Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Shawl

I added a couple podcasts to my list of podcast subscriptions last summer.  One of them was Knitting Pipeline by Paula.  She plays the bagpipes in a pipe band, is an avid birdwatcher, sells Longaberger baskets and, of course, knits.  Listening to Paula is like having a favorite aunt come to your house and chat about the latest over a steaming cup of tea.  Of the many projects Paula talks about, shawls are the ones she mentions the most.  And she's knit some very lovely shawls:  lace shawls, beaded shawls, garter stitch shawls, shawlettes...  The list goes on and on.

Anyway, listening to Paula's podcast inspired me.  I've made some lace projects in the past:  a couple of scarves, a shrug, a camisole, but nothing as complicated as a lace shawl.  During a trip to San Francisco, I bought some hand-dyed lace yarn from a local yarn shop called Stash in Berkeley.  (I have a habit of buying yarn with no idea what I'm going to do with it!)  That yarn became my first shawl. 

I had the Icarus Shawl in my queue for a long time.  It's the cover project in the book, The Best of Interweave Knits and looks so elegant and chic on the model.  I've always loved it but didn't know if I had enough knitting know-how to attempt it.  The beginning was very difficult for me.  I knitted and frogged the first 10 rows at least 5 times before I got the hang of the lace pattern.  Once I got the rhythm of the lace, I thoroughly enjoyed the process.  So, in between knitting the birthday hoodie and the gytha, I was able to finish my first shawl. 

As much as I love the Hepburn yarn I used with its lovely shades of blue, turquoise and purple, I don't love it as my Icarus Shawl.  I worked so hard on the shawl and I'm disappointed that the lace is camouflaged by the color changes.  I think I would have like it better without the purple sections in the yarn.

Icarus Shawl knit with Hepburn by Abtract Fibers

Note to self:  don't use variegated yarn for lace.

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