Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Biggie

One thing I finished up during my recent finishing spree was a shawl, Moonlight Sonata (; free pattern). I bought the yarn, superwash BFL (blue face leicester) from The Sweet Sheep's "Boo Boo Bin" at the Sept 2008 Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair. It had some indigo spots that I thought maybe I could either just cut out, or hope they'd work into the pattern. I think it was $20, for 800(?)yds. Couldn't pass that up, even if the colours were ....challenging. In the skein it looked rather vibrant, magenta, lavender, white and grey.The first attempt (summer 2009) was a 1/2 round shawl, done with short row wedges, from Interweave Knits. Don't recall which issue, or the name, but it was a fairly recent pattern. I think I blogged about it. There was a 'mesh' section, and then a lace section at the edge. The mesh was fine in the colourful yarn, but the lace section looked all muddled. I spent a LOT of time examining shawls on Ravelry. I came to the conclusion that a colourful yarn works best in a couple different options:

1) garter stitch, which blends the colours
2) stockinette stitch, which allows the individual colours to show
3) graphic, bold, repetitive lace which can rise above the colourfullness.

The Moonlight Sonata offers all these options, while not getting TOO repetitive. And it's free, LOL. The first effort was a little loose, and I wasn't sure about the edge yarn overs. I got going though, and it moved along fairly quickly. It wasn't a totally memorizable pattern, but it was still easy to read.

Sometime before Christmas, I set it aside. I was at the point where I had to go back online and print off the end of the pattern, which I thought would include another chart, and I was concerned about the amount of yarn left. As if procrastinating would make the yarn self-reproduce? After the April knitting guild meeting, I decided to get it out and finish it off. I was a little mad at myself when I checked the pattern and found that the edging consisted solely of knitting 8 rows of garter stitch!! I had it done in two days!!Unblocked lace wool looks like nothing. A tangled mess of colourful spaghetti.
I blocked the neck curve out using the memory wire, that was fun. Then I wired up the edges, but found I couldn't stretch them out far enough so that the bottom edge could be fully stretched. So some of the circles along the lower edge are a little dimensional. It's a little more than 6ft across (the squares are 2ft each, I think).It's a good size, and weight, and shape, and is reversible. See how the repetitive, graphic nature of the pattern stands out?
And this is how much wool I had left! Awesome!