Wow, so the midpoint of the holidays has just passed. I have one precious week left to squeeze in as much visiting and knitting and reading and food and drink as is humanly possible before the real world comes back and as soon as I had a few hours to sit by myself I wanted to knit this and read that and maybe eat some of those and do it all and then it became too exciting and oh let’s have a nap instead. My entire family had a ton of fun on the Wii this week too. Glenna and I played a lot of Dance Dance Revolution, which must be the most fun you can have without leaving your living room. (We’re barely into Basic level though. I think if you want to succeed at Expert you need to have something like a controlled seizure.)
I really limited myself on Christmas gift knitting this year, because my time available and rate of knitting ebbed to an epic low. But this was the big item I completed, a Kiri shawl for my aunt:
Pattern: Kiri, by Polly Outhwaite
Yarn: S.R. Kertzer Ovation (mohair/silk), 2 balls plus a little of a 3rd
Needles: 4.5mm circular
Size: 68 x 35 inches after blocking (here it’s scrunchled up a little like a scarf)
This is some of the Ovation I bought at Cloth and Clay last year (over the Christmas break actually). I’d queued the pattern months and months and months ago, but of course it’s the deadline that invites starting more than anything else. The only thing I wasn’t totally happy with was that the variegated yarn is not a very good match for the pattern. The mottled colouring obscures most of the pretty bits of the pattern. (But, if you’re looking for a good variegated yarn that avoids weird pooling, this one is for you.)
I still love that the experience of knitting lace rewards future lace knitting. One chart repeat was enough to understand what was happening, and the pattern itself is not challenging. It was one of those ridiculous sort of projects where the end half went faster than the first half, possibly because once you just sit yourself down and knit through chart repeat after repeat, it just grows.
The only thing that would hold me back from recommending it as a first lace project is if you were also new to mohair yarn. (Learning lace on mohair would be exactly like trying to learn to drive on a stick shift: you can do it, but how many challenges do you want to give yourself?) And there are so many other yarns this would work with too. I love Jen’s version in Alpaca Fino laceweight.
Super Handy Blocking Tip That Is So Useful I Can’t Take Credit For It:
Thanks Rochelle for this piece of advice which works like a charm. For a triangular shawl, while still wet, fold it in half down the centre rib around a blocking wire. Slide another wire through the top edges and pin at a 90 degree angle. Pin each point together with its mirror image. This means you can use less pins overall, and you are assured of producing a perfectly symmetrical blocked piece. Super-fantastico.
Next I’m going to work on finishing the Streakers Shrug this week and finish up a few bits and pieces that have been hanging around. Then a whole new year of knitting starts.