Not my first attempt at lace knitting, but my first successful one. I have made two attempts since the beginning of the year to complete a lace project, the first, Icarus, met it’s untimely demise when a large mistake that was impossible to undo was discovered, and was frogged. The second attempt, Flower Basket, was moth fodder, and was ripped off the needles and sealed in a grocery bag and tossed. The third attempt, however, Shoalwater Shawl, has successfully made it off the needles.

There were a couple of stumbles along the way, misplaced or forgotten yarn overs, a tangled stitch or two, but Shoalwater made it to the finish only having to have a couple stitches dropped down, and only three 6 rows had to be ripped back and picked back up (thanks again Mom!). The only part that gave me a little bit of trouble was the pico edging, and after having some help reading it over and working through it, I managed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Towards the end, I placed a lifeline in the shawl in case I didn’t have enough yarn to finish the edging. Well, I finished it, alright, but with only about 1.5 inches of yarn to spare. It had to be carefully drawn under a few stitches with my darning needle (there was no stringing that sucker and weaving it in) and then stitched down to the inside with a needle and thread.

shoalwater1

If you look carefully along that top line, near the right, you can see some of my stitches. A pretty close call, but I managed it. Here’s what Shoalwater looked like before blocking:

shoalwater2 

A straggly, ratty looking thing, isn’t it? All curled up and wrinkled! Well, next step was a good soak in water and wool wash:

shoalwater3

And last step of course, was blocking it:

shoalwater4

We carefully aligned the center stitch of the shawl with the center of the blocking board, then stretched the two sides out even lengths, 24.5 inches, and then pulled the center stitch down the same length, and pinned it in the center of the blocking board as well. The waves were pulled out and the two picos that were on either side of the center yarn over were pulled out, and then came the back-breaking task of bending over it and pulling out each little pico point and pinning it.

After getting the whole thing pinned, I then adjusted each side to be as close to the other and even as possible. It’s not perfect, it’s my first blocking, but for a beginner, I think I did a pretty good job. I was tedious enough to get a good result, but not obsessive enough to turn myself into Ghollum from Lord of the Rings, muttering, whispering, and talking to myself about Precious and how perfect it must be (although I was tempted to). Hopefully, by the time I get back from work tomorrow, Precious — I mean, Shoalwater, will be dry as a bone, and ready to photograph!

My plan now, is in the near future, cast on for Icarus and start over again. I have practice with all the steps of lace knitting now, so moving onto lace weight and a larger scale project should be more achievable now (we can only hope…).

Oh yes, and please! My bloggerversary is coming up next month, if you read my blog, even occasionally, please, drop a comment and a link to your own blog if you have one, I would love to get an idea of how many readers I have a year after I’ve begun this little virtual knitting journal!

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