Sunday, September 09, 2007
XRK Yarn-Along: Leaf Lace Scarf
Liz and I acquired 4 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Sylvan Spirit for each of us and Mo at MDSW this past Spring. How would our projects diverge using the same yarn?
Initially, I wanted to try a short sleeve sweater with the Spirit, but then I read Liz's post on her experience with the yarn. No, no, no. That wouldn't do. Crunchy? Itchy? No way. Since Liz mentioned that she thought it would do for a simple shawl, I began to flip through some shawl patterns. I had never knit a triangular shawl before -- I was intimidated by the patterns: provisional cast-ons, endless repeats, and the dreaded yet all-important blocking.
Encouraged by Melanie and Stewart, my most excellent LYS buddies, I chose the Lace Leaf Shawl. What a perfect choice. This was easy. Easy. Easy. I couldn't believe how easy this pattern was. If you are looking to knit your first triangular shawl, look no further.
Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery's Sylvan Spirit in Peridot, about 3.5 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Options US 10.5, 32" circulars
Notes: I did not make any modifications to the pattern. I knit the DK size and completed 10 pattern repeats which gave me a medium size (the small was 7 pattern repeats and the large was 12). I probably could have done another pattern repeat, maybe two, with my yarn but I was ready to finish and wanted to be sure to have enough yarn.
The pattern is clear and easy to read. I am a chart person and I thought the charts were excellent although the repeats are easy enough to memorize quickly so I was never a slave to the chart. Even with lots of other concurrent knitting I was able to finish this in a few weeks -- and I am a slow, slow knitter.
The yarn behaved extremely well. (Read the excellent review here.) It was a joy to knit on 10.5s unlike the 7s that Liz was using (my 3.25 spi vs. her 5 spi). The color does become more beautiful when knit up -- with a silvery tone and flecks of yellow that are so hard for me to capture with the camera. The drape is divine, is this maybe the tencel? The shawl is light yet substantial feeling after blocking. It will become my favorite fall/winter/spring wrap (it was not perfect during the photo shoot in 90 degree weather!).
And what about the blocking? Did I have a recurrence of my aqualanophobia? After a nervous phone call to Melanie at The Yarn Lounge about blocking wires and the pinning process, I dunked this baby in lukewarm water, rolled it in towels, and then pinned it using plain old straight pins to my bed.
I kept gasping as I pinned, I really knit this?
I have never thought of myself as a shawl person. That has all changed! I can't wait for the temps to drop so that I can strut around town wearing this. Maybe I'll bring it to the grocery store so that I can drape it on me in the frozen food aisle ...
Fun, easy and extremely rewarding. What more could you ask for in a project?