Sunday, August 16, 2015

Moonlight Shawl: Part 1!

This shawl is my first attempt at a pattern that uses a chart, which comes in for the lacy bits around the edges.  Up till now, I've followed written instructions for my projects, or color charts, which are fairly straight-forward.  But, no progress ever comes unless you're willing to try something new, so here I go.

The yarn I've chosen was literally begging to be used in this pattern.  It's a fine, light-weight baby yarn with a lovely sheen and a super soft touch.  The shimmery silver color reminds me of moonbeams, and it's so soft I imagine it's what moonlight would feel like, in yarn form.  Yes, that's right, I just got that poetical.

So soft, it feels like it's made from unicorns and angels.
Given that I'm used to working with thicker yarns, it's taken a bit of getting used can hardly feel it sliding through your fingers.  The pattern I'm working with is Easy as Pie by MaidenBrooklyn.  It seemed a good one to start with, since it's my first attempt.

Starting out was probably the worst part.  Since I'm basically learning new skills as I go, I always allow for a bit of difficulty...but this one was crazy, and the fault was obviously with me, for the most part.  I re-knit the first ten rows -- literally, and without exaggeration -- about twenty times before undoing them and starting over.

My ball of yarn decided it wanted to turn into a giant spaghetti monster.
First off, the yarn was so fine that I would find myself snagging it in unexpected places as I tried to make my stitch, or else I would stick the needle between the threads of the yarn.  Second, I've never used stitch-markers before, so it took a few attempts to figure out how to not get them tangled in my stitches.  Third, I would set the piece down to deal with something else for a moment -- one of the hazards of having an infant, four cats, and a husband in the house, to be sure -- and completely lose track of where I was, and have to start over.  Next, I had to deal with the embarrassment of realizing my yarn-overs were really yarn-unders, and that I had forgotten how to do a fairly basic stitch.  But, after many, many re-starts, I was finally able to get the main pattern of the shawl started.

Once started, this pattern is -- as advertised -- easy as pie.  The main body is a four-row repeat, before the charts kick in.  This makes it perfect for taking with me on-the-go, like for those long waits at the doctor's office when you show up on time but they're still on lunch...yeah, it's perfect for times like that.

Folds up neatly into a little travel-pack!
From here, it's time to move onto the charts for the lace.  I think I've figured out what all the little symbols mean, and the stitches they stand for.  That adventure will have to wait for another post, though.  In the meantime, I might just take a break and declare a video-game day.
The main pattern done, onto the lace edges!

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