Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pacific Northwest Shawl

This pattern seemed to call my name the first time I saw it. Since I had never knit lace more complicated than a simple scarf, it was quite a while before I tackled it. Here it is:

Pattern: Pacific Northwest Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr, peacock, approx. 75 grams
Needles: Addi Turbos size US 6
Blocked size: 36" x 72"
Modifications: Omitted I-cord edging along top edge (because I have never done I-cord before and couldn't figure out how to do it)

This shawl was a pleasure to knit, and it went very fast. The Zephyr yarn has a wonderful feel, and the pattern was generally easy to follow. The only problem was the small size of the charts, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology I was able to blow them up to a size large enough to see. It isn't quite as large as it should be, but blocking was a problem – it didn't fit on my blocking board and even the bed in the spare room was iffy. I may try re-blocking it, if I can figure out where to do it.

Here is another view:

By sheer coincidence, my next project was designed by the same designer. It is the Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall Interweave Knits. Here it is about 3/4 done:

It doesn't look like much, but then lace always seems to look like an amorphous blob before it is blocked.

The problem with this pattern, in a word, is... NUPPS. Nupps are bobbles made by knitting several stitches into a single stitch, and then on the next row purling them all together. In this pattern the nupps are formed by K1 YO K1 YO K1 in a single stitch, and then on the next row doing a P5 tog. Ouch! I don't consider myself a particularly tight knitter, but getting the needle through 5 stitches at a time is incredibly difficult. I even bought Bryspun needles, having read that they have sharper points than Addis, and in fact they do... but not sharp enough! The first part, the budding leaf pattern, was uneventful, and it seemed to be going well. Then came the next section... NUPPville! The lily of the valley pattern is very pretty, but almost led me to frog the whole thing.

Fortunately, there is a Knitalong for this shawl, and several knitters shared tips for dealing with nupps. The one that worked best for me was to slip 2, P3 tog, pass the 2 slipped stitches over. There is apparently a slight difference in how it looks at the end, but in my case it was either "cheat" or quit.

Thank goodness for internet support groups!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful shawl! I'd love to be able to knit like that!!

LB said...

Your shawl is stunning!

Anonymous said...

Love your shawls...good luck with the 'nupps'! I've given up for now...too much to do before Christmas and so little time to start it again!

BJ said...

Both of these shawls are beautiful.