Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Swallowtail at the End of School

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool Bordello Sock Yarn, Kid Silk Haze (shade 628)
Needles: US 6s
Notes: This was supposed to be a quickie one week project to bang out before school ended -- a present for Nora's teacher. It ended up taking a bit longer (about 10 days, but still in time!) due to some errors on my part. The initial lace pattern, the budding lace, is so quick and easy to memorize that I got a bit overzealous. I zipped right past the transition point for the lily-of-the-valley lace. Not a problem, I thought. I'll just have it be a bit longer, I was sure that I had enough yarn and that it would be just fine.

Let's just stop here for a bit, shall we? Let's just reflect on how little I've learned about myself as a knitter. I won't belabor the point by linking the many, many posts where I've failed to correctly judge my yardage. Or fudged on the swatching. Or thought, no way am I tearing out, I'll just soldier on ... Sigh.

So (surprise!) the lily-of-the-valley lace does not flow easily from the budding lace pattern. The numbers have to be just right and I was coming up with lots of different number situations. In total frustration, I headed over to The Yarn Lounge where Melanie and I had some quality time with a calculator. She was very patient as I regurgitated my numbers at her ("and if you subtract 1 and divide by 2 and then subtract 16 and divide by 10 ... it's all wrong!").

As it worked out (thanks Melanie!), I have two extra repeats of the budding lace pattern and some important ssk's and k2tog's tucked in here and there in order to get the right numbers for the lily-of-the-valley lace.

And (suprise again!) I didn't have enough yarn but I was smart enough to place a lifeline before beginning the edging. So back to TYL, where the crew very wisely advised me to pick an edging yarn that was a contrasting color and type (you know, so it didn't look like I had run out of yarn). Enter the kid silk haze and the shawl was done! Hurray!

The yarns are beautiful together and I really, really loved this pattern -- with a strong exception for the nupps. The p5tog's just about broke my spirit. I was amazed at how the hot pink in the Sea Wool was softened by the heathery purples, pinks, and brownish-greens. Lovely.

May Nora's teacher have a beautifully restorative summer!


Suzanne said...

TYL did not comment on the PAIN that this shawl caused you? I guess that there is no surprise that every shawl (and project) has its drama. Yet you make it look so easy!

Enjoy Norway! Want to KIP when you get back?

Bridget said...

It's really beautiful! I think the contrasting edging makes it look like an heirloom (I'm not sure why, but it works for me).

Everyone I know who has knit this shawl has nearly been defeated by the p5tog ...

MandellaUK said...

I think you should just call it a series of very happy accidents. It's lovely. Lucky teacher. I only got the first few rows of mine done before I got sucked in by something else. If it only took 10 days I might put it back on the list.

margene said...

The brown border is ingenious! Good work, beautifully done!

Sally said...

It is absolutely gorgeous! She will love it.

Anonymous said...

What a lucky teacher!

It's is beautiful and I'm still laughing at your over-zealousness.

Swatch for a shawl? Peh! LOL!!! (I don't, either.)

Have a great trip!

Octopus Knits said...

Wow, it sure turned out beautiful, even if it was a pain in the butt : )

Madge said...

Ann, your Swallowtail is Gorgeous with a capital G. Sometimes serendipity works; I love the edging done in KSH!

Anonymous said...

pretty! lerve the contrasting colors!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! Enjoy your trip!

Lolly said...

Oh, this is a beauty! i think the contrasting edge is a really nice touch :)