I thought I was the only "shawlaholic" out there! Like you, I myself have made the simple prayer shawls too, just the simple garter stitch or the "trinity stitch" (knit 3, purl 3), just a simple rectangle. But I also made a triangular shawl that was done in garter stitch that gave me an opportunity to learn and master yarnovers since I didn't know how to do them. I've also made simple rectangular shawls that I stitched up part of the way to make sleeves in as kind of a little shrug which works really nicely! I haven't done any circular shawls...they look too hard for me right now! :crying: But if you want to try lace and are looking for an easier lace pattern, I would try the "Feather and Fan" pattern. It's VERY easy--even I figured it out!--and the pattern was easy to memorize, and I liked it because it's only a four row pattern. I did a little swatch using some crochet cotton (because it was cheap if I didn't figure out how to do this and tossed the yarn in frustration!) and used a size 7 needle I think, and it came out pretty nice. Here's the pattern:
Cast on number of stitches (NOTE: lace repeat is 18 stitches)
Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Row 3: K1, *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times, repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Row 4: knit
What I liked about this pattern (besides the fact that it's easy!) is that it gives you a nice scalloped edge too. Knit Picks has three items on their site that uses this pattern (the pattern is free on their site)--their Andean Treasure Shawl, Suri Dream throw, and their Shadow Scarf. There's also a circular shawl on their site that requires you to purchase the book, Meg Swansen's "A Gathering of Lace" and the shawl is called "Feather and Fan Shawl".
Yes, I wear the shawls I knit--I love knitting them and wearing them! For myself, I just wear the shawls draped over my shoulders and tie them a little bit in the front or secure them with a nice big brooch or pin...no big fancy process for me (I know there are fancier ways to tie and wear them but I don't know them). I personally think my favorite shawl to wear would probably be a rectangular, although I think a circular or triangular might be nice for an evening out. I tend to wear my shawls all the time, and for me, the rectangular is the easiest to wear out all the time. So I guess that would mean it's probably my favorite to knit, too (although knitting the triangular one was cool, watching the shawl get knitted quickly when the cast ons are small is pretty fun). I don't have a favorite yarn (yet!) for lace because I haven't done any yet, but I really want to try using some of Knit Picks' Alpaca Cloud...it looks so yummy!!!!Trying a lace would give me a good excuse to buy this yarn, don't you think? :rofling:
I hope you have a GREAT time on your trip...Italy seems like it would be a beautiful place to wear a beautiful, drapey, feminine shawl!!! Good luck on your lace shawl too...please post pix when you finish. You may inspire some of us scaredy cats to try it!