Yup, been working on another shawl...I have to say they're kinda fun, which is a waste since I'll obviously never wear one! And now that I've been trying lacework, I'm really intrigued. I've said it before - it's really cool what you can do with a string and a couple sticks!
So here's the shawl after the knitting and blocking were finally finished...
The pattern is Heaven Scent by Boo Knits.
The yarn is Dream in Color's new Jilly line, in the Brilliant colorway. Well, MOST of it is! I ran short of yarn, not having enough to finish the very last row. Sure, I had a few feet of yarn left at that point, but considering the picot bind-off (my first picot) took four afternoons/evenings to knit, that's some indicator that it also took up a LOT of yarn. Luckily I had the same colorway (Brilliant) in Dream in Color's 8-ply Everlasting Sock yarn - and I really don't think someone would notice the different yarn if I didn't point it out. Same weight - it's just that most of the shawl's yarn isn't plied.
Just FYI - Dream in Color doesn't even list Jilly on their own site yet - it was just released earlier this year, and I was tempted to try it thanks to a 20% off sale FiberWild was running. I would say Jilly is very similar to Madelinetosh's Tosh Merino Light - perhaps not QUITE as soft, but also minus all the irregularities in thickness that Tosh Merino Light has.
I knit up the small size for the pattern, not know how much I'd need, but knowing I only had a single skein. When I got to the end of the lace body work, I realize I still had quite a bit of yarn left, and since I was worried about how small the shawl seemed, I went with a second repeat of the lace work. That's the cool thing about some of these patterns - they're written so that you can seamlessly repeat some sections as many times as you'd like, and sometimes you can even change the order of sections.
Btw - if I've learned nothing from people's posting of their finished objects on Ravelry, it's that you're supposed to take pictures of your stuff draped around in places you wouldn't normally find it - so on garden benches, across flowers, etc... ;-)
There it is with the honeysuckle in bloom, and here it is with some clematis... I guess posing it with flowers is sort of appropriate since the designer said she designed it with flowers in mind.
So since this was my first finished lacework project (I have another shawl that I'd started before with no intended recipient, but it got put on hold for awhile), I had no idea how much it would open up with blocking. I know there are lots of comments on line about how you're supposed to be "thuggish" with it when blocking - to stretch it out and then stretch it even more. And wow, I was surprised - I would have part pinned in place, thinking I couldn't stretch it anymore, work on another section, then come back and find the original stuff could handle more stretching! These next two pictures show the before and after as I was learning about blocking lacework. Take note of the "arch" in the middle...I'll talk about that in a second.
Cool, hunh? See how I had to add more blocking boards!?
Now - about that hump. I don't have any true "after" pics - I THOUGHT it was done here, and had shared a pic on Ravelry, and someone (who was very helpful during the finishing process) told me to NOT do that. Yes, it seems like the shawl wants to form that part, but don't let it. Afterwards I gave it some thought - I'm guessing that arch would feel and look really weird when actually up against the back or back of the neck... It would probably just fall over, bunch up, etc. So after the shawl was mostly dry and I got the suggestion to correct it, I spritzed it heavily while still on the needles, took out those center top pins, and tugged on it more, getting rid of the hunchback hump.
More interesting stuff about blocking - it makes a huuuuge difference. Here's an early picture of the shawl while still being knit, showing how the fabric wants to form bumps and ripples. That's just from the uneven tension caused by the different stitch types.
See? It almost looks like a kitchen sponge!
And after blocking and stretching?
Flat, smooth, and really opened up!
The recipient (who now has the shawl) was given a teaser sneak peek when I was at the part where I needed to start adding beads - I wanted to know 1) if she even wanted beads and if so, 2) what beads she might like.
In the picture above, look at the very last/bottom row of stitches and you can make out how the yarn has a slight twist (like threads twisted) - that's the Everlasting Sock yarn used to finish the shawl. And those little knitted "bumps" are the picots... I've never knit picots before and was surprised at how long they take! I was also frustrated because somewhere near the end of the pattern I have a goof or two that I was able to fix/fake so that you wouldn't notice it, buuuut it also got some counts off, and then the picots didn't seem to line up perfectly with the bead points. I was told to not worry about this - that it's not something to stress over. I thought I had to make the beads line up perfectly with the picots - and I'm still not certain if that's actually possible or not. I'm working on another shawl - same designer, similar pattern, similar bind-off - and will see how it turns out. Again, I'm hoping that, if you don't knit this kind of thing, and aren't anal about it, you'd never even notice how those damn picots don't line up.
Anyhow - this was a fun project, and I really hope the recipient likes it and will let me take pics of her wearing it soon!