A little bit of silk and wool

What do birds, trees, sand dollars, bubbles, fish, water and shells all have in common? They’re all part of the Pacific Northwest shawl, which is finally done!

Here it is, lounging across the back of the sofa at the coffee shop I went to last night for a knitting group, because somehow a shawl that was based on an area of the country that includes Seattle – where there is literally a coffee shop on every corner – is required to make her photographic debut posing somewhere where there is a whole lot of caffeine.

I started this back in March, but that’s not exactly any indication of how long it takes to knit, because I’ve been slowly chipping away on this in between the cabled cardigan, Sockpaloooza, and the never-ending pile of pink breast cancer ribbon socks.

I made this with Jaeggerspun Zephyr (same as what’s recommended by the pattern itself), in Peacock. I started with 100 grams (which we think is probably about 1100 yards) and the finished shawl weighs 85 grams, so that should give a rough estimate of about how much yarn was necessary. I suspect at least half of that yarn was used in the edging. It certainly felt that way when I was knitting five miles of shells on Saturday (grin). And we will not speak of the choice words which may or may not have fallen from my lips when I finished the shells on Saturday afternoon and was just about to cast off and go block the thing when I discovered that not only was I not done, what remained was to add an i-cord bind off to the top edge. Do you have any idea how long an i-cord bind off takes on nearly 400 stitches, especially when you have to keep ripping it out and starting over with larger and larger needles because it’s *still* too tight?

I did this my friend-with-a-yarn-store for a shop sample (so those of you going to Lambtown might even get to see it in person), which means that it was a very good learning experience for me because instead of taking shortcuts or maybe even skipping the aforementioned i-cord bind off (heh), I made myself follow every single step exactly as it was written. It helps that the Zephyr is an absolute dream to knit with, and the pattern is extremely well written. Any designer who is willing to write out every row of their pattern because she understands that there are some of us who work much better with text than with charts gets top billing in my book.

Anyway. It is done and I am happy and even though there were times during the edging and the i-cording when it felt like it would simply never end (the equivalent of the sweater knitting black hole, I suspect), it turned out gorgous and it was worth it. And now the only problem I have is figuring out which shawl/doily/lace thing I should start next.

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9 Responses to A little bit of silk and wool

  1. Lazuli says:

    Oh, that is simply gorgeous! (…I’m going to go work on mine now! 🙂

  2. Kay says:

    Wow… that’s absolutely beautiful.

    (Also, I found your blog through the Knitting Kitty webring. Hi!)

  3. knitnana says:

    What a gorgeous shawl! You have to be proud!Thanks for the info on Zephyr, I will be trying it. I love the color you chose.

  4. Tammy says:

    What a beautiful shawl!! I have this pattern, but it has looked so intimidating until just recently.

  5. Maggie says:

    Your shawl is gorgeous! A beautiful work of art. Congratulations! 🙂

  6. Claudia says:

    What a beautiful shawl. I’ve never done anything like this. I’ll have to think about it. It really is stunning.

  7. Jeanette says:

    (making a pit stop in the Amazing Lace KAL) I’m so jealous that you are finished (I’m stuck on an error in my project and am tinking waaaaay back). You’re shawl looks beautiful!

  8. Sourire11 says:

    I’m also stopping by on my amazing lace pit stop… I really enjoyed reading your blog! Your shawl is stunning!!!!! Wow! Just beautiful. And I love the pink ribbon socks…

  9. Beth B. says:

    Beautiful work. I finished mine in mid-June (done in blue, purchased so long ago that I’ve forgotten the color name), but I haven’t blocked it yet due to various work-related dramas. Can’t wait to get power back on here in St. Louis so I can vaccuum the cat hair off the floor and pin it out. (It’ll be a full week without power by 7:00 tonight.)

    My problem is, my mom saw the shawl and hinted not-so-gently that she would like one. I loved the pattern, but I’m not sure I could knit it again so soon. But yours has inspired me to get going and block mine.

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