Friday, February 22, 2008

FO: Shetland Triangle

I happy to report an FO!

Pattern: the lovely Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Schewe Baby Alpaca (a discontinued yarn that was a gift from my knitting mentor)
Needles: US size 7 - Addi Lace Turbos

This is the first lace shawl I wanted to knit, although it did not end up being my first lace project. It is a great pattern and the lace repeat is very easy. Highly recommended, especially as a beginning lace project.

I’ll admit to some confusion regarding the cast on, but Clark’s book “Designing Lace Triangles” provided some other options that made more sense. (Crocheting with waste yarn and picking up the stitches didn’t work for me; starting with a few 2-stitch rows of garter stitch in waste yarn did.)

It doesn't work to put stitch markers between each repeat of the lace so I quickly learned to read the pattern in the lace to make sure things were lining up.

I wanted a shawl that would be generous, especially on my frame, so I ended up knitting 12 repeats of the lace pattern. The pattern calls for 8 but it is easy to accommodate more repeats if you have enough yarn. Luckily, I did, but I would recommend buying extra yarn if you also want a generous shawl.

I cast this project on on February 8th and bound off on February 20th. It is a fast knit, especially the beginning, and my speed was helped by a few days out of town with not much to do with my hands except knit. The rows towards the end get pretty long - mine reached almost 300 stitches across - but it's worth it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shetland Triangle

I've had a lot of fun working on the Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark this past week. After the seven months it took me to knit the Kimono Shawl, this one just flew.

After three days of knitting at a retreat with friends, I was almost ready for the edging per the pattern - and my yarn is a bit thicker and my needles a size larger than the pattern calls for - but a little bit of measuring convinced me it was too small. So I kept on knitting.

Today, after finishing 10 repeats (the pattern calls for 8) I put the live stitches on some waste yarn and tried it on. Still too small for my broad shoulders. I think I need another two repeats. Luckily, I had way more yarn than I thought I would need, so I expect to have enough.

And tomorrow I'll be at Madrona taking a "Designing Lace Triangles" class from Evelyn herself! I'll be wearing the Kimono, just in case any of my readers happen to be there too - please say hello!

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Shawls

I loved knitting lace so much that I'm already working on two more. (Even though those unmade Xmas gifts are still nagging at me, and the cold weather we've had recently makes me want another scarf.)

I cast on the Falling Leaves Shawl (Ravelry link) by Katy Wight first.

The pattern is very, very easy lace (an eight-row repeat, and four of those are all purls). This has become my take-anywhere project because it’s so easy to pick up and knit without much thought involved but still complicated enough to stay interesting. The pattern looks similar to Foliage but the decreases are all k2tog, which ends up producing a slant to the knitting, making the shawl into a parallelogram.

I started out thinking a garter stitch border would help the mostly stockinette stitches lay flat, but after knitting two repeats decided I didn't like the border. So I frogged it and started again without a border. However, almost four repeats in, I realized I cast on 9 stitches (one repeat) too few. That would make the difference between the shawl being 22" or 24" wide after blocking. Aargh! I've now put it aside while deciding whether or not I care enough about those two inches to frog and start all over or not.

So I pulled out some gorgeous baby alpaca yarn that I received as a gift some time ago and swatched for the the Shetland Triangle (Ravelry link) by Evelyn A. Clark.

I have tried to swatch this at least twice before and finally realized that the swatch has to include the increases that help build the shawl for everything to line up correctly. Finally, success. Not sure which size of needles to use with this German yarn for a lace project, I tried out both 6s (the lower repeat) and 7s (the upper repeat). I think the 7s are the winner.

I haven't actually cast on the actual shawl yet - it has taken every ounce of self-control I have today to work on getting ready for a class I have this evening instead - but certainly will before the weekend is over.