Swallowtail Shawl KAL

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Now You See Em, Now You Don't

Two pictures, hours apart. I tried my best with the Swallowtail's nupps, but even when knitting them extremely loosely on the RS, and doing sl2, p3tog instead of p5tog, on the WS, I found them very hard to do. I had a devil of a time getting that very last (or first, depending on how you look at it) knit stitch onto the needle for the p3tog. Trying to make that happen really made my wrist hurt, too.

Still, I persevered and made it to Row 7 of the first Lily of the Valley chart. Then, somehow, I dropped a nupp and that was that. I couldn't figure out how to re-create the nupp. I took it as a sign to let the nupps go, decided to rip back to the lifeline. The shawl's now moving along nicely, sans nupps. I know the Lily of the Valley motif won't be nearly as pretty without them, but they just aren't worth the aggravation.

Despite my nupp woes, I do like this pattern! I can't wait to post a finished picture.

Friday, November 10, 2006


yarn: one skein of Trekking XXL, #77
needles: Susan Bates Silverado 16-inch circs - size 5 for the body, size 9 for the bind-off
width: 49 inches
height: 23 inches
date started: October 27
date finished: November 02 01

This truly was an easy and enjoyable knit. :)

The yarn for this originally started out as a sock (because durr, it's sock yarn) , but I really wanted to see how it would look in a shawl. I have to say that Trekking is okay to work with, but I was pleasantly surprised at how this particular colorway just worked in this project. The striping is nice and subtle.

This picture was taken with a flash to bring out the stripes:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blocking the shawl

I received my blocking wires from Heirloom Knitting yesterday and immediately got Swallowtail ready to block. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and it shed a lot of colour while washing, the water was only the lightest of pink and see-through after the 5th rinse.
Now all I can do is wait :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


After a long wait before I was able to start, it is ready to be given as a present. I love this shawl.

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace #3720 Mauve (leaftover 17g-5/8 oz)
Needles: size 3 Addi wooden circulars
Dimensions: 47" across the top, 21" top to point
Time to Complete: 10 days
Mods: None. Didn't found nupps to difficult, maybe because I knit in the portuguese way.
Now I am going to finish the one I starded using Jaeger Matchmaker.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Starts and Fits

On a cross-country flight, I cast on Swallowtail. After spending a couple of minutes reading (then faking) the cast-on, all went swimmingly. Before we left the west coast I had finished the first lace section and was ready for the lily of the valley section. The silk yarn was heavenly.

On the flight back, I started the complicated business of trying to purl 5 together. I began thinking I should have put in a lifeline--something I have never done before. I always panic when learning a new skill, then get a few rows in and everything clicks, nothing seems hard. You'd think that would give me confidence when I approach that learning curve on a new project--but it hasn't.

But forward I went. I pulled out the extra sock needle to help me and kept dropping it underneath the seat in front of me. Very frustrating. Finally, I started getting the rhythm down.

And I realized I had made a terrible, terribly stupid mistake. In my panic about the p5togs, I had neglected to notice that the two sides are not identical. The lilies tilt in to the center to make them symmetrical. How had I not seen that, or just plain known that of course it was true?

Purl 5 together is hard to do. It is even harder to undo.

Cobwebby-laceweight silk yarn does not allow one to see what one is doing well, either.

So I ran an after-the-fact lifeline, at least as well as I could, through the end of the earlier section--guessing which row was which occasionally. Then I frogged to that line. And I stuck it in a bag and left it to meditate on its misdeeds for a couple of weeks.

Last night I tried to get it back on the needles successfully--but such was not to be.

In a fit of frustration, I frogged the whole thing....

Ah--time for a fresh start. Luckily I have another flight coming up soon!

The Purloined Letter