You are currently browsing the Shaped Triangle turned Swallowtail Shawl category
Memories of a 6th standard (or thereabouts) biology lesson.
Caterpillar, or Just off the Needles, Finally:
Chrysalis, a.k.a. the twenty-minute soak:
And finally, the butterfly:
Perched on a branch, and on a wall:
Pattern: Started out as Shaped Triangle shawl from Gathering of Lace, but got sick of that pattern and ended it with the Swallowtail pattern from Fall 06 Interweave knits, almost a year after starting it. The saga of this shift is here.
Yarn: Jaggerspun Superfine Merino 100% wool (this is the full merino cousin of Zephyr). I have no idea how much, but a ton of it is still left on the cone. Body on size 3s, edging on size 4s.
This shawl is so difficult to photograph! It’s light and wispy and soft, and I hope my MIL likes it. It turned out a little smaller than I’d anticipated (60" wingspan x 30" depth before blocking and 80 and 40 after blocking).
I wrapped it around myself today and it should be okay, I think. But I’m not so sure I like laceweight shawls, actually. I find I need the weight of the shawl as much as the actual wool to be warm. I think fingering, or sportweight might be my preferred weight, and that would allow me to use larger needles and make the fabric firm too; the airiness of the lacy fabric is gorgeous to look at and is surely warm as well, but I don’t know why, it feels a tad too wispy to me.
ED: [i]sorry, i had to tweak a few times to fix the damn formatting[/i]
I stumbled across this thread and this one on a knitting forum about a recent spat between two distributors over the cashmere content in some popular yarns. It’s not clear yet who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong; accusations are flying back and forth, but in the whole mess (and I’m really resisting the knitting puns and metaphors here), one thing really stood out: the amount of cashmere content that seems to be under scrutiny in yarns that (are claimed to?) have cashmere in them: between 5-10%!
That’s just laughable. True, the industry standards require a minimum of 3% so no rules are technically being broken, but talk about proportion, eh? The amount of mark-up that companies can claim just by that little content and the resultant "luxury" tag: it’s not for nothing that most of these yarns have "cash" mentioned in them. I find it hilarious everytime I see either the owner of the brand or the distributor insist, "there *is* cashmere in there"! Sure.
Anyway. I spent another weekend hurtling across the country by plane, this time for the
large desi wedding annual South Asia conference in Madison, WI. Which was surprisingly subdued, actually. Saw lots of friends: sepoy, pdcs, pandit among others, and collected more entries for my Weird Things Academics Say and Do series. Daku, if you’re reading this, you were sorely missed!
And I managed to finally start my cartridge rib pullover. I began with the sleeve. I had some gauge issues. I was getting 6.5 spi on the pattern, but it also stretches easily, and slightly stretched the gauge was 5.75 spi. After some tortured maths, I settled for 6 spi, figuring the stretch would take care of the fit.
Am using Ann Budd’s generic pattern for saddle shoulders, but with lots of mods. Cast on 64 plus 2 selvedge stitches, and instead of her staggered increase, am doing an even increase every 6th row from the beginning.
(Aside: when patterns say "every 4 rows" does that mean every 4th or 5th row after one increase? That always stumps me.)
I also did the first twenty rows on size 3s for greater tension at the wrists, and now am on size 5s. I cast on at the airport in Oakland, and this is where I was when I landed two days later. I might just finish this before December…
And finally, I’m at the point where I begin the nupps for the Shaped-triangle-turned-Swallowtail shawl. Seeing Lobstah’s gorgeous Flirty Ruffles shawl has inspired me to really finish this quickly. I switched to size 4 addis for the border, just to make it drapier, and 38 more rows to go. I have a feeling it’s not going to be large enough, as my MIL really wanted something to drape around well, but I am so sick of this laceweight. I’m going to finish it as it is, and if it isn’t suitable I’ll make another leaf lace or flower basket shawl in sportweight (and keep this one for myself!).
This Peruvian alpaca is *soft*! It sheds a bit, but am loving it. The colour is so rich and I think I like the fabric I’m getting on size 5s. I don’t know what the pilling situation is, though. Anybody know? If it tends to pill I might move down to size 4.
Remember my Shaped Triangle Shawl? I didn’t take a fresh picture because it is a large black blob right now not unlike the one taken two months ago. I got stuck at where the small
cockroaches beetles that form the base of the pattern morph into more beautiful and complex things, like mountains and flowers and whatnot. (See this complexity in all its glory here. This part of the pattern is charted only half the way; the other half you have to make your own way backwards. Not surprisingly, I was unable to walk back properly by myself. I enlarged the pattern, photocopied it front-and-back and put the two sides back-to-back in a plastic sleeve to make it easier to read both ways (this is a *great* technique, btw, in theory) and even knit about ten rows before I realised that my beetles did not want to shape-shift. Mountains and flowers met the frogpond twice over. It’s to do with the thin black lace; the topography just doesn’t show up as nicely.
So what to do? It would be really nice if I could send the completed shawl to my MiL in a month for a special occasion, so I sat and figured that I’d just beetle it all the way through, and then attach some damned border. All she wanted was triangular black lace, not any particular landscape.
Then, Eureka!!! I saw Alison’s gorgeous Swallowtail shawl and recognized in it my beetles, and a totally lovely border with something called nupps (is nupps just polite for bobbles?). Some
courageous determined arithmetic later, I think it can work. I have 12 beetle repeats to do and the border, and hopefully at the end of it, my Shaped Triangle will have metamorphosed into the Swallowtail Shawl. Fingers crossed.
