1-25-14: This is one of my favorite projects of all time. When I blocked it lightly, the pattern opened up and it’s stunningly beautiful. Although I was slightly iffy about the thick and thin qualities of this yarn while knitting, it was the perfect yarn for this pattern. The only thing I would have changed, since I had extra yarn, is I might have done one more repeat to make this slightly larger, but it is something I know I will wear constantly.
1-19-14: Finished and blocking. The picture of it right now is pre-blocked, obviously, it is growing a good bit as the lace opens up. The key to my success this go round was marking each of the 11 stitch repeats and using a different looking marker at the start of each “growing” repeat section. This let me quickly catch any mistake. I loved knitting this and can’t wait for it to dry so I can wear it! Great pattern. I didn’t use the full third skein but couldn’t have finished without it.
1-09-14: I started this 3 years ago as one of the projects I wanted to take along on a trip. The others are long since finished but I struggled with this pattern. I didn’t knit lace and had never done a shawl. I had finished two repeats and it was ok, but there were a couple of errors because the pattern was over my head. I picked this back up a couple of days ago, ended up ripping all the way back to some early errors and then decided to start over because the knitting just wasn’t precise enough.
So, I’m a better knitter now than I was then, but I still bow down to all the people who think this is an easy breezy knit. Perhaps it’s because I’m neither a lace nor a shawl knitter. I do love the pattern, though and because of the yarn size, it is a relatively quick knit -- I got through the first go round of chart one in a day.
The trick to the pattern is recognizing that on each side of the center “spine” of one knit stitch, you are growing pattern repeats of 11 stitches each. One each repeat is grown (the stitches within the brackets) its count never changes, so you can make sure you aren’t missing a yarn over (these can be tricky before the ssks and in other places) by counting. I bracket each of my repeats within markers.
On the first go round of chart one, after the two stitches at the beginning for the garter border (there are another two at the end), you will have a group of stitches that will increase by one on each odd row that are in the process of becoming a full repeat of 11 stitches. After them (the stitches in the bracket), is a full repeat of 11 stitches. After these stitches is another group of stitches growing into a full repeat. I found it helpful to block off these groups with markers.
After you complete the first go of chart one, you will have three full groups of 11 stitches, and as you do the second round of chart one, you will again begin to build, before and after those three sets, another set of stitches towards the 11 stitch groups. So, on Row 1 you will have one stitch in each of the incomplete groups, on Row 3 it grows to 2, and so forth until you hit 11 on row 21.
The pattern is more or less the same on the other side -- after the center knit stitch spine. You start over. It is not a mirror image, you are just knitting the stitches in the same order as for the first side of the shawlette.
One note about the reverse -- because I marked my sets of stitches with markers, it became very easy to realize that every place two repeats met up -- i.e. the two stitches on either side of the marker, I would need to knit on the wrong side, while all other stitches were purled. Since you purl the YOs on the wrong side, this means that on Row 2, you are purling, not knitting, the first stitch in each of the newly growing sets of stitches. Other than that, you knit only those stitches, everything else is purled, included the YOs on either side of the center knit stitch (which is also purled on the wrong side).
I note the reverse side issue because the pattern says to knit the knits and purl the purls as they present, but when I began the pattern, I didn’t realize the way the beautiful spines would grow along the back of the shawlette, and missed a few stitches. It was this error that ultimately caused me to rip out and I am really happy with how the back, as well as the front, looks now that I’ve finished the first go of the first chart (again).
8-23-11: swatched this on 7’s but I think I’ll go up a size to open up the lace a little bit