Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Heeeescape!

Seascape 2
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 well-trained smart man.
Seascape 1
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.
Seascape 3
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.

Hot rod
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 how lazy I am what I'm wearing, I've got plenty of options to alter the look and drape.

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!
Seascape 4
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.

Yarn thoughts
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...
Seascape 5
Seascape
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.

17 Comments:

Blogger Bezzie said...

Beautiful! And you said undulate...hee hee.

5:00 PM  
Blogger The Kelly Green Rogue said...

oooh so pretty and breezy and yummy!

5:02 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

Gorgeous -- I can't believe it was your first lace! I'm a Zephyr virgin myself, but after your rave reviews, I must now try it. That is, after I finish the three other shawls I have on the needles or am about to cast on.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

One of my favorite 80s songs. Don't tell anyone. Can't stand the version by N'Sync, though (but oh how I loves me some N'Sync - don't tell anyone).

Quite excellent job on the lace. So pretty and such a perfect color choice! It will never cease to amaze me how blobby lace looks throughout the knitting process, then turns itself into gorgeous perfection during blocking. That gratification is worth the hours (and hours, and hours) of tiny stitches.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Gorgeous! It looks just beautiful - I hadn't really thought about making this one but after seeing yours, I think it has to go into the queue. Great job - gorgeous!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Trillian42 said...

STUNNING! And I'm really impressed that it's your first laceweight! Nice work.

6:54 PM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

THAT. Is fabulous. And you finished it so quickly! You should do more laceweight stuff! Like the swallowtail shawl, that has you k7tog. That's fun.

By the way, did you know that Joshua Jackson is in a new TV show on Fox? Not that you'd notice or anything.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ooh I love it. Wraps are not my style I don't think but I would totally wear this one to a wedding or play or something! :) I love the color too. Soo breezy.

12:18 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Ooooh now THAT is PRETTY! Love the colors and the breadth of it. Very stunning.

3:12 PM  
Blogger princessquiltandknitalot said...

Wow, it is beautiful! Thanks for sharing and for including your modifications, I am working up the courage to give it a try! Also, thanks for the fingerless mitt pattern, I made them for my 15 year old daughter and she LOVES them!

6:19 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! Now that would maybe just maybe be something I'd tackle for a first laceweight because I would love to wear that! But, yet, still....no lace for me! Great job! Can't believe its your first!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

Oooooh! So pretty and ocean-y! Kindof makes me want to knit lace again!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Nell said...

Gorgeous!!!! The color is perfect for this pattern. Light and airy!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Wow, wow, wow! This is beautiful! Congrats!1

3:18 PM  
Blogger glittrgirl said...

You made a great job of that! The yar is perfect for the pattern and it looks so pretty. Well done!

11:29 PM  
OpenID dropstitchknitter said...

Stunning - I really love the pattern and the color is just amazing. And I have welding rod blockers too - I really entertained those welding guys for a while, trying to explain why I wanted to buy those rods - they were so in awe - they gave them to me!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Darcy said...

Wow it is so gorgeous I have a skein of this in lavender color.Hugs Darcy

12:22 PM  

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