Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming Around

Pattern: Vernal Equinox Shawl (Ravelry only link)
Yarn: I have no idea where I got this yarn from and it didn't have a brand label on it which leads me to believe it's someones handspun. All I know is that it's a delicious red and cashmere
Needle size: 1.5mm
I used to turn my nose up at Mystery KALs until I did this. I knit this way after the actual KAL but I can totally see the fun in them now. I'm not really on speaking terms with surprises so I I'm still kind of unsure about the jumping into making something that you don't know what the end product looks like because it could be a huge waste of time, but the fun of the KAL and everyone working on the clues at the same time makes up for all of that.
I worked on it off and on but the clues were what kept me going. It started with, "Oh, I'll do a clue a day!" and then when I had 300 stitches on the needle and a very big clue, I ditched that idea and went for a clue a week instead. Charts in general keep me pretty motivated because even if there are several I find myself saying, "After this chart, and the next chart, there's only two charts left!" and completing a chart just feels so satisfying, it's like moving on to the next level.
This shawl actually looks a lot more intricate than it is, after just one repeat I had the row memorized and could do other things while knitting; I originally thought I'd have to isolate myself. The only downside is the huge cast off somewhere around 500 stitches, but I'll gladly take a big cast off over a big cast on. I hate casting on. I'd really like to make Annis and almost cast on for it the day it was released (as in had the yarn, the needles and the pattern in my hand!) but decided against it as soon as I saw the 363 cast on stitches. I'll do it one day because I really really love it. One day.
The downside to lace shawls (which are my absolute favourite thing to make ever) is the blocking process. I really need to invest in a blocking table or at the very least foam blocks for blocking because I'm tired of doing it on the floor and refuse to sacrifice my bed. You see, I'm a nap person. I will take a nap whenever I'm tired and that could happen in the middle of the blocking process which just doesn't work for me. I also find that I put off blocking for a very long time because I can never situate myself properly to get it all blocked out nicely. One day I will learn to love blocking. I have to. There are many many gorgeous shawls in my very near future.
I made it with laceweight and much smaller needles so it ended up being a lot smaller. This was planned. I love the drama of big shawls but because I wear shawls pretty much everyday I find they just don't really go with my life. So I try to keep them on the small side but not the shawlette side. Just big enough to wrap around and cover half my torso so I can still move around.
I'm in love with this shawl. Normally when I work on something for a long time (okay, it was a month but that's a long time in my knitting world) I get so tired of it I throw it in a corner and come back to it later. Not this time, it was only out of direct eyesight for two days before I had to wear it. You can marry a shawl, right?

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