I’m in a dilemma. I have finished the first chart of my shaped triangle shawl at row 108. Now I’m not sure if this is only due to its unblocked state, but it seems to be running a little smaller than it ought to at this stage, about 32 inches total at the shoulders, slightly stretched.
My mil had requested a really wide shawl and I figured 82 inches wide would be good; now I’m not sure it will get that wide after blocking. I have about 80 rows left.
After some handwringing about making yet another shawl that didn’t quite work*, I went to Purlsoho and bought five skeins of Louet Gems Superwash Merino sportweight and the Leaf Lace shawl pattern, thinking a slightly thicker yarn and simpler repeat pattern would mean I’d still have a shawl to give her when I arrive in Calcutta in July. And what the heck, I’d keep this one for myself. So I knit up the first chart and blocked it. This yarn is very springy, tightly spun and not really lacey-feeling, if you know what I mean. I’m not sure I like it for this pattern, even though machine-washable means more durable, plus the thicker yarn means warmer.
So since last night I’ve been going back and forth:
1) Should I continue with the shaped triangle, maybe increasing a few pattern repeats of a later chart? Alison, since you made this shawl, what do you think?
2) Will I be able to do this on a long road trip without poking myself in the eye with my needle?
3) Or should I continue with this Leaf Lace, perhaps with a larger needle to give it more drape? Why do I just *feel* it’s not right even when all indications are good?
4) My MiL said she likes thin, light yarn, but I am unsure if she knows exactly how thin this laceweight really is. But will the Gems turn out too thick?
5) Should I return the rest of the Louet Gems and feel like an idiot? What will I buy with the store credit?!
Any and all suggestions welcome, except the one that I shouldn’t make a black shawl for the MiL. That one’s too late, unfortunately.
* The first black shawl I made for her was from Brooks Farm 50/50 mohair-wool. I took it to Cal in the middle of the hot summer and you wouldn’t believe the way the fibres shed!! The floor soon resembled a barber’s floor and it was awful, little black wisps flying all over with the ceiling fan with me scurrying behind them to catch them before they got in everyone’s teeth and eyes. Back into the bag the shawl went (thankfully it was a simple Yo effort) and I swore off mohair.
What do you do when you have little visible progress to show? You buy yarn instead so you can photograph it. Heh heh. Both the Clapotis and the shawl are coming along nicely but nothing significantly different from last time. So I thought I’d distract you with this gorgeous pair I snagged today:
Louet Gems Merino Sock Yarn. I’m in a sock-yarn buying spree, but no worries, I have plans for them which shall be revealed at the right time. Aren’t they beauties? The colour is pretty accurate on my monitor.
I also bought a pair of size 3 Bryspun circulars for my Triangle shawl, because the Bates metal ones were somehow very clunky. I love the Bates needles cause they’re cheap, smooth and have sharp tips, and the joins aren’t bad either. But for some reason my wrists were beginning to hurt as I held them and the slippery lace tightly. So I bought these Bryspuns, which are lighter, more flexible and somehow faster. Yes I know, I’m probably imagining it. The joins aren’t that great but better than the bamboos.
This shawl is moving quickly now. I am hoping to have it done by the end of the month but perhaps that’s too ambitious.
… slowly. Very slowly. Like the Marathi saying, ????? ????? ??? ???? (literally, drop by drop the pond fills up). Here are a couple of progress pictures. I gave my husband quite a turn yesterday as he spied me trying to photograph my foot in the air with needles sticking out all around my ankle.
I like the way the lace looks. I am not entirely sure about how tight the all-over lace pattern will be on the ankle and cuff, but am knitting it right now, so will find out soon. But I can so totally see a second sock syndrome coming on. Need to fight it.
Also, the Shaped Triangle Shawl is growing! I had a devil of a time trying to photograph it, though. Here’s one that is halfway decent. I have a long way to go, but this project is wonderful. You can see its shape forming, like a butterfly opening its wings, almost.
Now you don’t. First, here’s a progress picture of the Faux Russian Stole from Gathering of Lace.
As you can tell, I’ve altered the pattern quite a bit, nearly doubling it in width. It looks quite nice, actually, when pinned out. I decided to pin it out for a blog photo, and was relieved to find no major mistakes.
Now here’s another progress picture:
All those YOs, all those K2togs, wrapped around the cone. That fat little bulge you see around the middle is my poor stole, frogged! Why?????
Well, for a number of reasons, with my impulsive decision-making being merely one of them. It’s been annoying me for a while now. The size 5 needles were making the garter stitch too loose, and I’d been ignoring it. My alterations were making it nearly 30 inches wide when blocked and I realised it was going to be a loose, drapey blanket rather than a nice shawl. It needs to be on size 4s and not that wide, which is what it will be in its next avatar. Also, I went and observed a history class in an inner-city middle school yesterday and it left me more depressed than I have been in a while. While frogging this leaves none of those questions about school education in the US unanswered, it did make me feel a little better.
But, I decided that I’m going to do lace now. Reading Eunny’s Lace Series is also just confirming my notion that lace is incomparable. I love the rhythm, the weightlessnes and the delicacy of knitting lace. My next shawl will be the black shawl my MIL has been asking for for ages. If I can get my ass going, it should be ready by the time I leave for home in July. We have a long road trip planned in June, hmmmmm.
I’m knitting this one on size 3s, in Jaggerspun Superfine Merino, which is a 100% wool version of Jaggerspun Zephyr. So far, the pattern is going well. I also like the yarn, which doesn’t slip so much. I started on bamboo straights, but am now using one bamboo, one metal, because one of the bamboos splintered and was snagging the yarn. I hope I can hone it back to usable condition.