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Pacific Northwest Shawl - Sharky knits

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April 1st, 2006

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03:25 pm - Pacific Northwest Shawl

IMG_1274.JPG enhanced
Originally uploaded by diablaazul.
After an elaborate blocking process, I finally completed the Pacific Northwest Shawl for my mother-in-law. I sent it to her a couple of weeks ago, and I think she really likes it. Excellent! I thought I'd share some notes on the pattern.

Pattern: Fibertrends' Pacific Northwest Shawl
Yarn: 2+ skeins of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, in Midnight. I barely used the third skein.
Needles: Size 7 Denise Needles.
Time to knit: I started in November and finished in March, but I worked on a lot of projects in between. I actually got to the edging on Christmas Eve (this was supposed to be a Christmas present), but lost steam after a few repeats of the shell edging. The edging is pretty time intensive.

- The pattern calls for size 6 needles for the body and edging of the shawl and size 7 needles for the applied i-cord across the top of the shawl. I got gauge on size 7s, so I just used those for the whole shawl.
- I somehow ended up short by one stitch after completing the body of the shawl, and I couldn't figure out where I had missed an increase. I had to be a little creative when I got to the bottom point shaping on the shawl edging (basically, I started the bottom point shaping 4 rows earlier than the pattern directed).

Overall thoughts:
Instructions - I'm very pleased with the way the pattern is written and the final results. The pattern includes row by row written instructions as well as charts, and the directions are completely clear. There were points where I was a bit skeptical about the instructions - specifically with the provisional cast-on and the picking up stitches at the beginning, and during the short-row shaping for the points of the shawl - but I just trusted the instructions and everything turned out fine.

Yarn - I absolutely love this yarn. Unlike some other yarns produced by Knitpicks, I think one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Alpaca Cloud and a "higher end" yarn of comparable fiber content (e.g., Misti Alpaca Lace). It's incredibly soft and light, but also quite warm when knitted up. The shawl seems to float over the body and drape beautifully at the same time. Anyway, I just love this stuff. Highly recommended.

Difficulty/construction of the pattern - This pattern looks a lot more difficult than it actually is. The body of the shawl is knit entirely in garter stitch, so there's no purling at all until the shell edging. Additionally, the shawl is worked from the top center down, entirely in one piece, without breaking the yarn. This was my first real lace project (i.e., first time doing multiple lace motifs in the same pattern, and first time knitting lace with lace weight yarn). Apart from a few false starts, I had no trouble at all with the pattern. I'd definitely recommend this as a good pattern for someone just starting out on lace knitting.

Blocking - When I got around to blocking the shawl, I found that it wouldn't fit on my blocking board. I ended up blocking the body of the shawl on my bed, and blocking the edging separately on my blocking board (long story). If I were to make this again, I would use blocking wires, or at least run some crochet cotton through the edges of the shawl to make sure they come out straight.

Would I knit this again? - Definitely! This was a really fun knit. I'm using my leftover yarn (almost 4 skeins) to make another Fibertrends pattern - the Peace Shawl.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:August 7th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)


i appreciate your thorough review of your project. i never seem to do that in my own posts. i found this link while googling the alpaca yarn. i'm thinking about ordering some, and just wanted to make sure people are pleased with it (since some knitpicks yarns aren't so spectacular). you've sold me on its quality. i am knitting a shawl with the misti alpaca lace wt. right now, and have fallen in love with it's softness. and i'm a sucker for heathers, so i'll feed that fix with the alpaca cloud ;)

gray la gran
Date:June 2nd, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)

Pacific Northwest Shawl

Your shawl is GORGEOUS. I'm making one now and am finished with the body and am trying to start on the edging. I'm finding it hard to start with hanging circular needle points in the way - I had to go to size 9s to get gauge. But seeing yours is sure making me want to get going on it! LOVELY job!

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