We've been on our school half term break here in the Hebrides - not sure how this works elsewhere in the country but we've enjoyed it anyway! My plans to document the making of my new shawl from start to finish are a little behind schedule but I HAVE been photographing it as I go along and hope to divulge any tips and info I've gleaned along the way. With shawl knitting I feel like I've joined a new club in the same way as with sock-knitting, hehe - it's quite exciting :)
So, I've started another shawl from another free Ravelry pattern which is specifically designed for shawl/lace 'newbies' so takes you from beginning to end with explanations along the way - perfick! It's called 'Snowflakes and Flowers', by Sandra Oakeshott - just perfect for this time of year, and it has three different lace patterns to practice your lace knitting techniques. A lovely pattern to practice with and yet again I'm being forgiving with my errors - no big 'frogging' tantrums here!
This is the shawl after I've finished the first pattern of the snowflakes - I'm using Drops Delight yarn which is a little similar to the Noro yarn suggested, yet another variegated yarn I had left from an abandoned crochet project. . . .
Here's the start, nearer the cast on stage . . .
The lower edge of the picture is the cast on edge (the top of your finished shawl). You can see there's a column of single knitted stitches down the centre. Either side of this centre line is a repeat of the same pattern, which is gradullay increased row by row. The pattern asks for a garter tab cast on method - I think this is a good tutorial to follow if you get confused!.
Both patterns I've followed give instructions for one side of the shawl which gets repeated for the other side, so you have a centre panel (of one or two stitches) with the pattern repeated on either side. Both shawls are triangular shaped and knitted from the top down. I was very confused when I started the first one as I had no idea which part of the shawl I was knitting!
|Sorry, I'm holding it lengthwise here - just to confuse further!|
You can see the centre stitch and also the edging along the top - the line of holes are created with 'yarn overs'. This is the snowflake pattern - quite small motifs but still pretty. I'm using a 32 inch circular needle with bamboo points (cheap and cheerful!) - size 3.5 mm. In shawl lace knitting I think the general idea is to go approx one needle size bigger than the yarn suggests so you get a 'floaty' fabric, but it depends on what you want. I had a few test rows and decided this needle was fine for my first attempt at a more floaty shawl - it's all a bit experimental! (I actually thought I'd chosen a 3.75 mm needle but never mind).
By the way, I've found that having gotten used to reading knitting charts, I tend to use a mixture of both and sometimes write out pattern repeats to keep me right - this combination works quite well for me.
I've just finished the second pattern repeat which is tulips - let me tell you there are a couple of wonky tulips in this shawl 'garden', hehe but heigh ho, I'm learning so there! Today I'll be knitting the 'flower' pattern if I feel so inclined! (well, it is Sunday after all) :)
Anyway, all very technical information but I am getting into this 'shawl knitting' thing :)
Here's a nice pic of the moor yesterday - we had a lovely crisp sunny day - first moor plod of the year, hurray! . . .
Yes, I do go outside occasionally!
Also I made some flapjacks yesterday just because. They look a bit disastrous here but they tasted nice . . .
I'm off to have one right now with a nice cup of coffee :) This recipe came from youngest's Dorling Kindersley's 'Childrens Quick and Easy Cookbook' - a much used copy!
Hope you had a nice weekend, extended or not! I'll be back soon with more tales of the shawl - I'm taking a relaxed approach to this one as I know the 'ropes' so to speak so no frantic knitting sessions thankfully! Perhaps an end-February finish-line?? See you soon :)
P.S. If I make the flapjacks again I'll post the recipe - I'm thinking of adding a drizzle of chocolate on top, some dried apricots maybe - mmmmmmmmm! :)