do a search before starting a project, I want to see good clear detailed pictures and know about any pitfalls in the pattern, so I’m trying to write more about those things. Is there anything else I should include? Are the photos clear enough, or should I do more close-ups? I’m open to suggestion!

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Materials: Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight, color “peacock”

Needles: size 5 circulars

Pattern: Peacock Feathers Shawl, from Fiddlesticks Knitting

Cast on: June 27, 2007

Finished: July 28, 2007

A friend of mine bought a whole 1 pound cone of laceweight Zephyr. I’m not sure if the realization of just how much laceweight yarn 5,040 yards really is occured to her at the time. A few weeks later, she let me reel off 4 oz, for $10.

A little after that, I entered a gift exchange. The theme was crafty, and the limit was $15, so I thought, hey, why not?

The pattern and the finished shawl are both just lovely. The final product was, indeed, 88″ across and 43″ inches top to bottom – in other words, huge.
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This pattern came with a little gauge pattern and specific instructions for a gauge swatch. The idea seemed to be that you knit this little square, block it, and at the end it should measure 7″ across. Fair enough.

I knit the little block on the suggested needles, and it was way too small. I’m a loose knitter, so this was surprising. I moved up 2 sizes, to 6s, and now the block was the right size. However, the lace pattern was, to my eye, unattractively loose. I liked the pattern better on 4s. I did some math, and decided that on 4s, the shawl would be unacceptably small. So I knit the swatch again, on fives, decided that the lace looked OK, crunched some more numbers, and figured that the shawl would come out around 72″ – a nice size. Of course, as I mentioned above, it came out bang on the money at 88″. I’m really, really glad I didn’t knit it at gauge!

I blocked it, as I do most of my large lace pieces, on a plaid flannel sheet. The straight lines are awesome guides. I used 6 long blocking wires and about 182 pins.

I was a bit sad to say “goodbye” to the shawl and put it in the mail, but the recipient seems to be happy with it, so I think that it has gone to a good home!

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