Friday 26 March 2010

Petrolhead Argus

Yes, I know this is a weird title, but I couldn't think of anything more descriptive or witty. I think I have an aversion to thinking up titles. They are all rubbish. Never mind, I hope the content works slightly better.

After all my recent felting and chunky waistcoat type knits, I decided I wanted to knit something delicate and pretty. I had some gorgeous BabyLongLegs yarn burning a hole in my stash box and felt it was time to liberate this little beauty.

Looks good doesn't it. It looked even better when I balled it up.

The yarn is delicate and light, with a lovely spring, that begs to be knit into something pretty. I couldn't bear to knit this into socks, even though it is technically sock yarn. It belongs on show, plus I wanted to knit something delicate. I decided on another shawl, as I am beginning to feel a bit more confident about my lace knitting skills.

I went back to my library and chose the Argus Shawlette pattern by Wendy Johnson. Wendy is primarily known for being a sock knitter and her second book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body has just been published. In addition to knitting socks, Wendy does seem to enjoy a good shawl too and has published a few individual patterns. The Argus Shawlette was sold for a while with a donation going to Help for Haiti. I decided to buy the pattern then as the pattern was appealing, I like Wendy's patterns and I was doing a little bit for the Haitian people.

I was really surprised at how straight forward this pattern was. I finished it within 10 days, from cast on to cast off. That included adding another two repeats of Chart A before going on to the rest of the shawl. The pattern was really clear and the charts explained things to me well. When I had cast off, I was left with a sock yarny blob of manta ray proportions.

You can hardly see the lace patterns.

This part of the shawl became much more open when it was blocked.

I don't think I'll ever get over how much a lace project can change by pinning it out wet and letting it dry.

It grew from 22.5” lengthways and 45” across the top to 24” lengthways and 60” across the top. Here is a clearer picture of the stitch patterns used.

I do love this shawl and I had intended to keep this for myself, but I know that it will belong to someone else, come Christmas. I have the perfect recipient in mind. And if she doesn't like it, I'll have it back, because these are my favorite colours!

I enjoyed knitting this so much, I foresee several more shawl knitting projects in my future. You never know, I might bust out the lace weight yarn soon. If you have any recommendations for sock weight shawls, let me know as I want to do another couple before trying a proper grown up lace weight shawl.


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