Sunday, March 15, 2009

At Long Last

Those of you who know me know that I'm usually a fast knitter; even the most complex of projects have never taken me more than a few months. So it may come as a surprise to some of you that this project was on the needles as long as it was. Nevertheless, it's now complete.

Pattern: Icarus Shawl [Ravelry link] by Miriam Felton, summer 2006 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro, approximately 0.73/skein
Dimensions: approximately 70" across and 41.5" tall at center
Needles: 32" US 3 (3.25 mm) Knit Picks circs
Started/Completed: August 20, 2007/March 13, 2009
Mods: none

Yes, you read that right: This shawl was started in the summer of 2007. In fact, this shawl was on the needles longer than The Mister and I have been married! I'm sure the fact that I started it shortly before the wedding had something to do with my abandoning it for a long period of time; I suspect the monotony of the main body of the shawl played a role, too. Lately, though, I started feeling guilty that so many other lace items had been started and completed while this project languished in a bag in my stash, so I resolved to finish my Icarus before casting on for another lace shawl.

As a further reference of how old this project is, the yarn was purchased from Pittsburgh Knit & Bead, a local store that went out of business several years ago. I used about 1,000 yards of the rather generous skein (1,375 yds./100 g) for the completed shawl and the first attempt, which was scrapped when I came across a spot in the yarn where one of the two plies was completely severed.

The pattern itself, once I got past the seemingly endless repetition of the first chart, was quite fun. The later charts were a bit more challenging than lace charts I'd encountered in the past, as some WS rows involved both knits and purls, so I had to pay a bit more attention. And, with the final rows containing 500+ stitches, each row certainly took a bit of time.

Overall, I'm in love with the results. The very thin yarn (I'm not sure if it qualifies as a cobweb weight, but it's close) resulted in a delightfully airy shawl. It was surprisingly resilient when it was blocked -- despite my concerns about its strength, I was able to block the finished shawl with my usual level of severity.

And, perhaps most importantly, it's done. I think I can confidently say that never again will I take more than a year and a half to finish a shawl.


  1. SJ - That is a gorgeous shawl! It is just. so. beautiful. You must be so proud. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Gorgeous! It looks very ethereal!

  3. I really love that shade of red.

  4. Anonymous1:42 AM

    That is gorgeous, stunning, beautiful!

  5. Beautiful, as usual! :)

  6. Very pretty, and very different from the Icarus I'm familiar with! Michelle knit an Icarus out of Knitting Notions laceweight last spring, and it's probably the most fondled/commented on piece in the store. yours is very different, which is really interesting!

  7. Wow -- absolutely gorgeous!!!

  8. Anonymous8:07 AM

    It is a gorgeous red shawl - I need a RED shawl!!
    For some reason shawls take me forever(especially when I rip and restart after almost completing them!)
    Now I want to abandon mine and start a RED one!

  9. VERY pretty shawl!

    I am done with my grad program - finished in June. Now I've been mucking around in the educational technology field, but am still looking for a permanent position. This economy is not very helpful!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! By the way, I love your climbing vines sweater. I think that one might have to go on my list!

  10. Anonymous3:03 PM