Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Knitting is Done

After ripping back two rows of the last chart and attempting to finish I found that I still didn't have enough yarn. I bought a skein of a different dye lot that to my eye matches perfectly. The knitting was finished last night. Here is the shawl before blocking.
It measures 38" across and 19" from the edge to the point. After a trip to the store for T-pins I'll get this baby blocked. I'm thinking of knitting another of this pattern in a laceweight alpaca. I'll probably add more repeats of the budding lace chart to create a larger shawl. Now I just have to decide what color to make it. I want something a little brighter after working on such a dark color. (The color in this picture is brighter than the actual navy.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I haven't started yet

The first thing I did was sign up here because I couldn't wait. Then, I received my IW Knits mag, rather late because I had recently subscribed and, they said, the first issue takes quite some time to arrive (it is faster for the next ones). Now I am wondering what yarn I should use - the one recommended at Knits or something else? I look at your photos and love all your shawls and your yarns. I may still shop around the net a bit more; I have to buy on line as there is hardly anything to choose from around here. In the meantime, I will finish some other projects. Happy knitting in 2007.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Done! I'm really happy with the way this shawl turned out: a perfect mix of open airiness and structure, good transitions between sections, and a beautiful peaked edging.

My notes:
Pattern; Swallowtail Shawl, Interweave Knits, Fall 2006
Designer: Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Rovings Canada 80/20 wool-silk in a natural shade of brown, straight from the fleece, fingering weight
Needles: size 8 Bryspun 24" circular, size 8 Addi Turbo 40" circular
I I had it Do Over Again: I wouldn't change anything. Even the fearsome nupps in the third and fourth charts turned out to be worth the time and effort, forming little French-knot like exclamation points amidst the swirl of the lace patterns. Soft, lightweight, warm.

The shawl, originally knit for one of my assistants, is going, instead, to Cyprus as a gift for the woman who hosted my daughter during her home stay and semester abroad last year. The shawl seemed to know this and refused to pose for a picture adequate to its beauty. Perhaps I'll be able to post it looking out to the Mediterranean once it reaches the recipient?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2 to Go!

Two rows to go, bind off, block. It's the mad rush to be ready for Christmas giving. Must deliver by Friday!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

made my deadline

somehow i actually made my final hard deadline of finishing by 4pm on Friday.

Here she is pre-blocking. Full post can be seen at Now to wind up the next skein and start again. This time I might try the bobbles, though I like her as is without. There are some errors in my knitting (in bad spots too) but for my first lace project? I'm pretty impressed. :)

Oh and just as a reminder to those knitting on a deadline. You have to bind off some 323 stitches... I forgot that she'd keep growing, especially over the last few rows.

So Close Yet...

I finished the last row of the peaked edging chart last night and have about 12" of yarn left. I have no more skeins of this yarn. I doubt there is any chance of getting any of the same dye lot of the yarn since I've had this yarn in my stash just over a year. I checked with the shop where I bought the yarn and they don't have any more. I am now faced with two options. Option 1, order a skein of a different dye lot to finish up. Option 2, take out the last two rows of the peaked edging and finish from there. This is where all you knitters that have completed shawls come in to play. How would losing those last two rows of peaked edging impact the look of the shawl. Should I just order another skein? Help........

Edited to add - The yarn I'm using is Blue Sky Alpaca 100% alpaca sportweight. Color 308 (navy), dye lot 9470

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Losing my patience with lace!

I am having a mini-crisis with my shawl.

I am about 10 stitches short and have no idea why. I can only imagine that I am accidentally dropping the yarn overs on the purl row or am actually forgetting to do the yarn overs in the first place.

Thank goodness I put a lifeline in after I finished the budding lace 2 chart! I will (when I get the courage, will power and time) rip back to the lifeline and 'add' the necessary stitches in. I'm not bothered about tweaking; I'm sure I won't even be able to spot the tweaks once it's blocked.

And then I have to face the nupps!

Remind me again why I thought lace was a good idea?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Shifting to Beta Blogger

Dear Knitters,

I had shifted all my blogs to the Beta Blogger, hence there will be some fine tuning to this blog.

Currently, I'm still trying to sort out the Contributor list. Your kind patience is very much appreciated.

Meanwhile I shall have all the FOs group together.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

14 "rows" and what do i get?

both closer to my goal of a completed swallowtail by THIS Wednesday evening and an addiction. this evening i finally finished the repeats of the budding lace 2 chart. it's now 1am my time and i just knit 2.5 rows of the lily of the valley 1. i'm forcing myself to post this and then go off to sleep. i wish i had time to knit in the morning before leaving for work.

i was originally going to title this post ode to a lifeline. i haven't had to use them much (yay!!) but it's so reassuring knowing that they are there for me. :)

i'm also amazed that i have actually knit all of this. this is my first lace. this is also my first really big project; i've just been knitting socks and gloves and felted bags. it's for my MIL and i have a massive deadline to finish it (not to mention work and other obligations). [and then i get to knit #2 for my mum] i'm amazed to watch it grow from


i really look forward to finishing and then blocking and watching the magic!

all details (and larger images) can be found somewhere at

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Finally Finished!

