Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Slog's End

At last, at long last, this slog of a project is finally over.

Pattern: Waiting for Rain by softsweater
Yarn: Baah! La Jolla (100% merino) in Grey Onyx and Obsidian, one skein each
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) ChiaoGoo Red Lace
Started/Completed: June 7/July 21
Mods: ended the shawl early (see below)

I won't say I disliked this knit. On the contrary, I found the pattern quite interesting and even a bit challenging. Knitting short rows in lace is something I'd never done, for starters. I think my issue with it is more that I don't really love this shawl shape and there was the issue of not having enough yarn to finish it as I want.

My antipathy toward the shape of the shawl probably stems from my difficulty in blocking. Despite the fact I added yarnovers in the edge stitches, the top edge did not have enough stretch, or at least it didn't have as much stretch as I would have liked when I blocked it.

As to the yarn issues, well, I'll fully admit that I did not swatch (for shawls, I rarely do -- I'll just start and then change my needle size if I don't like the look of the fabric I'm getting), so I'm willing to bet that my gauge was off and that's why I ran short on yarn. I actually bound off several rows early because I could tell that what yarn I had left would not hold out. In spite of this, I still didn't have enough to do the knitted-on bind off. I made it halfway across the shawl before realizing that I would run short, so I ripped back and did a plain stretchy bind off instead. I did have enough yarn for that, thank goodness.

After blocking, this thing is huge -- wider even than my wingspan. I used three blocking wires across the top and still had a bit at the very edges that wouldn't fit on the wires. I didn't bother to try to pin out the bottom edge. I just smoothed the shawl with my hands until it looked like the lace was sufficiently opened up and the edge was relatively even (there were a few spots where there was some waviness from the stretchy bind off).

I really have only good things to say about the pattern in general; the failings of this project are really only mine and due to my own execution. The construction is certainly very original and engaging. Were I to knit this again, I'd probably use a smaller needle and perhaps choose a yarn with more yardage. As it was, I used a bit more than 800 yards because both my skeins were a tad overweight.

My LYS has decided to give us a brief break before we move onto the next shawl in the knitalong, and frankly I'm glad of it. I've got lots of design knitting to keep me busy until we start the next one!

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