Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frozen Leaves Finis!

Well here it is... Frozen Leaves all blocked and ready to wear... and I am!

This was a really fun knit. It was a little confusing at first. The designer, who is obviously very talented, is Russian - so the English translation isn't all that clear.

Unless you understand shawl construction, the charts may be confusing, but I understand someone on Ravelry has redone them and they are better. That said - with a few looks at other's finished projects and some common sense, the original ones aren't hard to figure out.
I did make a few mods:
The pattern is done without a centre stitch - which looks quite nice, but I was having some issues with the double yarn over. I got tired of those issues so I just said screw it and threw in a centre stitch - which works just fine too.

The pattern calls for lace weight yarn and 3.5mm needles. As mentioned before, I knit this with our Wandering Cat Yarns Top Cat, which is fingering, on 4mm needles. The result is a slightly less open space between the leaves but I think it works.

The colour is "Mystic Midnight". It's a beautiful colourway that happened totally by accident - but as you can see it was a Happy Accident! It's full of moody greens, purples and blues. I am going to try and duplicate this and get some up in the store for you all - it truly is one of my favourites (yes I know, I have a lot of favourites... but this one is on top of all those favourites!) It's the perfect way to dress up a plain black dress with just a touch of elegant colour.
The Top Cat (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) worked out beautifully for the lace. It's soft, has great stitch definition and blocks beautifully! Definitely not just for socks!

Unfortunately I only had one skein which lead to a couple more modifications.

I ran out of the Top Cat about halfway through the second chart and I really didn't want to rip back and do less leaves (I'd also neglected to put in a lifeline like I'd planned - I knew when I started I probably wouldn't have enough yarn). I had some solid black Regia that would work in a pinch, but as usual Mom saved the day... she had a skein of Lorna's Laces in a nice soft black - a much better match than the stark black of my Regia.

So - I cut Chart 2 short by about 12 rows, added a double garter ridge between Chart 2 & 3 and completed the border in the soft black Lorna's Laces. I also cut the border short by two rows because I prefer patterns in multiples of threes (that's just a weird personal artistic thing).
The result (because of the limited yarn) is a nice little shawlette measuring about 56" x 25". I will definitely make this one again - I'd love a larger version and both Mom and I agree it would make a beautiful wedding shawl (if I can ever convince that boy to marry me!)
I really motored through this shawl too - I'm not sure if I was just feeling particularly monogamous, if it was the yarn, or just the pattern or a combination. Once you get working the leaf stitch pattern (31 rows) is very easy to remember and you want to knit just one more row to see them unfold.
This was also a great practice shawl for me. I feel a lot more confident about starting the Red Dragon shawl with my Handmaiden Sea Silk. It's one of those yarns that's almost too nice to knit with. I really don't want do screw it up! But I think I can handle it now - scary lace is scary no more!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Simply beautiful.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, it's beautiful! You did a fabulous job, and you're right, that's a gorgeous color.

Monika said...

It's beautiful! I love this shawl! I didn't notice until you said so, that there was a different color at the edge.

lexa said...

That was a quick knit! Love the colorway.

Not ready for handspun said...

It's gorgeous. And I think you should steam ahead knitting more lace!

LeslieA said...

Your shawl is beautiful and looks great on you!

TheBlackSheep said...

Very pretty! That would have taken me ages to do. How do you do lace so quickly?

Samantha said...

You did a great job Valerie! :) It's stunning.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Wow that turned out so gorgeous! I have no clue what most of the stuff you wrote about means, but whatever it does mean it lead to a beautiful shawl!

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous - it is simply just gorgeous! I love the colorway - wow!

Susan said...

Just stunning!