I actually finished mine this last weekend and debuted it on Monday. I sorta forgot I was really a member of this group and not just a lurker. Heh. So without further ado...

Swallowtail Lace Shawl Draped

The obligatory ass shot:
Swallowtail Lace Shawl Full View

I'm so freakin' excited over this. I tried to get this done in time for Lacevember but I missed the deadline by 2 days. I blame Karen for that. I was lead to believe that Lacevember was actually 2 months long and thus I felt free to slack and concentrate on Christmas gift knitting. Silly me. Ah well. It's alright. So I don't win a prize but I do have a mistake free gorgeous shawl!

Here it is pre-blocking:

Swallowtail Lace Shawl Pre-Blocking

Forgive the busy towels under it. My white towels are for my own personal use. Not for my knitting thankyouverymuch.

For the blocking, I went to the hardware store looking for some welding wire or at least some stainless steel type of rod. Screw that. Those suckers were $7 each. So the frugal side of me opted for the under $3 solution. Bezzie would be proud.

Swallowtail Lace Shawl Blocking

Dowel rods. They worked perfectly fine for my purposes. As you see, this sucker grew a lot by blocking. I'd always heard of the magic of blocking lace but to see it for myself, simply amazing.


Pattern: Swallowtail Lace Shawl from Fall '06 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool it's a dark navy blue I don't have the color number. It took just over 2 hanks.
Needles: US 8
Started: October 12th
Finished: December 2nd.

It would have been a much faster knit but it was my first lace shawl and I didn't want to screw it up so I took my time and only worked on it on Sundays for the most part. Except for this last week. I was freaking out trying to get it done so I brought it to my knitting group wednesday night. As Tvini can attest, I had went to the pub before knitting group (The Interlacements! The yarn shop is next door to the pub! Geez, gimme a break people.) and well, in the couple hours I was at the knitting group, I didn't even get through a whole row. I tinked back the same row a total of 3 times. 3 times for the right half of the shawl, and 3 times for the left half. Apparently beer makes it really hard to count. Or something. Heh. Thank God for lifelines. And that's all I have to say about that.
Oh, and as for the nupps - I went with the slip 3 p2tog psso option. Much neater and less aggravating than trying the p5tog or the crochet hook method.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Swallowed but not Digested

Full disclosure: I missed the edge of the page when I made my copy of the Swallowtail Shawl pattern.
Doesn't this look like the whole pattern is there? Nice, clean margins. And it made sense to this knitter, still new to lace, that a yarnover on either side of a K1,yo, K1 would equal the 5 stitches needed for the nupp.

But no. Here's the real thing. The lace teacher at my LYS (who is publishing a pattern in Knitter's Magazine this winter or spring) discerned the error for me. Not sure how she figured it out, but I'm now back to work on the Lily Border I, about to work Row 4 and the dreaded P5tog in some fashion or other.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Casted Off!

Who knew it was going to go this quick!? I sure didn't. Boy was this fun! I am so happy with the way it turned out. Once again I am awe of Mrs. Evelyn A. Clark!

I did understand though the whole P5 fiasco. It surely does help to do those K1 Yos Loose! If I did this again I would probably do a few more nubs, but this was perfect.

Swallowtail Shawl

This is a Christmas gift for my boyfriend's mother.

x-posted in more detail

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Swallowtail in Nuppland

Just entering Nuppland, and it's been a long time since I posted. How in the world are you guys getting this done in a week?

Anyway, here we are. Very happy still with Rovings silk and wool blend. Happy with Budding lace. Not too happy with the beginning of the Lily Chart 1, as I was halfway through Row 3 before I realized that I'd missed the K2tog at the very beginning of the row.

I'd appreciate any help out there from those of you who've finished or reached the first Lily border.
Should I be trying to make the yarnover and knits as loose as possible so that the P5tog is easier to work?

And on odd rows, how do the yarnovers on either side of the nupps factor into the stitch count on either side of the P5tog? For example, in the repeat at the beginning of row 4, will I be counting six purl stitches, then P5tog, then 3 more purls -- or -- purl five stitches, P5tog, purl 2 stitches?

The Bulls are playing the Wizards, so a few minutes to blog, then basketball and Swallowtail.
Update: Nupps are much trickier than I'd anticipated and don't mix well with watching a basketball game.