I almost can't believe this project is done! Done done done! No longer a WIP! No longer on the sticks! Over! Finished! Done!
And it only took me almost 3 years ... but I can't wait to see the look on mum's face when I finally give it to her this weekend! I think she's probably given up on it ever being done.
And I got a medal for it in the Ravelympics! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It's amazing how you can get 25% of a shawl done in just 2 weeks if you really set your mind to it.
Pattern: The very descriptively named Alpine Knit Scarf with Double Rose Leaf Centre Pattern and Diamond Border (!!) (otherwise known by me as the Alpine Lace Shawl!) by Jane Sowerby from Victorian Lace Today. I chose this pattern for a couple of reasons - it's a stole, so more wearable, the border is knitted at the same time as the centre, and it's just a lovely looking pattern. But on the downside, it's lace on both sides - which is one of the reasons it took me so long to do. Never underestimate the power of the purl rest row when choosing lace patterns!
The other thing to note with the pattern is that the centre pattern is an 8 row repeat, while the border is a 16 row repeat - so I did a cut and paste job on the charts - pasting two centre repeats in between the border repeat charts, which made it a lot easier to work from the charts.
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Multicolour, in colour 3053, 6 x 50g balls. I chose this yarn with my mum, based on the colours really. But totally the wrong yarn for this pattern (or for lace really) - it's a 60% mohair/40% acrylic blend - which meant it didn't block out the same way as a 100% natural fibre yarn would have (I ended up adding a bit of length by adding 4 extra centre repeats). The pre-block measurements were 160cm/63" x 56cm/22", while after blocking it ended up 173cm/68" x 63cm/25".
And it was next to impossible to frog and even tinking was hard. Which means I fudged a bunch of mistakes in the shawl, moreso at the beginning though. Another contributing factor to the length of time to knit!
On the upside, mohair hides a lot of sins! And I reckon my ends will never come out, because the yarn is so sticky!
Sticks: KnitPicks Options 4.5mm 80cm circular. Another newbie to lace (at the time) mistake - needles too small for yarn. Or really, yarn to heavy for needles! The yarn is really an 8ply/DK weight, so I should have used at least 5mm or 5.5mm sticks - although this would have made the shawl tooooo wide. Anyway, have learnt my lesson about yarn choice from this project!
Time: April 2007 - 28 February 2010. Oh my!
What I learnt: As this was my first big lace project, I made a lot of mistakes - yarn choice, pattern choice, needle choice. But somehow it all came together in the end, and I really am pleased with this (not just that it's done either!).