Knittin' mittens for ma kittens!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Project planning: my first shawl!

Now that I'm cruising along on my second Norwegian, I think I'm ready to take on my next knitting challenge: lace. I've tried my hand at Branching Out and had good results, but I'd like to try something larger and more challenging, especially now that I have a big hank of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in purple iris just waiting to be used.

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I really vacillated on whether or not to make that purchase (even with the great discount that Little Knits offers for Helen's Lace...almost $12 off!) because I was really on the fence about knitting a shawl. Sure, they're gorgeous, but when the hell would I ever use one? I'm certainly not girly enough to wear an outfit that would incorporate a shawl on a regular day, and I'm way too selfish a knitter to knit something like that and give it away.

But the more I thought about it, the more I decided I could get use out of one--whether keeping it in my office for days when the AC is getting overzealous, or for wearing at a special event, like the wedding I went to a few weeks ago. I remember thinking, "Damn, I wish I had some kind of cute wrap or shawl to wear with this outfit instead of the plain cardigan I've got on...a lace shawl sure would look nice..." And that's what pretty much sealed the deal on ordering the skein of Helen's Lace. Then of course began the search for The Perfect Shawl Pattern--one that would look good in a handpainted variegated yarn, be challenging but still simple enough for a lace noob like me, and suit my style. And today, I do believe I've found it in the Lotus Blossom Shawl. I mean, look at this example that some very talented knitter has created--that is just spectacular.

So today I ordered the pattern from Blackberry Ridge, and will be carefully reading up on all I can about lace knitting and people's experiences with this shawl in preparation. What can I say? I'm a thorough researcher. I can't wait to receive the pattern in the mail and start swatching...I'm a little nervous about using laceweight instead of DK weight yarn, so I'll have to experiment a bit. Any advice from seasoned lace knitters on making the substitution?

3 Comments:

  • Oooh.. you did pick a good pattern! I also liked the one with ruffles.

    By Blogger jen, at 6:16 PM  

  • Not that I'm seasoned (2 shawls, simple at best) but you may want to swatch a few times with different needle sizes. It depends on whether you want something totally "holey" (big needles) or something with a little more stitch definition (small needles). Have fun, that's all there is to it!

    - MJ

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 PM  

  • You picked a lovely pattern - Fiddlesticks Knitting does a lot of nice stuff. I'm not sure how big you want to go with your needles - I'd probably make a smaller shawl with better stitch definition, since most shawls are preposterously huge anyway. Beautiful yarn too!

    By Anonymous purrl, at 8:59 AM  

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