Knitting

Aise Shawl

Pattern: Aisé

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Lace (this is a discontinued yarn, but I have linked to the Ravelry page to provide further information)

Needles: US 6 (I use ChiaoGoo Twist)

Measurements: 66in. x 14in.

After over 2 years I have finally finished! Just in time for fall!

This truly seemed like a project I would never finish. Not because the pattern was difficult, but because I always put this one on the back burner. I turned it into an “in the meantime” or “on the side” sort of project. I did a row here or there when I had nothing else to do. I completed several projects in between working on this one.

I like to gauge the ease of a project by what I can do while I’m working on it. Can I watch the Blacklist, or House Hunters? Can I listen to Bug read, or will it take too much of my concentration away from him? I have done some shawls where I have to turn the TV off, and only listen to music, so I don’t make a mistake. The actual pattern of this project requires almost zero focus, but I still wouldn’t say it’s the easiest project. It’s eight inches of stockinette between simple eyelet sections. Because it’s lace weight, and the yarn is so fine, it’s going to take you a while to get to the eyelet sections. So it’s a pretty relaxing knit. The border takes a second of concentration, but that’s about it. On the other side of the coin, because it’s lace weight, it’s a lot harder to feel the yarn and individual stitches than if you were using a worsted weight yarn. It takes a little while to get used to the feel of it, so I wouldn’t start this one while watching Sherlock.

It’s slippery. I used my ChiaoGoo needles, but if you’re comfortable with using a bamboo set (or just a set that doesn’t have quite as smooth of a finish) I would suggest trying it out. I had a LOT of dropped stitches. And they’re tiny, so it can take some time to pick them all back up.

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Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I would say that mine could maybe benefit from a little better blocking. It should really be about an inch wider and about two inches shorter. But that’s an easy fix. Would I do it again? Probably. But it would always be a side project. I would like to try it with a solid color yarn though.

If you absolutely love this shawl and would like it for yourself, please contact me via my Etsy shop. And as always, I am taking custom orders.

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Knitting

Orchid Shawl

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Pattern: Golden Orchids

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Berry Pie

Needles: US6 (I use ChiaoGoo Twist)

Beads: 108 size 6 beads

Measurements: 44in X 19.5in

This is probably one of my favorite projects to date.When I happened upon the pattern in Ravelry, I knew I had to make it for my Grandmother. She is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet; and, no joke, one of my very best friends. I hope she’s really enjoying it. She’s probably making all of her friends in church jealous.

Let’s talk details. This was a tough pattern. It was one of my first times following a charted pattern. I have been knitting for a long time, but I was intimidated by charted patterns and the symbols they use. It turns out that when you have this level of detail, charted patterns are much, much easier. So, if you’re hesitating, give it a shot.

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My shawl ended up being significantly smaller than that of the original pattern. In the original it measured 70in across by 25in down. My blocked measurements were 44in across by 19.5in down. This is because the pattern calls for a fingering weight yarn. I used a finer yarn that would be considering closer to a lace weight. I chose it for several reasons. The first being that the color caught my eye. The second was the feel. The alpaca was so soft, but still provided enough structure to define the detail of the orchids. The third being the price. Berroco is a good way to get a “fancier” yarn than you can just pick up at a craft store, without the hefty price tag of, say, a Madelinetosh. And anyone who knows me knows my weakness for Madelinetosh, but it’s not always practical. Back to the size. I did attempt to make it larger by following the pattern’s instructions and adding a repeat of the body chart. This was successful until I got to the beaded section at the end and realized I wouldn’t have enough yarn. This resulted in me starting over for the second time.

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In the end, the most time consuming part was the beading. You don’t have to use them, but they really add so much, and draw attention to the orchid petals. If I were to make this again, I would definitely use a fingering weight yarn. I also blocked a little differently so my bottom edge is not as “scalloped” as the original, I would probably change that as well. All in all, this was a fun project. I would definitely do it again, and I don’t often say that.