Thursday, March 11, 2010

I almost can't believe it...

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.

Details
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!).

36 comments:

2paw said...

Wow, that's just wonderful. And I bet you feel more than fantastic at finishing it too. Ohh, purl lace row, it's enough to strike fear into my heart!!!

bellsknits said...

i just realised you have been making this almost as long as I've known you! I had a flashback to the first time I came to your house and it was just an itty bitty thing. And now look at it! Yarn choice mistakes aside, I think it's a stunning, gorgeous piece of knitting and your mum is just going to think you are the bees knees, if she doesn't already.

Oh and now I want to make it. I REALLY want to make it. I might indulge in a bit of fantasising this afternoon on Rav.

DrK said...

Despite all those issues, it really is stunningly beautiful. I wish I could see your mums face too, I think she will LOVE it! well done you!

Michelle said...

Oh. My. Goodness. How beautiful is that shawl? Jawdroppingly beautiful, is what! Regardless of the painful yarn choice, the colour and the pattern are just so perfect. I reckon your mum will love it!

travellersyarn said...

It looks wonderful, and when I did a class with Nancy Bush, she scolded me for unpicking "just fix the mistake - read the lace". I feel much better now about imperfections...

missfee said...

congrats on the finish and the medal Rosered. I love the effect of the colour and texture of the yarn even with the not best choice as you say. I hope your mum is excited by it too.

stitchbliss said...

Your knitting woes are invisible from here. That is just a beautiful shawl.

SallyO said...

I think it's really gorgeous - love the pattern, love the colour.

Gidgetknits said...

Wow - it really did turn out beautifully! Congratulations!

Roxie said...

Gasp! Stunning! Bravo! Hooray! Yay RoseRed! Whoop, whoop!!

Sarah said...

Oh it's LOVELY! Well done you for that final push. Interesting to note what a different stole it would have looked if you started it now but as you say it all works in the end anyway. I'm sure your Mum will love it.

sue said...

It looks gorgeous and I am sure your mum will love it too!

artificiallymythic said...

That is stunning! Despite the problems, the yarn looks gorgeous - almost like a turkish tapestry - and the pattern quite lovely.

Well Done! What a wip to put to rest!

m1k1 said...

What an inspiration! Beautiful.
This morning 1000m of 2/20 merino/cashmere/silk blend landed on my doorstep (now how did that get there? chortle) from The Gossamer Web in colour KlingonBloodWine.
Right. Here we go. Again.

Lynne said...

It certainly looks lovely - a really gorgeous colour way. You've learned so much from this - don't make it your last big lace project (although there is something to be said for those rest rows!!)

Well done and congrats on the Ravelympic medal too!

MadMad said...

Wow-za. I, too, would love to see your mom's face - you need to take some pics of her wearing it, too! It is so gorgeous, really. And what a labor of love! Congrats on the second medal!

Caffeine Girl said...

Totally amazing!

Ruth said...

It's beautiful, and if there are any mistakes, you can't see them. I love your color choice, too.

knitnthings said...

It's amazing!

Maria said...

All I can think to say is
WOW!!!!
It is beautiful. Very lucky Mum!!!

Donyale said...

Noice one Miss J - what a great monkey to get off your back. The end result really negates all faults of yarn choice (in your opinion)- it's so lovely.

TinkingBell said...

Seriuosly beautiful - I bet your mother will be beyond impressed (I would be)

You have done very well

I finally finished my Ishbel - but that is not nearly as impressive!

Ruby Girl said...

It is beautiful and amazing colours. I am sure it will get a lot of use, a stole is probably a better choice for more use.

kgirl said...

stunning :D

your Mum will be beyond pleased, I'm sure.

and 3 years? that's a serious WIP - you could write a book about your time together!

Linda said...

What an utter beauty that one is! Well done, its amazing. I almost feel inspired to try lace again!

http://leafgreenknits.wordpress.com/

Kristie said...

Oh wow congratulations! I know your mum will love it! (Having met her a couple of times I feel completely confidant in predicting her taste, lol!)

LynS said...

Congratulations - it looks so lovely - beautiful colour. I can just imagine your mother wearing this, and I'm very envious of her!

Alwen said...

It is just gorgeous, and HOORAY! for finishing!

Susanne said...

Beautiful work, it looks so warm and snuggly, I'm sure your Mum will love it.

Well done on persevering with it too!

Ann said...

The shawl is gorgeous & you have done a great job. I knitted the same shawl & felt the same about lace on every row. Eversince then, I only knit lace patterns with a rest row as I had learnt my lesson.

mooncalf said...

Congratulations! I'm sure she'll love it!

Lisa said...

So beautiful! Congratulations!

Geek Knitter said...

Oh, well done you! Your mother is a lucky woman!

knitabulous said...

It is really gorgeous. I've been admiring it in my mind since I saw it, (as I often do in these cases) - the colours are lovely. I don't think it was the wrong yarn at all!

Diana said...

It's quite beautiful no matter how long it took. I love the changes in colors in the yarn. I've decided since projects take me long too that it's no race and I like what I end up with, eventually!

mildawg said...

Wow! It's absolutely gorgeous. I'm very impressed.