Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Latest FO

As usual, I let too many days go by without a post and as each day passes and more and more things pile up to talk about i get to the point where i just dont know where to start and end up not writing anything at all.

But, I do need to finish up talking about my latest lace shawl as i finally finished it.

I know i mentioned it before but i'm not very good at linking old posts as i never can manage to find them and i might as well restate it to have all the info in one place.

The pattern i used is the hanami stole by Melanie Gibbons.  This is one of the first 3 patterns i queued in ravelry over 5 years ago.  It seemed kind of a magnum opus type thing to me so i never managed to work up the nerve to start it.  Though i have always been a pretty intrepid and adventurous knitter and ahve tackled several lace projects already. 

But the yarniacs finally provided that little kick in the butt i needed to start it with their self-indulgent kal challenge.

I started right on time.  I made great progress on the plane to my MA knitting retreat.
But i messed up alittle and also realized my needles being so small meant i would have a lot more work on this than i had anticipated so i gave up about 1/4 of the way through and decided on a different project for the kal (which i didnt finish either).

Had i stuck with this one and not consecrated so much energy on the 2nd shawl, i would have finished in time, but it really doesnt matter because even if i didnt finish iin time for the challenge, I DID FINISH!  and that's all that matters.  I'm very grateful to Gayle and Sharlene for spear-heading this!!!!

So, after completing this shawl, I'm not sure what exactly had me so worried about this one.  Maybe it was my beginner eyes that put a permanant "extremely challenging" rating on it?  Anyhow, it wasnt challenging at all if you have any lace experience.  In fact, quite the opposite!  You only need to know how to do 3 pretty basic decreases and the simplest increase (yarn over).  The st count stays the same on every row.  The even rows are all purl.  The basket weave pattern is very easy to get into and read.  The cherry blossom pattern is very forgiving (oops, i did one to many st before my YO k2tog? who cares!  it's supposed to look sporadic ;D ).  The hardest part is every 10ish rows or so, you have to move your st markers around to complete each repeat.

The pattern is very well written.  And it is very easy to follow, though the pattern is in chart form only so if you dont like working from a chart that might be a little more than inconvenient for you.
To make things super easy for myself, i used abundant stitch markers (in between every repeat with a different one on right side to keep me on track though to behonest, that was a little superfluous as after about 8 rows, you definitely know which side is the right side lol) and i used a long pattern magnet like this one i bought from slipped stitch studios on etsy to run through the 1st chart 9 times over without getting it all buggered up.
The mods i made are ahemahem...using a too small needle which means i did an extra 2 repeats of basket weave chart and a few extra st st rows in transition chart and then adding an additional 32 rows throughout the cherry blossom charts.
Also, i cast on too tightly so i did some surgery Sans titre to turn my cast-on edge into live stitches and then did a ruffled bindoff as suggested for the cherry blossom side.

I love that it has a story behind its design - you know i'm a sucker for that. It represents friendship and fertility with theone side being a traditional japanese basket weave motif
Sans titre
and the other side representing falling cherry blossoms.
Sans titre
Japan gifted cherry trees to DC in a gest of friendship and this act and the beauty of the trees are what sparked Melanie's design.

I used madeleine tosh lace in gilded that i purchased from eat.sleep.knit.
The color of this 100% merino 2-ply is gorgeous, vibrant, rich.
Sans titre
 I had a little color leakage though.
Sans titre
 The yarn is so soft and airy and light as a cloud.  Very warm to wear.  Though it split a tiny bit while working with it.
One skein was PLENTY for this.  In fact i have about 1/5 of a skein left over.  Though had i used larger needles as i should have i'm not sure what that would have done yardage wise.  I certainly wouldnt have had to make a total of 4.5 extra repeats so the lesser length might have made up for the extra width causing me to use about the same amount.  who knows.

SO!    I love the design. I love the pattern.  I love the symbolism. I love the yarn...
I hate my shawl scarf.
Sans titre (pic pre-blocking)

Why? Because...it's .... a SCARF!
Sans titre (pic right before pinning after just laying the wet scarf down on the mat)

Sans titre (pic attempting to block some of the length into the width...HAHAHA!)

I spent 3+ months laboring over an elaborate...SCARF!

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