Monday, February 11, 2013

FO: Snowflake Shawl for a Winter Bride

I never thought this day would come.
This is the kind of shawl that not only sets off the "crazy" signals, but made a few of the people immediately surrounding me worried about my sanity as I sat up late nights knitting backgrounds, ripping out sections, re-knitting sections, picking up wrong points on snowflakes, and dealing with six needles in the round with a seventh working needle.  This project is probably one of the most ridiculous projects I've done so far, and may ever do.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the finished Snowflake Shawl!

Pattern: Suri Elegence Winter Wonderland Shawl, by Sharon Winsauer (you have to scroll down to find it on the page), Ravelry page found here.
Yarn: The Snowflakes were knit with Cascade Heritage Solid in White (fingering weight), the backgrounds behind the snowflakes were knit with Malabrigo Yarn in Natural/White (lace weight), and the few rows of the border were knit with Plymouth Yarn's Dye for Me Suri Alpaca Merino Glow, in (surprise surprise) white, with some sparkles thrown in (lace weight as well).  All links go to the Ravelry page for the yarns.

Needles- Size 6, and I ended up buying these bamboo needles that were square instead of round, simply because they didn't fall out of the yarn as much.  If you plan on knitting this shawl, do yourself a favor and knit with wooden needles.  Do yourself an even bigger favor and get the square needles.  Believe me.
Time Frame- May 18th, 2012-February 3rd, 2013.
Gift/Barter? This is a gift- a wedding gift for one of my good college friends, Kim.  She helped start me on my first hat long, long ago, so it's fitting that one of my craziest and hardest projects goes to her.

Modifications/Notes:  All right, here's all the ones I kept on Ravelry:
Center stitches explanation wasn’t totally clear to me for the "base" of all the snowflakes, so here’s what I did: 
CO 6 sts. Split over 3 needles. 
Rnd 1: Knit 
Rnd 2: (K1, YO) all the way around. (12 sts) 
Rnd 3: Knit 
Rnd 4: (K1, YO) all the way around. (24 sts) 
Rnd 5& 6: Knit 
Rnd 7: (K1, YO, K3tog, YO) 6 times 
Rnd 8: (K1, (k1, p1 in YO), 12 times (36 sts) 
Rnd 9: Knit (36 stitches to start)

On Snowflake 8: after knitting the initial 9 center rounds: 
Rd 10- K2, YO 2 all the way around 
Rd 11- K2, K into first YO, P into 2nd YO all the way around 
Work 6 points as written in pattern, then CO 12.

Edging MOD: I had a lot of trouble juggling needles, plus my patience was low, so instead of doing the edging as written, here’s how I finished it: 
I threaded the needle through all of the live stitches making up the outside, then worked it as follows: 
R1- Knit to end of row. Slip marker, wrap yarn around first stitch and turn. 
R2- Slip marker, knit to end of row. Slip marker, wrap yarn around first stitch and turn. 
R3- Slip marker, knit to end of row.
R4- BO all stitches.

There were definitely some areas that I either screwed up or had trouble with, so I mildly made some stuff up  and didn't take notes (the majority of these were in the backgrounds of the snowflakes), but I did get a lot of help from Bereni on Ravelry, and her blog post here with all of her notes and mods.  Anything I don't cover that you're totally flummoxed on may be on her stuff.

Worst Part: ::blank stare::.  I have to pick?  Baaaah, it's probably a toss-up between grafting all of the snowflakes together... or maybe getting to the halfway point of the backgrounds and realizing how many I still had to go... or maybe it was the number of times that the live stitches fell off of the needle when I was trying to knit the border... actually, for me, I think it was primarily not getting this project done on time.  Granted, it is a crazy project, but I really wanted it done for her wedding.
Best Part:  Any time I got a major chunk of the project done.  For instance, finishing all the snowflakes at the end of summer and seeing all of them drying in the sun on my back porch... or when I was finally able to lay out all of the snowflakes with their backgrounds in the "final shape" of the shawl, ready to be grafted... or when I finally wove in the last end, did a last check that I didn't miss any, and held the shawl up to look at it- done.  And (mostly) correct. :)  Though giving it to Kim may be the best part to come...

This was an incredible project that really stretched my limits as a knitter, and despite the moments of frustration, the days and hours and energy and time put in to this shawl, I know that the recipient is going to absolutely love it and treasure it for years to come.
This one was for Kim, and it was completely worth it. :)

1 comment:

Mark said...

Awesome. Love this one. So, does my Dale of Norway have any snowflakes in the pattern, & have you had to 'wing it' to connect things on that project? I guess I'll find out, one of these years (2013 per your to-do list for this year !!!!!!!!!!!). But there is no rush!