Monday, January 15, 2007

A (crumpled) shawl

The Swallowtail Shawl (Interweave Knits, Fall 2006,) has been cast off (sorry that the picture sucks so badly -- I promise way better during the "blocking and after" photo shoot). I'm just waiting for my blocking wires now. This only took me 9 days to knit; for some reason I thought that it would take much longer. It's quite small though, really just a shoulder shawl, which explains it. I didn't even get close to finishing the one ball of Misti Alpaca.

The pattern was great because there's actually four different charts to follow, and none of them last long enough to get boring. I am very pleased with the entire design. There will definitely be more shawls knit in laceweight. I don't see myself becoming a "shawl person" though, knitting every shawl possible just for the hell of it. A pattern has to be interesting, varied, and have pleasing aesthetics to me. I have the book Three Cornered and Long Shawls (scroll down) which has some fantastic designs in it (thank you, Kirsten!) Now that I've conquered Swallowtail, I feel certain that I can plunge headlong into that book whenever the urge strikes.

I cannot wait to block this out and really "see" the design and structure. I'm also curious about the nups. They weren't too much of a challenge -- I figured out very quickly that it's a bad idea to wrap them tightly on the knit rows -- but with a few of them, I failed to pick up every single wrap during the "purl 5 together" part, and so there's a little loop here and there. I very much hope that I can make this disappear during the blocking, but we'll see.

The black thing below the shawl is the beginning of a Wallaby sweater (buy pattern here) for Max. I knit the sleeves for this in November, I think, but then put it down for all of the Christmas crafting and selfish knitting. We've been watching a lot of movies lately, and a sweater like this is totally perfect for that. It's knit in the round, very simple, and goes rather quickly. I find that it's always good to have something like this on the needles.

A small confession. I just spent a lot of money on needles. I've been "making due" with knitting tools for all of my fiber arts career thus far (this long year-and-a-half -- I know, I'm such an old hand by now) =), and I've decided that this is the year of getting exactly what I want and need for this favorite pastime of mine. I mean, I got exactly the wheel that I wanted last year, and have never regretted that. The needles that I just bought are the KnitPicks Options set, and a size 2 and 3 classic circular, 32" each. I've wanted them ever since their debut on the market. It was time. I don't regret it.

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