I did it!
I finished my Swallowtail Lace Shawl! First, the info…
The pattern is free, available here. I used less than one skein of Malabrigo Lace yarn (a gift from one of the West Coast Oddball knitters). The color is “Forest.”
I used size 4 needles and completed the pattern without any modifications.
Now, on to the pictures before more detailed information…
This is the first lacy shawl I’ve made, and I’m so pleased with the way it turned out. It was a struggle. I had a heck of a time with the nupps. I figured out that you have to unwrap the yarn from the hand you’re feeding it through when doing the k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 in preparation for the nupps. Then, when you purl back, purling those stitches as a p5tog, it’s much, much easier. Trust me…I learned the hard way.
Then, I had a bit of trouble keeping my stitch count. I kept a stitch marker just after the center stitch and kept a running count on each side of it. I also found that highlighting the pattern (after Dustina’s comment on my blog) was a great way to stay on track. After completing every odd row, I wrote down the number of stitches, confirming that I had the correct number each time.
After binding off, I had to block it.
I like blocking just about as much as I like making a gauge swatch.
I have the lace blocking wires from Knit Picks, and I’ve tried using them for other projects, but I’ve never quite gotten the hang of it. I decided to do a bit of research first. Coincidentally, Knitting Daily posted this right before I was ready to block the shawl, and I also found this video through a different email from Knitting Daily:
Armed with this information, I went out hunting for a foam playmat and checkered cloth. I finally found the mat at Toys r U:
The package included four of these squares…a very nice size for blocking.
Then, I found the fabric on sale at Joann’s. Together, they looked like this:
I spent oodles of time pinning and adjusting the wires. Here’s what it looked like when I was done…
I almost had tears in my eyes when I got finished. It looked like someone with a lot more knitting know-how had been in my house.
If you’ve read to the bottom, you’re a better woman (or man) than me.
Thanks for looking!