Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Elegance of the Swallowtail

I have to preface these photos by reiterating that this shawl isn't for me, although I kind of wish it was because I really like it! I didn't think I'd be able to pull off a triangular shawl (and honestly I'm still not sure it's something I would actually wear) but it's pretty in the photos. Dave took a ton of photos, most of which got thrown out due to my arms looking more akin to those of a linebacker or the sudden appearance of a double chin, but some were good enough to display on the blog: I think this is how I would be most likely to wear something like this, and it certainly adds a degree of elegance and sophistication to an otherwise very plain black dress. Here's a good "from the back" photo. Please ignore my apparently gigantic arms. I think some of that is the light. Hopefully.
And then a "demure" pose, although I was probably glaring at the wall or sticking my tongue out or some such silliness that is thankfully well-hidden.
And finally, a close-up of the nupps which I went on and on about in so many posts. You can see that they really do add quite a nice texture to the lace and thus were well worth the effort.
Project Stats: Swallowtail Shawl
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn Clark, from Interweave Knits Fall 2006.
Yarn: Zephyr Wool-silk, colorway curry, about 475 yards. Yarn purchased at Acorn Street in Seattle.
Needles: Size 4 Knit Picks Harmony bamboo. These needles are great - I can't say enough good things about them. You should get some.
Time to knit: Mid-January to March 24, 2008, with about a month of laziness mixed in. It went pretty quickly considering it was my first real lace project, but there was a deadline involved which provided motivation not to slack.
Modifications: The shawl as the pattern directs is pretty small, so I made mine larger by adding five repeats of the budding lace pattern (the main section), for 19 total repeats. I followed the instructions provided in this post by Pepperknit, and had no problems with the math working out correctly. I did the nupps as instructed in the pattern, and although they were tedious it wasn't so awful once I got used to them. I think the super sharp needles helped a lot in that regard. My shawl ended up being 60 inches across the top by about 27 inches long, which I think is a good size. It's perfect for me. The recipient is a bit broader in the shoulders, but hopefully it will be okay for her as well. I will be gifting it this weekend so I'll update about that soon!
Impressions: I love it! While it's not the first laceweight project I've started, it is the first I've completed, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I made my only mistake early on and got it over with (bet you can't see it! I can't and I know where it is), and although I had to tink back a few stitches a couple of times, I really didn't have any issues. This is a very simple pattern because it's so repetitive, and I'd recommend to any new lace knitter. I put in lifelines but thankfully I didn't have to use them. I was a bit concerned about the color but I really like it in the end - the photos are fairly accurate, especially the close-up of the nupps. I was going for gold and this was the closest color I could find. I have a ton of yarn left, and gold is not my color, so I need to come with another gold shawl giftee! I'm all inspired to knit more lace, although I'm still not really sure it fits into my dressing style. I'm thinking rectangular stoles like the Hanami will be more wearable for me, but I jumped at the chance to make a triangular shawl when I thought of a recipient I knew would appreciate it.

We'll have a March goal recap and April planning post later today or tomorrow!


Anne-Marie said...

So pretty!
I particularly like the close-up picture of the nupps. Lovely lace... It would make a great desktop background.

Daisy said...


Marisol said...