Monday, November 15, 2010

Linda's Shawl

Here she is, Linda's Shawl, all ready for you to knit.  This sweetheart of a shawlette is knitted from the bottom up, not my usual top down.  You start at the lace border, work it without any shaping, and then go on to the stockinette part, which has all the decreases.  That makes it such fun to work.  You have all the fun of the lace while you are anxious to start, and then you just motor along on the stockinette part with each row having less and less stitches.  You'll be amazed at how quickly it knits up.  Once your rows start decreasing, you just go faster and faster.  Such fun!

Here's the story behind the shawl.  Lots of times I unvent or find a lace pattern where the edging has a nice curve or point, and I want that edge to be the outside edge of a shawl.  So, I decided to do this one, bottom up and take advantage of the edge of the design.  But this can be tricky because what do you do if you run out of yarn on the stockinette portion?  I have a bit of a priori knowledge here since I've made lots of these little shawls top down and I know my yardage and how many stitches I end up with.  So, I was somewhat sure that it would all work out.  Not totally sure but almost, kind of, maybe.  And indeed, I ended up with a nice little ball of left over yarn.  

Here's the thing:  When you get to the stockinette portion, the rows have less and less stitches, and therefore use less and less yarn!  So while you're sweating it out that you are just going to run out of yarn, you suddenly realize that you do have enough.

In the event that you do run out of yarn, there's no reason why you can't just loosely bind off.  Your shawl will work more like a curvy stole than a shawl, but that's a lovely shape, too and just as cuddly and capable of draping around your neck.  So it's all a win/win situation.

I used Bambi yarn here and a size 5 (3.75mm) circular needle.  The trick to these shawls is drape; you don't want tight knitting as you need for socks, you want a fluid garment.  So go up to a 4, 5, or even 6 needle to get your gauge, and you'll be so pleased to see how nicely it works up.

You can easily use a variegated yarn here; just make sure that the lace will be visible and not lost in the colors.  A solid or almost solid will be fine, of course.

Linda's Scarf

As a bonus, I've also included a scarf with the same lace pattern.  I loved working the lace, and wanted to do a bit more.  Hence the scarf.

You can also use the lace in a sweater, either as a border or an overall pattern, as a ruffle for mitts, even for socks.  It is so pleasant to work, one of my favorite lace patterns.

Needless to say, I have 2 new shawlette patterns to write up and have test knitted, and the other day, I started yet another one.  What a crazy obsession this is!  I have more shawls that I know what to do with, but I just love wearing them.  They've become knitted embellishment for me. 

pendie - You'll really like knitting this one.  I'm so in love now with bottom up that I have a gazillion ideas in my head.

Scrabblequeen - Not a problem; the shawl isn't going anywhere.  ;-)

LivvyLove - Thanks.  I do enjoy the entire process.  OK, not the writing up, but the designing and playing and knitting! 


pendie said...

I love your new patterns! I can't wait to knit them

Scrabblequeen said...

Already queued. Wish I didn't have to wait to begin, but I phooey!

Henya said...

I love them. They are magnificent!

LivvyLove said...

wonderful patterns! Super creative! You're quite the designer.


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