Wednesday, January 02, 2013

We're going to need a bigger mat.

I adore my Wings of the Pigeon shawl, and I wear it a lot. It's modestly sized, and just perfect for wearing with a dress when it's cool indoors, or with a light coat.

But as the weather inevitably turns arctic, I enjoy a larger shawl. The original is made from a single ball of Zauberball, and it's about 42 inches across.

When I was at The Needle Emporium last year I picked up two balls of Marks and Kattens Fame Trend yarn, in the "Party" colorway. The yarn is pretty much identical to the Zauberball - it's a slightly fuzzy 75% wool/ 25% nylon blend single, with very long stretches of color. It's ostensibly a sock yarn, but I think it's a bit too fine and certainly too fragile for socks.

The "Party" colorway is like my beloved Noro Kureyon 242, but without the green, and I thought it would be perfect for a larger, shawl. It will go with everything in my wardrobe, and be a real statement piece.

I've been working on the shawl on and off over the past year, and decided for my break between Christmas and New Year that I would try to finish it.

I did some math to see how much larger I thought I could make the shawl with a second ball -I reckoned that if the first one gets me about 140 rows, accommodating the ever-growing stitch count a second ball could get me about 60 rows. So I've been working away. The rows get longer as the piece gets bigger, and I started to try to figure out how long it was going to take me to finish the second ball... about 16 hours, I expected.

So I do what all obsessed knitters on a deadline do (don't we??): set a daily objective. The morning of New Years' Day, after good three hours of knitting into the second ball, I decided to weigh it. I had 112gms left. Of a 100gm ball.

I shook my head, blamed in on the hangover, and weighed it again. Yup. 112 gms left. So not only do I have a second ball of the yarn to use, it's significantly larger than expected. Exciting, I thought! A much larger shawl!

I thought I should check my progress against the original. You know what's it like when you're working a large small on a not-very-long circular needle - it's all bunched up and you don't get a sense of the size.

So I dug out the original, and laid them out together.

In addition to having significantly more yardage than I expected, my gauge is looser in this yarn - I actually think it's a bit thicker than the Zauberball.

I decided to keep going. New Year's Day is a quiet day on the couch here, and so I got a good five hours knitting done.

The original plan had been to work until I'd use the second ball. Realizing that I probably wouldn't find the time I needed to finish the second ball, the slightly revised plan was to work until the end of my Christmas break, the end of this weekend, and then call it done.

After looking at it this morning, I think it's done. (The new one is laid out, not even faintly stretched. Wingspan will be about 55 inches after blocking, I expect.)

Can't quite get the colours to read true in this light but this should give you a good idea of the patterning.  I can't wait to wear it!

1 comment:

elsalouise said...

It's looks amazing,can't wait to
see you modeling it!!!