The Bee Fields shawl had a slow finish because I was ensnared by a can't-put-down book. But as with all lace, it was well worth the wait because the results were just as thrilling as the tale that captured me.
It's like the leaves are back on the bush with this springy, fresh shawl draped over the bare branches.
I've nothing extraordinary to report about this knit. I bought the kit, knit the pattern as directed and ended up with a shawl that looks pretty much the same as the original. It was fun, the results are great, but somehow its not as satisfying as some of my other, more creative projects.
Two issues. One, I made a lot of mistakes that I just fudged over. I believe you can get away with this in lace knitting because the eye sees the whole pattern, not one small part of it. In two-color knitting, it's much harder to fudge this way because the eye is immediately captured by the small error. At least we have duplicate stitch in that circumstance.
Second issue. I find it hard to use blocking wires. I was terribly excited to start using blocking wires, thinking it would simplify the process, but I find them annoying. Once you've threaded one wire in, threading in the next one becomes awkward. At least the way I do it, which is in my lap. If I lay it out on the floor I tend to have the lace slip off the wire. And the shawl is damp and cold in my lap as I try to thread it on the wires. This shawl had a long top that required two wires to span it. I got frustrated and just used pins at the bottom.
I believe in a firm blocking to open up the lace to the maximum. I've seen some pictures on Ravelry where I think the lace wasn't blocked severely and I don't think it does the knitting justice. Well, I block tightly enough that the wires were bending in the middle. I had to support them with pins. Is that typical? I'm wondering if I blocked too tightly. The stitch pattern for this shawl puckered quite a bit in the pre-blocking, and I wanted it to be flat.
I knit the tall size, since I'm 5'9", but the pattern called for a 3.75mm needle and I went down to a 3.5mm, so my finished shawl isn't quite as big. It' will still make a lovely little summer wrap for me, but not a cozy winter one.
The kit came with a generous three skeins of yarn and I used only two. I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen to that third skein.
Oh, and the book? It was The Power of One, lent to me by a co-worker. It's a very dramatic and powerfully written book. It started off stronger than it finished, but by the time I was half way through, I just had to know what happens to the main character. It was a great escape!