I guess I got all excited, finished this, blocked it, and the forgot to tell you all about it! I know it’s a little late, and there are no “fashion” pictures of it being worn… but I still want to share.
This version of Gail (aka Nightsongs) was knit as a gift for my husband’s grandmother… who is generally a tough cookie to buy presents for. She doesn’t really need “giftware” items, and it’s simply no fun to give her money for a gift so this year I am getting creative :) (insert evil holiday laugh here)
The yarn is KnitPicks Shadow lace in “Bordeaux” Kettle Dyed… and truly was a joy to work with. I Didn’t even find that the color bled that much after the soak (which surprised me a little since it is burgandy red… and I had counted on it being a little messy at the very least. I finished the whole shawl with just over one skein which is a complete steal price-wise… less than 5 dollars for a pretty gift, and beads that I already had upstairs in the stash! All in all, a very economical, pleasing and satisfying lace project!
The Nightsongs pattern itself was a bit of a challenge for me… since it was the first pattern I’ve followed that had only diagrams, and no written out instructions to fall back on. I think this was a good thing though because it made me step outside my lace knitting box and try something new.
In the beginning I had considered writing out my own version of the chart but decided to slog it through and really focus on “reading” the knitting itself, and watching the pattern unfold. At first this was quite difficult… and a little frustrating. I ended up cutting up the pattern charts and taping them together in places so I could visualize things better. I looked at lots of project photographs on Ravelry to see if my design was working up correctly.
A big thank you to all of you who posted your own project details and close up photographs… they really really helped me a lot!
This was also my first project adding beads. I had not been able to find a small enough crochet hook at the time, so I had been using a short piece of thread and a small needle to get my beads onto the stitches. I decided to use only a few, and only at the very edging… for a bit of sparkle. In the end, they look like little dewdrops on the burgandy shawl… much like you would imagine on a rose in the garden. Not too much, not too little. Just right
Since then, I have found a whole bunch of teeny tiny crochet hooks… at the local dollar store of all places! so I got various sizes, and they also had yarn needles. I bought a bunch of those too… I don’t know about you, but I can never find one when I need one!
The blocking process was neat and tidy. The top of the triangle was done with 2 wires bound together with tape and pinned out at even intervals, and the sides (I love points!) were strung along more wires and spread out.
The lace had great stitch definition and the color seemed to really fit with the design. I liked how the kettle dyeing gave some ‘Splotches’ of lighter and darker color. I think it was just enough to add some interest, and wasn’t so busy that it took away from the design itself. The beads are simply plain clear with silver lining. Sometimes simple is the way to go I guess?
I Think I must be getting better at my extra-loose-stretchy bind off too… because I had no trouble stretching the heck out of my points during the blocking process. I have had the best luck with the “K1, slip back to left needle, K2togThroughBackLoop, repeat” method, and I try and use a bigger needle to knit off the edging too… this isn’t scientific. I happened to have a 4.5 mm DPN sitting next to me in a half knit pair of thrum mittens, so I thought it couldn’t hurt… grabbed it and used it to do my cast off (the rest of the shawl was knit with a size 4.0mm Circular)
I can’t quite figure out if this design reminds me more of “hearts” or “spades”… I guess it depends on your vantage point? All in all, another successful lace adventure, and hopefully a perfect holiday gift for a deserving lady.