Lace and Shawls

UntitledI like to challenge myself as I learn to knit, but there’s no road map to follow as far as “well, now that I know X skill, I should learn Y skill” – and it works, since there are hundreds if not thousands of different things to learn when it comes to knitting. I have started setting aside patterns with techniques I’d like to learn, but it’s a slow process to figure out the order of things so that I’m both challenging myself, but not taking on too much too soon (and thus getting discouraged). I thought socks were going to be the ‘end goal’ of my knitting, but it turns out that they were actually the catalyst that sent me out searching for new projects. Socks are pretty standard and once to learn one ‘style’ you’re pretty much set. The next thing I found myself fascinated with was lace, and shawls.

I found a very good beginner pattern that only involves a little bit of lace. Lace is basically any piece that involves increases (these create fancy open spaces) and decreases. The shawl posted above is found here on ravelry free of charge. It only has one lace row, and you work it from the top down. What I’ve done here is used two types of yarn, remember I’m still learning and still very much a beginner, so I’m just using basic acrylic for this shawl. The black is Phentex Worsted Solids, and the second yarn is Red Heart Boutique, Unforgettable, in Sunrise. It’s an amazing LOOKING yarn that shifts colours to look like a sunrise, but it’s an absolute pain in the arse to actually knit with. It’s slippery, splits, and just isn’t much fun especially for a beginner. That being said, take your time, and you’ll do just fine.

So the lace row and the stockinette rows are done with the sunrise yarn, and the back is just garter stitch. Simple, looks pretty, and teaches me the basics of shawls. I have every intention of moving on to Skywalker by Laura Nelkin before too long, this pattern is actually from a Craftsy class that I picked up. I have some beautiful bright yellow fingering weight yarn that I’d like to attempt that shawl with.

I love lace – but I’m not very good at reading charts. I’m hoping to get better but it goes very slowly and requires a lot of practice. I’m also thinking that it might be fun to get into beads. I saw a very lovely shawl with glow in the dark beads knit into the pattern and it looked amazing. I’ve never done any bead work before and I don’t have the slightest idea about what is involved, but it’s still something I have been thinking about, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I dive in.

In the meanwhile, I have two projects on my needles right now. Last night I completed a 6 foot cable scarf that is to be a Christmas present, and I have the shawl along with a very plain blanket on the go. What will I work on next? Depends on my mood.

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