Completed Paisley Lace Shawl
Unblocked shawl, approximately 30"x30", note the freaky looking picots. It took me nearly 6 hours to knit all of those silly things!
Unblocked corner detail. Pretty messy looking. I sure hope that whole blocking thing works!
Blocking! Blocked to 42"x42", with a whole lot of T-pins - 200, to be exact! Newton likes how it turned out. :)
Blocking detail - corner and one side. I love this blocking board!
Paisley Lace Shawl Notes ---
Pattern: Paisley Lace Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark, Interweave Knits, Spring 2005. The pattern was very well written, very clear, and had no mistakes. I found I didn't have to use as many sets of needles as recommended by the pattern.
Needles: Size 5, 7" Clover bamboo DPNs (first 6 or 7 rounds), size 5 Addi Turbo circular 32" (remainder of the shawl), size 7 Bryspun straight (bindoff)
Yarn: Frog Tree 100% Alpaca Wool, fingering weight, color #95, 215 yards, 4 complete skeins used (only a few yards left over). (Substituted for 1125 yds Jaggerspun Zephyr) This 2 ply yarn is super soft, and knits up nicely. I didn't have any problems with splitting. My only complaint is that each skein had a couple of areas in the yarn where there were slubs or thick-ish areas. One skein had a ply that was broken and knotted on one place, while the other ply was continuous. These small flaws in the yarn are not noticeable in the finished shawl.
- My first lace project! Lace is quite addictive, I really enjoyed knitting this shawl, and will likely do more lace knitting in the future.
- I learned Emily Ocker's Circular Beginning for the cast on - it worked well.
- I learned how to knit from a chart (a simple chart, but a chart nonetheless).
- I figured out how to fix a missed yarn-over on a subsequent row (see previous yarn-over tutorial)
- I learned how to do a picot edging (see lowlights), and think it is a nice edge for the shawl. To get the picots to look right, I purchased a pair of Bryspun needles 2 sizes larger than what I was using for the shawl, and used a Bryspun for my right needle while casting off. It allowed me to do a loose cast off while still maintaining an even stitch tension.
- There are NO mistakes in the finished shawl! (yes, I'm a knitting perfectionist)
- I got to finally use my birthday present - the blocking board - yay!
- Quality bonding time spent with Todd while blocking - he helped me pin all of the picots down... what a guy!
- The beginning of the shawl knit up deceivingly quickly. It took me longer to bind off than it took me to knit the first 8 pattern repeats! I guess that's what happens when you increase 8 stitches every other round!
- Addi turbos are NOT the best needles to use for lace. The tips are not pointy enough. The Bryspun straights, on the other hand, had wonderfully pointy tips. I think the Bryspuns (circulars) would be great for lace.
- The picot edging was tedious and looked really weird when I knit it. I think (hope!) it will look fine after blocking.
The placement of stitch markers as written in the pattern is awkward because you have to move the marker every time you increase. I used Clover Locking Stich Markers (orange and green, you can see them in one of the pre-blocking pictures), and locked one around the corner stitch at each corner at the beginning of each repeat. Then I could see where my increases needed to go (before and after the corner stitch), and I unclipped the markers and moved them up for each repeat. I did not use stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat, as the pattern is simple to see visually. I did, however, use a stitch marker in the middle of each side of the shawl when I got to the border chart. The stitch marker identified the middle of the pattern, and the left and right sides of the marker are mirror images of each other.
What I would do differently next time: I think this would be great as a triangular shawl. If I knit another one (quite possible, as it would be nice to have a shawl to keep in my office), I'll try to convert it to a triangle. It would use half the yarn, take half the time, and require half the picots, AND there would be no purling required!