I’m a shawl knitting noob. I love the way they look, but was intimidated by the fine lace. I just always seemed to have a sweater on the needles. You can only save so many beautiful skeins of indie-dyer yarn until you realize enough is enough, it’s time to try a shawl. So when Libby asked if I’d like to test knit Antipodes, I felt like it was a sign.
Now, I’m a total convert. I can’t say how giddy it made me to test knit for one ravelry friend, Libby of TrulyMyrtle, using yarn dyed by another, Sandra of Duck Duck Wool, won in a giveaway hosted by another, Evelyn of Project: Stash. I’m sentimental that way
Shawls make sense in a warmer climate. It would easily get more wear than a knitted garment through our winters. They’re lightweight, take only one skein, usually, and let me show off a really beautiful yarn without having to invest quite as much. I’ve already got a lovely skein waiting to be the Settler Shawl, another of Libby’s designs.
So, this was my first test knit. Test knitting always looked like such fun, but I thought my erratic gauge would make me a poor candidate. Who wants to re-do a test knit twice before the deadline?
For this project, I absolutely washed and blocked my swatch to be sure. It seemed tiny as I knit, but I trusted the pattern that it would block out a bunch. Honestly, I could’ve blocked it a lot more aggressively. I just had to get a feel for blocking lace. You have to be fearless as you stretch that thing all over the place. I also lack a good blocking set-up. It was camping mats with towels on top and straight pins.
I was so proud when it was dry that I grabbed my husband on his off day to help me take some photos. We were like teenagers again, sneaking off after church, onto private property to… take photos of knitwear.
After looking at these pics, I think I’ll block again- this time ensuring I get the length specified in the pattern. That will open my lace a bit more. But, hey…. first shawl!!
The details: I chose a skein of Duck Duck Wool fingering weight yarn in the color Spellbreaker that I won in a Project: Stash giveaway too long ago. Could there be a more beautiful and striking color for an accessory?
I used bamboo needles in size US 3 to get gauge and started clicking along with the charts. They were really easy to follow, giving me just enough lace to stay interested, while also providing a good bit of garter stitch for tv watching. I was in a Supernatural kind of mood (even though I only like the first few seasons, and even that is only in a silly tv-as-junk-food kind of way)
You’re not going to believe this, but there was an alligator about 20 feet away from me as we took the photos by the water. We heard him crawl through the tall grass and saw him swimming away. Oh, the things I’ll do for a decent FO photo.
Oh yeah… Libby has generously offered a free Antipodes pattern for one of you, dear friends. Just leave a comment on this post, including your Ravelry name, between now and next Monday Nov. 10 at 5pm CST and I’ll announce the winner Tuesday.
Edit: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who participated! The winner will be announced Tuesday, November 11.