Swallowtail!

Finished Object: Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits (Fall ’06)


Yarn: Handmaiden SeaSilk in Silver color (one skein)
Beads: Size 6, square hole, silver lined, light grey beads (ordered from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads)
Needles: US 4
Started: February 10th, 2009
Finished: March 19th, 2009

Modifications:
I didn’t make many modifications (on purpose, anyways!) to the pattern. I tried to knit an extra 5 bud lace repeats to make it larger (to make the stitch counts work), and then had to rip back because I was afraid I was going to run out of yarn. (Good thing I did, because I would have!!) BUT, in ripping back, I accidentally ripped back with one extra row of the bud lace – which screws up the stitch count for the subsequent charts. I.Was.Not. going to rip back again. So, being the math person that I am, I figured out the stitch counts needed for the following charts and fudged my stitches going into those charts. 🙂

My stitch count going into the first Lily of the Valley chart was 207 sts. On the first patterned row of the Lily chart, I increased by four stitches (on each side) by working 4 of the k3tog as a k2tog – on each side of the center. Then going into the Peaked edging chart, on Row 1, I decreased 2 stitches each side by working a couple k2tog on each side of the center. The slight decreases and increases in stitches get blocked out of the final shawl, so no one can tell that I fudged!

The big modification I made, though, was that I used beads in place of the nupps, and in the center of every bud in the bud lace section. I used a small crochet hook to hook them onto the knit stitch prior to knitting the stitch. The bud lace beads were placed on Row 5 of chart 1, and on Row 2 of Chart 2 – in the center of each bud. I also placed beads on the peaked edging down each center spine and a couple in the middle section of each peak.

Finished Size: After blocking the heck out of it, it came out to be about 48″ by 22″ – here it is blocking:

(An interesting thing about this yarn, when it was wet it smelled like seaweed! I’m guessing it’s the seacell content!)

I am very happy with how this turned out. The SeaSilk is just scrumptious in a shawl – and the sheen of it is totally played up by the beads. I want more SeaSilk, and NOW! One skein was enough to do the shawl – I didn’t do the nupps, so I used less yarn that I would have knitting the pattern as written. I might have been able to squeak by one more row of bud lace before starting the lily of the valley section (so two extra bud lace repeats), but that would be about it, I think. I have maybe 10-20 yards or less of the SeaSilk left.

I am now hooked on lace shawls, and I’ve already started (and I’m 2/3 of the way done with!) the Aeolian Shawl that was in the new Knitty – in actual laceweight yarn! I’m considering it my first true lace, since all I’ve knit lace with so far has been fingering weight or worsted weight! It’s going well so far, and I hope to have a FO post for it very shortly!

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About knitsbyheather

I'm a TKGA certified Master Knitter. I'm a knitwear designer and a knitting instructor. I'm also a stay at home and homeschooling mom of two wonderful boys. They sure keep me on my toes! When I'm not teaching or chasing around the boys, I'm knitting, designing, or reading!!
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