Saiiiiiilin', sailing awaaaaay, Ican'tbelieveI'mquoting Christopher Cross....
Floaty! Airy! Pretty! Heeeeee!
I didn't finish it completely when Hubster was out of town, but he knew enough not to distract me when I showed him the chart. Now that's a
Go on, break your laceweight cherry on me. Well, not *on* me, but, oh, you know what I mean.
Heading out to sea
I've admired many a laceweight shawl from afar, but never really found a pattern that had me running for the skinny minny yarn myself. Until, that is, the Summer '08 issue of knitty. As soon as I saw Seascape, oh baby, I felt me the lace lust. (Is there an ointment for that?)
That big-ass Chart B can be a little scary at first glance, but this is actually a very easy pattern. Not memorize-it easy, because, well, it is over 40 rows. But it's also fairly intuitive, so after the first couple of repeats, you can easily get by with a quick glance or two throughout each row.
The charts are very clear and easy to follow (although enlarging them and using six different highlighters helps!), and all those centered double decreases really help keep you on track - they’re stacked on top of each other, so if you’re off a stitch, you notice it right away, rather than 8 rows later. All of which makes this an excellent pattern for laceweight newbies like me!
Of course, I did swing in a few mods:
- Increased the CO to 107 stitches and added 2 extra repeats to each side border.
- Added 8 more rows to the beginning and end (24 instead of 16).
- Worked 10 repeats of Chart B (instead of 6).
- Made the last WS row a knit row, then did a standard BO with size 6 needles.
Lemme 'splain that last one - the pattern says to knit Rows 25-26 sixteen times, then knit 1 row (WS), then do a p2tog BO. However, Row 26 is a WS row, so following that with a knit row would put you on the RS.
So, to make the beginning and end match (I'm anal and I'm proud!), I knitted rather than purled the last repeat of Row 26, skipped the instruction to knit another row, then did a standard BO with larger needles, as I find it’s a little more stretchy and looks more like a long-tail CO.
Nice and big. How I like my men. I mean, how I *used* to like my men, before I got married. Now I don't even look at other men. Are there any other men on the planet? I hadn't noticed.
While you can see the pattern coming together on the needles, once blocked it's absolutely gorgeous! Unique and beautiful, not a frouf in sight. Love!
SO glad I added those extra borders and repeats everywhere, too! The final size turned out to be 80" long x 17" wide. Plenty of length to fling about in a myriad of ways, even over both shoulders. So depending on
And my new welding rod blocking wires? AWESOME. Check out those nice, straight edges! And see how those YO columns nearest to the center undulate a little? Just like waves! And it's called Seascape! Hey, lookit how that worked out!
All wrapped up in floaty goodness!
Much as I enjoyed knitting with my first laceweight, though, I have to admit, it didn’t really “grab” me the way say, socks did. Don't get me wrong, this Seascape rocks my world! But I don’t really feel a burning urge to knit with laceweight yarn again. At least, not anytime soon.
That of course, is not a reflection of the yarn itself, which was Mama Llama Jaggerspun Zephyr Lace from one of my favorite online shops, Sonny & Shear. You all know of the Zephyr, right? It's a silk/merino blend that from what I can tell, is a standard go-to yarn for laceweight knitters.
It's got a bit of a loose twist, so if you were knitting something at a super-tight gauge, it might have a tendency to split. But with yarn this teeny on size 4 needles, it wasn't really a problem. Not that all those centered double decreases were a ragin' party machine or anything, but I didn't have to work to keep the splittiness at bay.
And as you can see, Mama Llama did an absolutely BEAUTIFUL job on the colorway! All those various yet subtle shades of turquoise and white meld into each other like ocean waves, gently crashing onto the soft, white sand of a Caribbean beach.
*sigh* I need a vacation.
Eh? Oh, right. Yes, it's soft and floaty and all the things you'd long for in a laceweight yarn. Mama Llama's website looks to be under construction (it's a bit rudimentary right now), so just get your fix at Sonny & Shear. Awesome service, great yarns, easy-to-nav website, buyer rewards, a low free shipping min, and killer deals every month if you sign up for their newsletter or Rav group. They only have one colorway in stock at the mo, but there should be more up shortly. And they've got plenty of other fab yarns to keep you busy in the meantime. *evil enabler laugh*
Wrap it up
I love how this turned out! Fabulously airy, feminine, but not girly. While I don't forsee any more laceweight shawls in my near future, I do forsee this getting a ton of wear once the weather breaks! Now if only I could see the lottery numbers with such clarity...
Pattern: knitty, Summer '08
Yarn: Mama Llama Jaggerspun Zephyr Lace, 1 skein in Sea
Needle: Holz & Stein Ebony in size 4, 24"
Mods: Added 8 more rows to the beginning/end+ 2 repeats to each side border + 4 repeats to Chart B, made the bind-off match the cast-on.