Back in January, I was invited to a shawl swap. Folks get partnered up randomly and anonymously, and you knit and send someone a shawl and receive one from a different person. The due date for the finished piece was September 1st. In my misguided naivety, I thought to myself, spring and summer are quiet for small business owners, I can totally do this! Almost 9 months to knit a shawl? Piece of cake!
Fast forward to the last 2 weeks of August and I found myself scrambling to get this thing done and kicking myself because I had so many other things I needed to be doing. This is in part because my year turned out much, much busier than I could have guessed and in part because this pattern and I didn't get along very well for the first 2/3rds of this project. Instead of picking a simple stockinette shawl with a fancy border, I picked an all-over lace shawl. Why? I don't know, I had never knit one it seemed like a good idea back then.
The pattern calls for either sock/fingering or lace weight yarn. I picked sock weight because I find the heavier yarn makes for nicer stitch definition and gives the shawl a bit of weight.
This pattern has both written and charted instructions. I started with the written instructions and found them impossible to follow. I frogged it no less than five times because I could not for the life of me get the right stitch count after a few rows. I finally gave up and moved on to the charts, which worked much, much better. About 1/3 of the way in, I put the project down for a few weeks, forgot where I was and frogged it all over again. All that, um, experience casting on proved to me that Judy's Magic Cast On works much better than the Figure-8 Cast On because it doesn't have the problem of too much slack.
I never made it through the written instructions, but I did manage to get through the charts and loved the end result. The pattern is very clever and the logic starts to make sense after a few rows. I made the smaller size and still found it to be a good-sized shawl. Eventually I hope to make one of these for myself.
What have you been making lately?