Lace for the Unconvinced

by flowergirlknits

Ta da! My first lace shawl (shawlette, really) is finished. Fast! Quick! Easy! The question remains – will I actually wear it?

Pattern: Forest Canopy by Susan Lawrence

Yarn: Malabrigo Silky, colorway “blackberry”

Notes: This is a great project – wonderful instructions that are not only clearly written but are filled with lots of tips and tricks for lace knitting, a simple but effective lace pattern that is easy to “read”, knitting that is interesting but quick and satisfying, all resulting in a finished product that is lovely to behold. As you can tell, I’m quite happy with this little shawl.

I used almost exactly two skeins of the Malabrigo Silky, with just 3 yards left over – an excellent usage of available yarn! (I hate those 1/2 to 1/3 of leftover skeins – too much to throw out but not enough to really do anything with!) A tiny bit nerve-wrecking at the end, but not too bad. I made twelve repeats (counting the set up rows) of the leaf pattern, creating the perfect little shawlette with a wingspan of 54″ and a “backbone” of 27″. It took me a couple weeks to knit this, but you could easily finish one in just a few days with more dedicated attention – perfect for a gift knit.

The yarn is fabulous – so soft with a little color variation that kept things interesting. It blocked beautifully, bringing the pattern into focus and holding nice sharp points on the edge. Plus, it’s purple. Love.

It remains to be seen if I’ll actually wear it. I’ve played around with it in front of the mirror a bit, and I hope to have some modeled shots soon, but I wonder about wearing it through a workday – guess I’ll have to try it and see! It seems like a little shawl would be perfect for those transitional seasons of fall and spring when it’s too warm for a heavy sweater, but too cool for sleeveless/short-sleeves. I just don’t want to look matronly when wearing it!

I’m also not sure that this really qualifies as lace lace, you know? The pattern is written for DK weight yarn (such as Malabrigo Silky), not lace weight (although many people have knit it with lace weight) I’ve tried knitting with lace weight and struggled, not so much with the patterns (the beginner patterns are mostly just basic knitting stitches) but with the yarn itself and getting the right tension. It just never felt comfortable. I remember a similar struggle the first time I knit with fingering weight, but I quickly figured that out. Not so fast with the lace weight. I have a couple skeins of lace weight in the stash, so I will try again someday.

In the meantime, I also have some more Malabrigo Silky in the stash – and I have plans for you my pretties!