Woohoo! Done and done.
Pattern: Feather and Fan Shawl by Eugen Beugler (from A Gathering of Lace)
Yarn: Jamieson’s Shetland Aran, 15 balls (approx 1500 yards), with the last ball for the crochet chain bind-off.
Needles: 6.5mm circular, up to 150cm long
Size: 76″ blocked diameter, 56″ unblocked
In the end it did work out to a nice 6+ feet of blanket, which seems enormous until I think that it took only 131 rounds of pattern to get there, and on 6.5mm it ain’t nothing but a thang, y’all.
Not everyone out there is a fan of Feather & Fan. The good news is on this weight, it doesn’t go on for very long. This pattern also has two major advantages that made it go fast: (1) no purl rows, being on the round, (2) there are 3 plain knit rows for every pattern row. The only thing that made reading the pattern in any way hard was remembering which row I was on after picking it up and putting it down so often during September.
When I was dragging carting this project around, the first question I got from knitters was, “ooh, whatcha making.” This was followed by a pause, and “so how are you going to block that?” The answer is, “on the only patch of carpet available in my apartment. (I was never glad for a carpeted unit, until this week.) I took out my 200+ pins, waited til I had a whole evening free, dumped it in the bathtub with some Soak wash, put a sheet down to cover the floor, and got going.
If anyone needs to work their thigh and butt muscles, I really recommend crouching on the floor for an hour blocking a 6 foot lace shawl. It’s fun. No but I kid. This was the part I was looking forward to, almost since casting on, and it didn’t disappoint. It took the whole next day to dry completely. Mmm. I love the smell of wet wool in the morning.
It covers the (double) bed pretty well. I think if you wanted to cover a queen size you’d need closer to 2000 yards. It’s actually much less heavier than it looks. I’ll use it as a couch throw or a lightweight blanket for really cold days, since my building runs so warm in the winter months I never anything too big.
I still like this as an alternative to Hemlock Ring, and I really enjoyed putting the Jamieson’s to use on something lacy. It’s real sheepy wool, not too scratchy at all, and its rustic side shows off the lace very well. Two things I prefer about this to Hemlock Ring are that the centre flower makes a bigger statement, and the large sizes are already built in to the pattern (no need to expand any charts).
I don’t know if I’ll knit this pattern again, but if I tried it on laceweight I can see it wouldn’t be as massive an undertaking as I had previously thought. (But then again, it’s always the final 10% that kills you on a project that grows with each row.) I still have about 7 balls of Jamieson’s left. This might be enough for a throw-sized Hemlock Ring, or I could do some straight-up mitts, hats and scarves.
A totally satisfying and relatively painless knit. That was frakking fun.