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March 2011
April 26 2011
Project info
Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
Needles & yarn
470 yards = 1 skein
Malabrigo Yarn Lace
none left in stash
1 skein = 470.0 yards (429.8 meters), 50 grams
This Is Knit in Dublin, Dublin
July 24, 2010

Not just swallowtail. I also used Double Waterlily 1 and Frozen Leaves. Read on for the full sorry tale…

So, I decided i couldn’t call myself a lace knitter if i hadn’t knitted swallowtail. So I picked up my beautiful malabrigo lace in the best colourway EVAR, Paris Night, and following the lead of a few others who used the same yarn, did 14 repeats to try to get the most out of my single skein, before changing to the lily of the valley border. When I was about to start knitting said border i took a closer look and thought that it was a little clumsy how it just chopped off the old repeat and launched into the new one, with big chunks of stockinette in there. I started to envision larger leaves that would grow from the original pattern, and went in search of something i could match up.

After huge amounts of searching and swatching (i even bought a couple of pattern that i thought would help although i do intend to knit them separately at some stage anyway!) i found myself coming back to the estonian flower motif which was also used in the echo flower shawl pattern (that i also managed to hack :/ maybe i have a problem) and Olga Jasnovidova has very very generously charted a few versions of it to share with us. I counted and i swatched, and i swore, and was finally happy that i had my pattern, so i started knitting.

Somewhere down the line i made a booboo and had to rip back 3 rows of incredibly sticky single ply merino (lifelining? me? hah!) which we won’t dwell on but it did teach me that if you’re going to change something on a whim, it’s best to take proper note of what you do, so you can mirror it at the other side. Moving on swiftly…

I did have a bit of a ‘duh’ moment when i realised that what i did at the edges and the centre could have been so much more elegant - i ended up with an extra little line of YO-decrease-YO that i’d prefer to have eliminated but by the time i realised i was in ‘no going back now’ territory so I shall live with it and casually promise to rework the pattern at some point down the road.

On the second repeat of the waterlily i did away with the centre spine and only continued to work increases at the sides. I’m happy with that.

Two full repeats of the waterlily in i started to think i better get my act together and find an edging, before i run out of yarn. The Spring Thaw Shawl was a strong contender, to continue those lovely lines of YO - decrease - YO into some pretty noink-noink-noink pointy bits but in the end, i was more enamoured with the delicate little knots in the frozen leaves edging. The chart on the pattern page scared the life out of me, but thankfully after a bit of reading on people’s project pages i discovered that two other knitters had produced their own charts, which were lovely and clear, and OMG wtf, the stitch count matched exactly to my repeats for the waterlily.

And we all lived happily ever after.

p.s. if you want to see a few other patterns that i was looking at for substitutions, i’ve used the tag ‘swallowhack’ in my favourites.

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March 2011
April 26 2011
About this pattern
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About this yarn
by Malabrigo Yarn
100% Merino
470 yards / 50 grams
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  • Project created: April 27, 2011
  • Updated: April 27, 2011