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lace shawl

July 11, 2008

I finally finished my first lace project, or that’s what I’m calling it anyway.  I have knit a shawl before, in a lace pattern, but it wasn’t really Lace to me since the yarn was worsted.  I got tired of knitting it and wanted it finished so I rushed to the end.  Yes, a lace shawl but not really my first lace project.

So, my first Lace.

blocked in the corner

Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn Clark
Available for free on her website.  How cool is that?
Yarn: KnitPicks Shadow, overdyed turquoise by me.  A very nice yarn.

It’s dry now, and unpinned, and folded, and taken to show-and-tell with knitting friends.  I rushed to finish so I could give it to the bride whose wedding is a week from Saturday.  Maybe I can get a picture of her with it on.  It’s not like she requested a wedding shawl, but that’s what she’ll get.

I didn’t rush to the finish just because of the wedding.  I became enamored of the thing.  I was amazed with all those stitches on the needles.  And instead of looking at it like a chore – those long, long rows – I enjoyed the process.

The nupps were nice too, after that first purl-back row.  I almost got out my checkbook to write the newlyweds a check for $100 for goodness sake instead of finish that horrible first row of nupps.  LOOSE is the key word there, and once I made my (k1, yo, k1, yo, k1) in the same stitch loose enough, and I mean really really loose, everything was better.  I swear that first p5tog row took me two hours.  Pointier needles would have been nice.

lily of the valley

before blocking

The thrill of it, the challenge, is more than the end product: shawl.  Sometimes you knit a hat because you want a hat and it really is about the thing at the end.  But who really needs a shawl?  You’ve got your Pashmina from 1998 or your grungy favorite sweatshirt from college to keep you warm.

For me it’s the knitting.  The actual sitting in the chair and picking up the project.  Finding your place and your rhythm.  The focus, the problem-solving along the way, the yo’s that line up just. so. perfectly.  It is irresistible.  I, like many others, fight the boredom of a long project and cast on new things with abandon, but finishing a big one like this…the feeling is joy.

Lace might be my new thing.  I cast on for a new shawl this morning.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2008 1:41 pm

    wow, just finished and cast on for a new one already?! go you! the shawl is beautiful, what a lovely gift for the bride-to-be. i don’t think i’ll ever get much use out of a shawl, but they’re so pretty! and i guess you’ve proven that those addi lace needles really do come in handy!

  2. July 11, 2008 1:54 pm

    Irresistible is right. I love it so much too. And this shawl is totally gorgeous – what a beautiful wedding gift.

  3. Katie permalink
    July 11, 2008 4:04 pm

    It’s lovely! What a lucky bride.

  4. July 11, 2008 5:14 pm

    It’s gorgeous! What a special gift!

  5. July 11, 2008 5:33 pm

    It’s beautiful! A very lovely wedding gift!

  6. crimsonpurl permalink
    July 11, 2008 6:02 pm

    Ooh so glad you enjoyed making your shawl (esp. after that little headache hiccup!)

    It came out beautiful!!

  7. friender permalink
    July 11, 2008 10:47 pm

    Wow. Just stunning, as always.

  8. July 12, 2008 12:00 am

    I want to knit lace, my problem is picking something. This is gorgeous! I remember those nupps. I hated doing them, but they looked great when all was said and done.

  9. wazzuki permalink
    July 12, 2008 5:19 am

    focus and the rhythm is *precisely* it.

  10. wazzuki permalink
    July 12, 2008 5:19 am

    focus and rhythm is *precisely* it.

  11. July 12, 2008 2:27 pm

    It’s beautiful!!!!

  12. July 13, 2008 7:03 pm

    Beautiful. I’d forgotten those nupps.

  13. July 18, 2008 12:54 am

    It’s beautiful! Well done on your 1st of many!

  14. July 23, 2008 7:13 am

    It’s gorgeous, and it is next on my list of shawls to make! I completely agree with you about the process of knitting lace. Somehow the sheer unnecessary-ness of it enhances the whole experience!

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