A longer-term project finally came off the needles this past week. I had pretty much stopped working on anything else in June in an effort to make one last big push to the finish. I’m so glad to be done.
Pattern: Icarus Shawl from the Summer 2006 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in the Velvet Grapes colorway (2 skeins), purchased at Birds of a Feather in Avon, Ohio
Needles: US 4 Addi Turbo Lace circular needle
Started: March 2, 2008
Completed: July 2, 2008
Before this project, I had knit lace patterns before, but I had never before completed a project that was what I think of as “real lace”… a lace pattern knit in a lace-weight yarn. I have a lot of lace shawl patterns in my Ravelry queue and one of my goals for this year was to knit more lace. I’ve had this issue of Interweave Knits since it was first released, but I don’t think I was all that interested in this particular pattern until Interweave released the book The Best of Interweave Knits, with this pattern pictured on the cover.
I chose this lace shawl pattern over others because it looked very simple and fast to knit. Well, I guess for me “simple” easily becomes “tedious”. The knitting really dragged through Chart 1 (the stockinette section with columns of yarn-overs) but seemed to pick up a lot for the latter charts, even though that was the point where the rows started to get really long. I think the thing that really kept me going in the beginning was the yarn — I really love this colorway. It really does seem to have a “velvet” quality to it (the color in the photo above is more accurate than the one below, and even in the one above, the colors contrast a bit more than in real life).
This was my first attempt at steam blocking a project, but the results just don’t do it for me. I don’t know if I didn’t do something right or if I was just generally not thorough enough, but the edges still seem a bit on the curly side and the lace pattern doesn’t pop as much as I expected it to. I’m afraid to wet-block this yarn because any time I’ve wet-blocked Malabrigo worsted, it has become fuzzy and lost its stitch definition. So while I’m generally happy with the results of this project, I know it could look better than it does…but I’m afraid to mess with it too much and make it look worse. Any advice on blocking Malabrigo Lace is welcome.