Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rainbow Swallowtail Shawl

After only 2 weeks of lovely knitting, I have finished the Swallowtail Shawl! Woo-hoo!

I have to admit that I was copycat knitting off of Jackie's beautiful Swallowtail. After I saw how utterly gorgeous hers came out, I bought the yarn on the spot and went rummaging through my Interweave Knits magazines for that issue.

Wowza....what a knit!


Yarn: Kauni Effektgarn 8/2, colorway EQ (rainbow), 150 g ball (660 yards) plus 10 yards.
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Needle: Addi Turbo Lace, size 7, circular 40"
Finished Size: 26" (neck to bottom tip) x 70" (left tip to right tip at shoulders)
Time: April 26 to May 9, 2008
Fun Level: A - (Superbly interesting, very beautiful, clear and well written pattern, and simple charts to read from. Only negative thing...the nupps. Though, they were stunning in the finished shawl. Doing the purl 5 together, though, was not fun.)

Here is the lace shawl BEFORE blocking:

Here it is looking so darn pretty blocking on my bed:

And a final look at a close up of the lace while blocking:

I could just stare at the shawl allllllllllll day.

After frantic finishing on Thursday night, I soaked the shawl overnight (in a mixture of a squirt of SOAK Aquae, a capful of Suave conditioner and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar) and squeezed out the excess water on Friday morning. Took me around a half hour or 45 minutes to block the shawl (after taking a spin in the washer to get out the remaining water...the shawl...not me) and I left it to dry for at least 4-5 hours. I was able to bring it to my Friday Night Knitting club at the yarn store...which was great!

On the way to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday, Jackie and Lora had an agreement to take "fake" shots every time I got a compliment on my shawl (of course I wore it there!). By the end of the day, (we stayed there about 4 hours) I'd gotten at least 20 compliments on the shawl. It was wonderful! I hope I inspired other people to make this shawl, just as Jackie did for me ; )

Before I stop blabbering on about this truly fantastic shawl (not only to wear, but to knit), I have a few details that I changed or tips I'd like to share with you about it.

1: I knew that I needed mine to be MUCH bigger (for the bosom, of course) than the recommended size and ended up adding 4 extra repeats to the Budding Lace 2 chart….18 instead of 14 repeats. Because of this, on the first row of the Lily of the Valley Border 1 chart AND the Peaked Edging chart, I had to fudge the stitches. Because these first rows are primarily knit rows, it was easy to add the extra stitches needed. When doing this, I STRONGLY recommend adding an equal number of stitches on the left AND right sides of the center line. I almost made the mistake of adding more stitches on one side only. Please don’t do this.

2: Also, when you are on the Lily of the Valley charts, make sure that you are only purling together the 5 stitches of each “nupp” when on the wrong side row. A few times, I lost stitches due to purling of one (or both) of the yo’s from the previous row along with the 5 stitches in the “nupp” area.

3: On the Lily of the Valley charts, I blindly went along knitting equally on both sides of the shawl, without looking at BOTH sides of the chart. The flowery-line parts should MIRROR each other on each side of the center line, not be the same on both sides. I had to rip out 22 rows of lace (eeeeek!) because I realized I’d done the same lace knitting on each side…and wondered why the left side was always coming out a bit “off”.

4: I used 1 full ball of the EQ 150 gram ball, plus (after an emergency call to Jackie) about another 10 yards (or less) of the same yarn, same color to finish the last 6 rows…4 rows of lace chart and 2 rows of binding off.

5: It seems that ending your shawl (or other project) with a contrasting color truly enhances the beautiful look of your knitted item. Jackie’s shawl started with red and ended with orange and a few rows of the red - very stunning. Here, I ended with red and a 2-3 rows of purple…and I love it.

6: I used Tpins and blocking wires for the shoulder area to make it straight and the Yellow Flower head pins for pulling out the points. This works the best for me every time.


Now that I'm done with that shawl, I still have to finish my Leaf Lace Lipstick Shawl and my second Forest Canopy Shawl in the Silky Wool. BUT.....since I need a tiny, tiny break from those shawls (after finishing so many this year already)...I decided to do a quick and pretty lace knit while I'm taking that break.

I'm knitting Spunky Eclectic's Mountain Scarf (or Scolf) in the Water Nymph colorway. It's a super fun, garter stitch type lace knit and I'm loving the texture of it. The colorway is gorgeous and I've been waiting to knit this for a while.

Wanna see??

Well, off to bed after all that sharing....Happy Mother's Day!!!! (see what lovely flowers I got from Ian!)


Sonya said...


KSee said...

Beautiful! What stunning colors. Your comments really are helpful.

Anonymous said...

Your shawl is gorgeous! I'm not surprised that you received at least 20 compliments; they were well deserved.

Lora said...

I think my favorite part of the shawl, Gina, is the purple tips... It just adds that bit of wow factor for me!! I think if it had been too may more rows of purple, it wouldn't have the same look. I had a great time Saturday with you and Jackie.... if we'd only had some alcohol handy. haha!! You surely would have had to drive us home!!

yarnophiliac said...

only four hours? I kept wondering why I didn't run into you again, now I know! We (Ericka, Chris, Donna, Karen, and I) stayed 'til 5, and I kept saying, "where are they??" Did you find a pin you liked? I didn't. :( (only came home w/ one little 4oz bundle of fiber)

Amy Boogie said...

Gorgeous shawl!! I'm working on the same shawl...though going much slower.

I hate that I missed seeing you guys at NHSW. We went on Sunday.

Deborah said...

That Shawl is SPECTACULAR! What a great job you did, I'm not surprised at the amount of compliments at all. Very impressive. Belated Happy Mother's Day to you.

Jackie said...

The shawl is just beautiful! Saturday was a blast.

Donna said...

It was so nice to see you in person at the NH Sheep and Wool! Did you get lots of nice goodies?? We had a great time. Can't wait to do it again next year.

And your shawl does look beautiful!!!

Gigi said...

Your shawl is amazing (in pictures and in person)! Many happy wearings. =-)

cayli said...

I love the shawl! It looks so great.

You have to model some of these. I finally got mine done and the only way to get the color just right is outside. Can't wait to see the rest.

Heide said...

That is stunningly beautiful! I really need to stop coming over to your site though or else I'll never finish projects on my "to-knit" list. After you posted pictures of your FCS I stopped everything else and made one (second one is one needles now). And now I really, really, really want to make one of Swallowtails too. Really. I love lace knitting and all females are receiving shawls for Christmas this year, regardless of how impractical they may be in some of their lives. The flowers are gorgeous too. Glad you enjoyed a great mother's day weekend.

mochirunner said...

I love the Rainbow Swallowtail. The Swallowtail is a great pattern:)