I finished Fiori this weekend! As usual, FO pictures will come at the end of this post, but I'm feeling pretty good. This is shawl number 4 for the 11 in 2011 challenge, which makes me feel like I'm ahead of the game. I've been aiming to finish about one shawl per month to make the goal, and this is the second one I've finished this month, so I have a little bit of a buffer now. I'm not resting on my laurels, though. I know myself well enough to fully expect I will need that buffer before this whole shebang is over. But, I am nearly done with the Prayers of Love shawl I was working on for my charity knitting group, and I'm at the halfway point of the second Taygete shawl I was working on, the blue one made of the souvenir yarn. I think I may try to finish the Prayers shawl this week, and though it's made from a worsted weight yarn, I am well over the minimum yardage requirement at this point so it will count towards the challenge.
Meanwhile, with Fiori off the needles, I finally cast on for the January Pins & Lace pattern, Spanish Moss.
The yarn is Yarn Chef Spun Sugar in Wild Sage. It's really beautiful stuff. I couldn't find my crochet cotton so I used some leftover yarn from my Taygete to do the provisional cast on, and it goes so nicely with the Wild Sage! I've only got about two and a half repeats done out of 28, but I keep stopping to admire it. I know, I know, I always say I won't knit things with 8 billion repeats, but I can't help it. It's pretty. And you know how I like to knit rectangles after a long stretch of knitting huge things.
This also has the honor of being the first project I knit on my new Signature Needles. They were a valentine's day gift and I haven't had the chance to use them much, since I didn't want to change needles on anything in mid-project. I really enjoy working with them. I have the stiletto tips and while I was thrilled about the pointiness, I was a bit worried the longer taper was going to make my knitting even tighter (trust me, I do not need help knitting tightly). But, because of the way I knit I don't think it's actually going to be much of a problem. My stitches are definitely falling securely on the body of the needle, and not just on the tip.
My poor Sea Turtles shawl design has really been languishing. I still plan to get to it, I just got stalled a bit with some road blocks and really, I am feeling so satisfied with all my other projects that it may just take me a little while to get back around to it.
I also have some new deadlines to worry about.
We're going on vacation to Alaska in May, and I'm so excited about it. I've wanted to go to Alaska for ages and I'm really thrilled to finally be getting the chance to go. Since I was so happy with my Yellowstone Shawl project, I decided I needed some vacation knitting for Alaska as well so I could end up with similar memories.
The four yarns above will become my Alaska shawl. I went for Handmaiden/Fleece artist yarns again, but this time I got FA Merino 2/6 instead of the Handmaiden Casbah. I love the Casbah but it is pretty pricey and I don't want to spend all my trip money before I even get there. From left to right the colorways are Aurora, Forest, Glacier, and Ocean.
For the pattern, I plan to use the North Star motif from Arctic Lace as the center panel for a sort of Faroese shape. I'm planning to make the whole thing in garter stitch, so I have to swatch the motif and see if I like it in garter stitch, or if I'm going to have to change my plan and either make the center panel in stockinette, or do the whole shawl in stockinette. I liked having nothing but garter stitch to knit for the Yellowstone shawl because it meant I could knit away without having to look at what I was doing, so even though I was knitting through the whole trip, I didn't miss anything. I was also able to knit while doing my pre-trip reading, which I plan to do again.
I'm complicating things a little on this shawl by adding in this north star motif, but I think it's worth it. The center panel won't be all that wide, so I won't have to pay attention for very long at a time. There's also a large version and a smaller version of the motif, so I will need to see which one I prefer for this project. If possible I think it would be awesome to get some fingering weight quiviut to edge the shawl with, but that may be too much to ask. We'll see.
I'm not sure exactly when I'll get started on that. I'll probably do the swatching fairly soon, but I'm going to wait until April at least to get started on the shawl proper. I want to have plenty of knitting still to do when we go on our trip, which won't be until towards the end of May.
And now, may I present, Fiori.
Someone asked me on Ravelry whether the yarn was truly as golden as it looks in the picture. I think it is, and it isn't - if you look at the preblocking picture, it's definitely yellow.
But, stretched out and with the light from the flash reflected off it, it certainly does look gold. I'm expecting the end result to be a sort of combination of the two - it will be more golden than in its unblocked picture since it will be more sheer, but only where the light hits it at the right angle will it really look as gold as it does in the picture.
Happy sigh. It will make a lovely spring shawl, if only spring would make up its mind to hurry up and get here! I'm already thinking through my wardrobe to figure out what I can wear under it.
The end result is about six feet wide and maybe a little over 3 feet tall.
I've wanted to make this shawl for ages, it seems like, and the end result has surely been worth the wait! I can't wait to unpin it and see how it looks up off my drab grey blocking mats. They don't seem to play nice with the camera, so I will definitely be back with more pictures when it's dry and unpinned.