Everyone else seems to be posting in honor of Halloween. I'll join the crowd.
My Lacy Cables shawl is finished, finally. I started it back in late September. It's the Lacy Cables Shawl, design by Gayle Roehm, published in the Fall 2001 issue of Knitters magazine (issue 64, Cable Ready theme).
The above photo is of the wet shawl slowly drying on a towel on my bathroom floor. I'm not doing too much blocking. The photo shows the columns of lace fagoting and the way that the cable sections cause the columns to undulate. You can see the unevenness of my spinning and a bit of the yarn variegation. Since the shawl is still wet, the colors are darker and less variegated than they will be once dry.
I did indeed end up doing 10.75 repeats instead of the 11.75 in the original pattern. It's a good length for me. I have several yards left from the ball of yarn I was knitting from, along with two more skeins that didn't get used at all. My estimate on yardage is around 650-700 yards used, and about 3-4 ounces.
Before blocking, the shawl was about 1 foot wide and not quite 5 feet long. I haven't measured it too closely now that it is blocking, but it looks to be a few inches wider and several inches longer.
Here is a photo of a section of the unblocked shawl. The variegation shows up a bit better in this shot. The undulation shows up clearly, but you can see that the columns of fagoting look a bit uneven.
Somewhere on the right will be a close-up photo, showing a bit more detail on the cables and the lace. Blogger's preview thingy is not all that reliable, so I'm not totally sure where the photo is going to end up. We shall see!
Things I learned from this project:
1. I do not have to fear knitting with my handspun singles. It works just fine. I did not have any problems with biasing or with the yarn drifting apart or anything like that. Some sections of the yarn were thinner or thicker than others. This too was not a problem. Even though some sections of yarn looked frighteningly thin, they had sufficient strength. That actually was not a big concern, since I knew all the yarn could withstand the weight of a spindle and the tugging it took to wind onto a niddy-noddy and then get hand-wound into a ball.
2. This kind of quietly variegated yarn looks just fine with lace. A very open pattern with strong vertical lines, as above, shows up beautifully. The cables were more problematic. They have a solid fabric. The colors were just dark enough and just variegated enough to obscure the cabling more than I liked. The kind of yarn I used (singles, probably Ashland Bay) and the loose gauge (lace-like) may have contributed to this. If I ever knit this again, I should use a yarn that is a fairly solid, pale color.
3. This particular cable and lace pattern was genuinely easy to knit. I didn't have to pay attention all that often. There was an easy rhythm to the pattern. I could pick it up, do a set of 8 or 10 rows at a time, and put it down. I could make steady progress without getting bored or lost in the pattern.
4. In my last post about this shawl, I wrote that it seemed to be quite a useless item. I've changed my mind. I tried on the unblocked shawl and was pleasantly surprised. It is both wide enough and long enough to look good and be comfortable to wear. It seems a bit odd not to have a lot of fabric across my back (as with a larger shawl). I can't see my backside, so it's not a major concern. The ends hang nicely and attractively across my front. All I'd have to do is add a pretty shawl pin to secure them together and I'd be set to go. I'll try to get a photo of the shawl being worn at some point in the future.
My next shawl will not be rectangular.
Here's a photo of the diagonal garter stitch scarf, still in progress. I'll probably get a fair amount done on that one tonight. We're going to Suburbia for trick-or-treating with some friends.
I still like this scarf and how well the simple stitch pattern works with the colorful variegated yarn. The scarf will probably be about 6' long when finished, give or take a bit. That's a good length for cold winter days.
We're having our traditional Halloween weather today, as usual. It's not all that terrible, really -- light snow and freezing rain, low clouds, and temps just a bit below freezing. Yum. Hey, the roads are warm enough to not be icy. I'm not going to complain!
My next priority will be the sweater. I won't start a new big project until it is finished. I'm not going to make any promises about the small stuff, though. I do want to finish at least one of the in-progress doilies before starting any other doilies. That still leaves me plenty of room for fun -- socks, hats, mitts, bags, and so on.