Sunday, June 03, 2007
Up, up, and away -- Icarus is done!
Pattern: Icarus Shawl, from the Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits (now on her webpage, and with errata)
Designer: Miriam Felton – she says, “This shawl was inspired by a lace motif in Sophia Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, first published in 1882. The top-down construction allows the design to flow downward, giving the feeling of feathers dripping from a stick frame, just as in Greek mythology, Icarus’ feathers melted from their frame as he came too close to the sun.”
Knitting Started: March 16, 2007
Knitting Finished: May 26, 2007
Blocked: May 28, 2007
Yarn: 3 hanks of Knit Pick’s Alpaca Cloud in “Sunlight Heather” (#23500)
Needles: 24” Knit Picks Classic Circular Knitting Needles in Size 3
Modifications: I did one extra repeat of Chart 1 to make the shawl 8" wider across the top and 2.5" longer
Yesterday was the wedding and Icarus went beautifully with my dress. It wasn't actually as much of an unveiling as I'd thought it would be because I ended up bringing it to work on Friday. I don’t know if it shows my youth or what but I tend to do a little show-and-tell with projects I’m proud of and I simply couldn't wait to show it to people. It helps that a bunch of my co-workers are knitters and that even those who aren't show interest in whatever I'm working on. (I guess this takes the place of bringing FOs to SnB to show to people who appreciate how much work was involved in something.)
KnitPicks’s webpage says, “The downy softness of the hollow core alpaca fiber makes it amazingly warm, but light as a feather, and therefore perfect for lace. The subtle heathered colors are like mists draped over your shoulders.” I have to admit that this yarn seemed perfect for this project, not only because I’d seen it used successfully in other Icarus shawls and wanted a yellow/golden color to wear with a specific dress, but because it’s light as a feather and in a color that has sunlight in the name. (Need to be reminded of the myth? ;) hehe. I know I’m a huge dork.
Anyway, this shawl proved to be quite difficult for me, mostly in the beginning before I got the hang of it. I thought I'd left plenty of time to finish it (about 2.5 months) but the rocky start really made me rush at the end to complete it before the wedding. Click on the "Icarus" tag of the post to see all the gory details.
I love love love the way it turned out and would recommend this project to anyone looking to make a lace shawl. You start at the top and work your way down to the lacy edge; you have to concentrate at the very beginning and at the end but that huge section where you just keep doing repeats of the same chart leaves you plenty of time to listen to audiobooks or watch tv.
Some advice: use lifelines! At the end, I made sure the lifelines were ridiculously long and I kept two in at a time (with ends tied together to prevent them from slipping away à la The Big Rip). The bind off looks great, but even with the streamlined approach that Miriam mentions, it still seems to take forever to do--which could have had something to do with the fact that I was dying to crawl in bed by that point.
And those interlocking foam floor mats that Jess inspired me to buy? They were *fabulous* and I plan to buy another box of 4 after Dennis gets over the fact that so many knitty things appear on our doorstep in such quick succession. To block, I laid the mats out as follows: 4 at the top where I pinned out the widest part, 3 in the middle, and 1 at the bottom where the shawl comes to a point. This worked well but I would have liked to have a 9th mat to make two rows of 4 mats... I bought mine from Amazon (shipped by Jack's Tool Shed) but I'm sure you could find them in any number of home improvement stores. I laid a sheet out on top of the mats and used blocking wires and about a million pins. The design just opened up and I fell in love with the shawl. As proof, here are some of the pictures I took. I just couldn't narrow the shots down to a decent number. ;)