Friday, February 1, 2008

Diamonds and Pearls Shawl

Well, after some late night swearing and after having to call in the cavalry, the Diamonds and Pearls Shawl is finished.

Pattern: Diamond and Pearls Shawl from The Knitter's Book of Yarn, Yarn: Art Yarns, Silk Rhapsody, color 129

It definitely looks a little funny in that blocking shot. Oh well, I took this after it was dry. I need to remember to climb up on something and look at my lace from above when it is blocking. You get a much better view of any spots that need fiddling. Overall though, the little spots where it is off don't really show when it's in use.

So what happened, you ask? Well, the knitting went super fast for the main body of the shawl and was absolutely delightful. I had it all finished Wednesday, pretty early in the day and was ready to tackle the edging after the kids went to bed. One note of caution, there are errors in the pattern which I found and then confirmed on the errata page.

The edging/border though, as written in the pattern, was not so delightful. I loved the way it looked in the pictures and found it easy enough to do, if a bit fiddly. The problem was that it was completely in-elastic and had no give at all. Since the yarn is silk and the end product is relatively small, I was counting on the wonderful tendency silk has of growing when wet to make the shawl a bit bigger when blocked. The edging, as written in the pattern, would not have allowed my shawl to grow at all. I may have done it incorrectly, but I don't think so.

Of course, in one of my more brilliant moments, I decided to finish the edging on the entire shawl before deciding it wasn't going to work for me. Thus entered the late night swearing. Ever tried to rip out yarn that contains any mohair content? Let's just say it is NOT FUN. I insisted on ripping the entire border before going to bed. I'm like that - I do not like to put something down that is at an ugly place. Better to work through it and start with a fresh, clean slate the next time. Of course, this has caused me a lot of stress in my life, but that's a topic for another day.

Thursday I decide to dig out all of my stitch books and look for a new border. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of yarn left, so I knew I was going to have to go for something simple. Eventually I found the easy crochet alternative you see on the shawl, which looks very similar to the original knitted version. The one issue with this is that I am a horrible crocheter. I know, I could get better with practice, but I did not want my practice to be on my nice silk shawl. So, I called my mom.

Don't you just love my model, with his hairy face and neck? Have I mentioned that I have the best husband ever?

As I may have mentioned a time or two, my mom is pretty much good at everything domestic in nature. She is a fantastic crocheter so I called her up and asked if she would help. In the end, I made dinner for her and she whipped out the edge on the shawl in about an hour. It only took that long because she brought her bamboo hook at my suggestion and found it really slowed her down.

I had her make the loops on the edge a little bigger than the pattern called for because I wanted to get more mileage out of the yarn I had left, and I thought it would add just a touch more to the size. I am very happy with how it turned out and mom is too. When I started this project, I had no idea it was going to end up being a collaborative effort for mom and me, but because it was I will treasure the shawl even more!


msubulldog said...

Congrats on the FO! And what a kind model you have. :)
I agree with you about not leaving something in an ugly place. I'm terribly prone to not picking something up again if I leave it that way (like my sister's mohair cami that STILL needs to be frogged). I even try to put my knitting down with a right side ready to knit so I'll want to pick it up again! :)

Rhonda said...

I love looking at your lace projects! You do lace so beautifully. Actually all your knitting comes out so beautifully!!