It's possum yarn! Made by Touch, a fab NZ yarn company - 40% possum, 60% wool. And unbelieveably soft!! I was tossing around ideas of what to make with it with Bells and one of us thought of the Forest Canopy shawl, and Bells made me cast on! (she's a bad influence, that one!).
A good choice! While it does look a little stripey in pictures, in real life the colours are more subtle and blend together well, and since the lace is so simple, it just works.
And blocking is magic (except for the sore back)!
Here are my blocking tools:
Foam mats from a $2 shop (discount store) - I bought two packs, I think they were $4/pack, and they are great as you can make all sorts of shapes with them for blocking awkward sized things. And my lovely blocking wires which I bought last year from Yarns Online.
Yarn: Touch possum yarn, 1 x 100g skein. I thought the yarn was a sportweight (the label suggested 3.75mm sticks) but I think it's really a DK/8ply.
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence. An excellent first lace pattern, as so many have said before me. I did about 5 or 6 extra repeats to ensure I used up all the yarn.
Sticks: KnitPicks Harmony options, 4.5mm. I really should have used 5mm sticks, I think, but as I thought it was sportweight, and as I was already using the 5mm sticks on another project (which project, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure!), I decided on 4.5mm.
Time: 9 September 2008 - 22 October 2008. I could have finished it earlier than that, but I had a break to work on some other deadline type projects. I picked it up on a whim this week and thought heck, that's not long to the finish line, so I went for it!
What I learnt: I should have listened to my instincts about stick size - even though I made the shawl bigger than the pattern, it's still quite small (about 120cm/47" wingspan). And that weighing the ball after each repeat is a great way to ensure maximum skein usage.
This is all I was left with when I cast off (and I wasn't sure I was going to make it...so a big sigh of relief when I did!).
Also I learnt that taking pictures of yourself in the mirror is very difficult!!
Now though, I'm really hankering for some fine lace knitting...but that's another post!