Friday, September 27, 2013

So this is awkward

Last year I had such high hopes of blogging on the regular and I was actually starting to develop a rhythm! And then everything fell apart for reasons I'm not sure of and every time I went to blog I thought "But it's already been so long..." and now here we are over a year after my last blog post.

The idea of blogging (specifically about things I've made) appeals to me so much because while I do keep a log it doesn't go as in depth as I'd like it to be. In my attempt to not just photograph and write about the finished product I've decided to dedicate more time to keeping up with a blog.

Whenever I go on a blog hiatus (and it happens often) I come back and want to post about every single thing I've made since my last post but some things I finished so long ago and were so uneventful there's really nothing to say about them. Instead there will be a mini-celebration with short FO parades over the next few days.

Today is dedicated to my favourite thing ever: The Lace Shawl (it's gonna be a long one)

Pattern: Dew Drops Shawl
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock  [1.95 skeins 5631 charcoal; 852 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Dew Drops Shawl

Just over a year ago I fell in love with this pattern and immediately wanted to make it. Searching through my stash gave me lots of options but none were just right. I really wanted a grey shawl and what grey I had just wasn't enough for the massive shawl I had in mind. I ended up making it bigger than the pattern because one of my goals is to have as few leftovers as possible (I believe I have just 20 yards left of this) And, well, it's huge. 

Anyway, because I didn't have this perfect grey I was thinking of and my brief flirtation with purple fizzled out I picked up some grey and the yarn and the pattern sat untouched for almost a year. During all this time I kept thinking about it and wanted to cast on but other pretties always got in the way. 

When I finally cast on and finished it in June (in record time even, just two days!) I ended up tossing it into my FO basket and forgetting about it because I hate blocking and it was way too warm to wear anyway. I finally blocked it last week and even wore it! I seriously love this pattern and am planning to make it again in a silk blend. I'm sure it will take another year to get around to it. 

Pattern: Onerva
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace  [1 skein sealing wax; 470 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Onerva

I've made Onerva before and it is one of my favourite shawl patterns. It only takes one standard sized skein of lace weight at the minimum and can easily be resized by just continuing on in the pattern or even using any weight of yarn. It is also incredibly simple but looks very very impressive. 

Pattern: Azulejos
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace  [1.25 skeins Azul Bolita; 587.5 yards]
Needle Size: 4mm
Ravelry Project Page: Azulejos

I love making shawls. I love making shawls that start with a small amount of stitches because I really don't mind building up the stitches to impossibly long stitch counts for bind offs that take hours (I'm looking at you, picot) I know that lots of people enjoy casting on hundreds of stitches and then decreasing because they feel it's faster towards the end. Yes, most people tend to have more excitement when first starting a project so the long rows at the beginning aren't bothersome and ending with smaller stitch counts makes sense because everyone just wants things to hurry up and be finished already! 

But not me. I absolutely hate casting on more than a hundred stitches which is why I tend to avoid anything that requires me to do so. But as this shawl was a gift for someone and they fell in love with the pattern I cast on over 300 stitches in lace. 

I began thinking "This probably won't be so bad" but then several movies in (and no break, I'm bad with taking breaks if I get to just sit and knit) I felt like I had made no progress. It began to get really tedious and I was so excited when I began on the last chart. I think that's another reason why I like starting the other way. Usually borders are more intricate than the body and you can kind of warm up into it and because the body is usually simple it's easy to memorize and easy to say "Oh just one more repeat!". In my mind working on a shawl body is something I would do in a day because I tell myself I'll stop when I get to the next chart and it's completely doable. 

Granted, it was worth it because this pattern is gorgeous and I'm shocked that a lot of people haven't made it. And, yes, the shawl goes by incredibly fast once the edging is done but I will not be making another shawl with a large cast on any time soon even though I have fallen in love with several. 

Yarn: Louet Paco Vicunas  [1.8 skeins natural; 630 yards]
Needle Size: 3.75mm
Ravelry Project Page: Cable & Lace Shawl

Finally the most intricate (and luxurious) of my lace shawls. While this technically took me three months to do I did a lot of other things in between and actually recall frogging this once because it had slipped off the needles and an entire section had unravelled. This is why I like to be monogamous in my knitting because otherwise things take forever. This was a long haul project but worth it in the end because it's possibly one of the most rewarding things I've made. At the end there are 17 cables on either side of the spine. 34 cables right next to lace in laceweight yarn on tiny needles. The thing that saved me the most was cabling without a needle here if I had to do it with a needle this would probably still be on the needles. This was fairly tricky however as the yarn was both teeny tiny and slippery. 

We need more edgings like this as well. Edgings typically take forever because there are so many stitches but this is worked separately and joined when the shawl is complete. Even though I'm sure it takes the same amount of time it sure feels faster with such short rows. 

Tomorrow's parade will be similar to today's. Even more lace shawls. 

No comments:

Post a Comment