Monday, December 10, 2007

Forest Canopy Shawl FO and a new WIP already

The Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl in handspun BFL is done!

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl Done

Susan Lawrence’s pattern would be an ideal beginner lace project. The pattern is clearly written, gives complete instructions along with explanations of why things are done, includes both charts and written directions, has a small easily memorized repeat, and introduces several lace techniques. Best of all for new lace knitters, the pattern is written for sport weight yarn. For many who are new to lacy knitting, one of the most difficult things is to get used to very thin yarn on what seem like way too big needles. Knit in finer or heavier yarn, one would simply adjust needle size and number of repeats for as small or large a shawl as you wish, or have yarn for. So, another pattern good for skeins of handspun.

Forest Canopy Shawl Scallops
Beech trees make great shawl models

The shawl is knit from the center neck down, using a simple cast on, and four YO increases every right side row to create the triangle shape. The leaf lace pattern is composed simply of Knit, YO, and SSK, and the WS rows are plain purl. I like to use stitch markers on complex lace patterns, but Susan’s instructions were correct. This lace is so easy to read, markers really aren’t needed, and I think this would be a good pattern to help beginners learn to “read their knitting”.

Forest Canopy Shawl Texture

More experienced lace knitters will find this pattern is practically like taking a vacation. And I mean that in a good way. It’s very relaxing and knits up quickly. For this project, I wanted to knit something in a simple, regular pattern so it wouldn’t compete with the striping I knew was going to occur with this handspun, and I think it worked out well

Forest Canopy Shawl Edge Detail

Knit as written, the shawl looked like it would be about the size stated in the pattern. But I knit a couple of extra repeats of the main chart for just a few extra inches in width and length. Since I’m planning to give this to a friend who is very tall, it’s still going to be a nice shoulder size. I made no other modifications. Though if I were to knit this again, in a solid color yarn, I would like to put some beads at the points of the scalloped edge.

The BFL has knit up very soft and warm, with just the teeniest bit of a halo. The fiber from Sakina Needles was great fun to spin, and has made a nice cozy shawl. I’m hoping my friend will see this a bright fun everyday scarf rather than some delicate dressy piece that languishes in a closet somewhere. Fortunately I have enough of the handspun left over to make myself some wristies. I’ve also got another 4oz of the fiber, but I’d like to spin that into a Navajo-plied 3-ply to maintain the long bands of color from roving to finished yarn.

Forest Canopy Shawl Blocking

Because of the small size, I blocked the shawl with blocking wires along the top edge, down the center “spine”, and through the points. The finished size is just right to sit comfortably and stay on the shoulders without a lot of fiddling.

Forest Canopy Shawl Blocking detail
Blocking Detail


Pattern: Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: Handspun BFL, Antigua colorway, fingering wt, approx 375 yds
Needles: US5/3.75mm, KnitPicks Options circs
Gauge: n/a
Started: Late-September 2007
Completed: 12/9/2007, and it only took that long because I set this aside for about six weeks
Finished Size: 56”w x 26”

All in all, another quick fun knit! Now, I’m embracing my inner hummingbird, and making the most of my sort attention span with some very entertaining small projects. The sweaters are languishing, unloved right now. But, Oh yes, I’ve already started something else.

I received my copy of Terri Shea’s Selbuvotter last week, and it’s wonderful! I’m going to have to start wearing mittens, I tell you, since I want to knit so many of these. Flipping through the patterns, I found one that immediately made me think of this guy

My Sister's dog Grindley on the ferry in Everglades City, FL

With Plenty of Ultra Alpaca in the stash, I started this last night

Dog Mittens RH started
Selbuvotter, Annemor #4

My sister is getting mittens for Xmas.