Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RIP Pacific Waves Shawl

I hate to do it, but I'm going to frog it.

I was so excited about this project. I stashed each skein of yarn like it was a jewel. Casting the shawl on was a reward. I was so looking forward to wearing it. I knit on it mostly monogamously for over a month, 69 freakin' rows, 32,705 stitches in fact. That's a lot of knitting, and a lot of time, and time is precious to me.

But I haven't liked it from the very beginning. (Why, oh why, did I not pay more attention to that?) One week after casting it on, I was questioning how it was working out. I frogged 19 rows and tried to improve upon it, but still wasn't really happy with it. The thing is, everyone else loves it. I've gotten compliments in person, on my blog, on Ravelry. I put it aside for a week and then looked at some of my pictures of it, and liked the pictures enough that I kept going, again.

I was so in love with the idea of this project, with both the yarn and the pattern, that I couldn't admit for the longest time that the shawl itself doesn't work for me. The color changes of the handspun yarn, which would be so lovely and gradual in a scarf or in socks, are creating vee-shaped stripes of color as I knit, which I don't like (although they are fun to photograph in detail). I also just don’t think the colors are working together, and I thought I would get a mostly blue shawl, but it's mostly brown. Maybe these pictures will help give a better sense of the full shawl:

I thought about giving it away, or selling it. But I spent too much on the yarn, and I love it too much, to give it away. And I'd have to charge a lot for the shawl to recoup my costs. I still love the yarn, I just think it deserves different patterns - possibly the Turn a Square Hat, some Mini Sweaters for the tree this holiday season, a nice, basic cowl, and a Baby Surprise Jacket or two (all Ravelry links). I still love the Pacific Waves Shawl pattern, and I want to try it again with different yarn. Perhaps my Sundara Aran Silky Merino in Charcoal over Blue Lagoon - I think the slightly variegated colorway will produce a nice wavy effect but still create a shawl that is basically one color. In fact, I've already swatched it.

What do you think of this swatch? Do you like it better with or without the purl ridge every fourth row?


Carrie said...

It's so very sad to have to rip out a gorgeous handspun project! But at least you have something in mind for the yarn. ;) I think the other swatch is lovely too.

Helena S. said...

That's beautiful, almost like Kaffe Fassett.

luckylily said...

To bad about your Pacific Waves. I think it'll look really nice in the Charcoal over Blue Lagoon. I like it both with and without the purl ridge,so I'm no help there.