Monday, March 26, 2012


The feather and fan scarf took me three years to complete. I was hesitant to start another lace project, but I am so attracted to many lace patterns that I knew I should just bite the bullet and get started. (I also had a positive experience when I knit a lace doily.)

For my first lace shawl, I selected Polaris designed by Susanna IC. I had a skein of Knitpicks Shadow Lace Atlantic Kettle-Dyed and 6/0 Czech Glass beads in Hematite. I started with a 24g of beads and I used over 75% of them.

My ball of yarn was short (I forgot to record the starting number, but I think it was around 47 g) so I was very concerned about running out of yarn. My gauge was a little small, but given my yardage concerns I decided to proceed. I used the twisted loop cast on method onto size 10 needles and then purled 1 row (with size 7 needles) before starting the charts.

Some notes from while I was knitting
  • Before starting row 25 of the chart I only have 27 g of wool left... I'm getting a little nervous that I may run out of yarn. since I am not close to 50% done with theproject.
  • After the lace chart (before the short rows), I had only 13 g of wool remaining, so I decided that I needed to make some modifications to reduce the amount of yarn I would need for the rest of the project. On Row 44 I added a double decrease to each repeat. (reducing 30 sts) Just in case this didn't work out well, I put a safety line in so I could frog the project without redoing all of the lace. Unfortunately, I forgot about the markers as I added the safety line, so the markers I started out with ended up attached to the safety line, too.

  • I did some calculations on how to do the short rows, and I ended up with: K111, turn. P 11, turn. K10, ssk, K5 turn. etc. (adding 5 on each round)
  • I was going to end up decreasing too many stitches (even with my careful calculations), so when there were 46 sts left to go on each side of the short row, I knit 7 past the ssk or p2tog. I ended up with the same number of stitches at the end of the short rows as was indicated in the pattern.
  • After the short rows, I had 7 g left.
  • After top lace chart, 4 g
  • After bind off 3 g. Could I have made it? Maybe, but I really like the way the shawl came out. It is pretty small right now, but I haven't blocked it yet.
Blocking is definitely necessary for this project. As you can see from the following pictures, this doesn't look very delicate yet!

I used my grandmother's point protecters to keep the stitches from slipping off when I wasn't working on the project. The rhythm of the lace pattern was really easy to find, and it went really fast. The slowest part about the lace was adding the beads individually. Once I started the short rows, the project sped up considerably.

I forgot to weave in the loose ends before blocking (because I was so excited to stretch it out.) It ended up not being a problem this time, but next time I will make sure I don't forget to take care of this important detail first!

I need to get a non-clear ruler so you can see it better next to projects to get a sense of scale. You can barely see the ruler on the rug above the top edge of the scarf below. You cannot really see it at all on the above picture when it is on top of the shawl.

It is STUNNING! I could not be happier with how this shawl came out, and I cannot wait to start my next lace project.

P.S. I have a funny story about this shawl. I wore it to a bar for my friend Andy's 30th birthday party, and a stranger stopped me on the way to the bathroom. She pulled me aside to ask if I knit the shawl myself. When I replied that I had, she got all excited and was complementing the bead work. I was able to give her some pointers, and then we went on our way. This is the first time I have been pulled aside about something that I made myself!