I promise a sock update post later this week–but first:
A finished shawl! Morticia, pattern by booknits.
It’s huge, handspun, and dripping with tons of weighty 8/0 beads. I love wearing it cowled up around my neck tomboy style over my olive field jacket–I think a long narrow half moon shaped shawl is so wearable. At some point I’ll do some shawl wearing wardrobe posts–
Booknits describes her design philosophy as striving for patterns that are “quick to knit, easy to knit and yet look as though they really must be much more complicated.”
She achieves this. Really. Knitwear design unicorn!
A lot of the shawl’s drama is attained by playing with scale–the pattern uses 4 progressively larger needle sizes, opening up the lace patterning as you work toward the edging, which is a bit more heavily patterned than the body pattern. Bead usage is also lighter at the start of the shawl, building up to a heavily beaded final few rows. These last rows are quite long but so pretty.
Consequently, Morticia feels like a lot of shawl for one that uses less than 800 yards of yarn.
Most of this shawl was night knitting–a few rows a night while winding down before bed. I embrace difficulty and love mind puzzle knitting, but it was nice to cozy up in bed every night with some dramatic but relaxing lace knitting. The lace patterning was easy to read, any missed yarn overs were easily picked up on the WS purl rows.
Booknits patterns would be a great first lace choice for a bunch of reasons. A few that came to mind:
Scalability: The pattern gives detailed instructions for knitting the shawl in a range of sizes–from shawlette to even bigger than my version. You can knit it with or without beads. Or with one color of beads rather than the 2 colors I used. And there are multiple bindoff options provided. Both charted and written instructions are included, too.
Community: Booknits has a very active Rav group. Cool and knowledgeable people will help you out with answering questions, cheer you on as you work on your shawl, and talk you off the ledge if you hit any big snags (like I needed when I broke a needle tip, lost a bunch of stitches, and had to do some pretty major shawl surgery…). And it’s international so if you’re freaking out about something at 2AM in your time zone, there will likely be someone around to help you.
Payoff: The patterns really do look more complicated than they actually were to knit–its not just advertising standard boilerplate.
More detail about my shawl is on my Ravelry project page.
What about you–do you enjoy knitting lace? Are you a little afraid of it? Is it too fussy to wear? Thoughts?