So. Lace. A lace shawl. If you’ve never knit one, it’s seriously intimidating. I looked at a chart and was confused, and a bit scared. I mean, how would that all make sense? How on earth were those instructions going to turn into something light and lacy?
I’d been knitting for, oh, nine months when I decided to challenge myself, and knit a lace shawl. I had already knit an Ysolda Teague pattern – an Urchin hat – and when she put up previews of her Whimsical Little Knits collection, I signed up. The booklet included a pattern for a lacy shawl, Ishbel. It consists of a stockingette section, followed by a lace edge. I figured I could tackle that – that would be easier than a completely lacy shawl.
And, that’s when I discovered something that no one tells you beforehand: You’re going to purl a lot when knitting lace. For more ‘simple’ shawls you’ll purl the entire back of the lace, unless a pattern is charted on the backside, or unless it’s a garter stitch shawl. Sigh. Still, the result is gorgeous. Ultimately, lace is not as scary as you think. I’m fine with both written and charted directions, but I do highlight my rows. Lifelines really help – basically, you run a thread through a pattern row, or at the end of a section. That way, it’s easy to frog back if you’ve made errors, or dropped a stitch, without undoing the entire thing. I find it really really difficult to pick up dropped stitches in lace.
The yarn is Dream in Color Starry, which contains 2% silver fibers. That’s what gives the yarn that sparkly effect. It looks gorgeous in the finished object, and it dresses up the shawl. I think it’ll be great with more formal clothing, too. Love it! The colorway is In Vino Veritas, and I think the subtle colorshifts really look inspired by the colors of wine. It really is a great gift for my sister.