I promise it hasn't been all shawls all the time around here, but I had to share this one before it goes off to its new home.
I purchased the yarn - Madeline Tosh Merino Light - on a road trip to L.A. with a dear friend who was getting ready to move overseas. It was a blast of a trip, and she even drove me to The Little Knittery and picked out these yarn colors.
I knew they had to be a shawl, but I wasn't sure which one when I first bought the yarn. However, I saw the pattern for the Taj Rectangular shawl and knew that it would be the perfect fit for this yarn.
There was only one snag - the pattern was only available as a kit with $135 worth of yarn. Not that I have a problem dropping big bucks on yarn, but since I have more shawls than I ever wear, none of the kit colors appealed to me, and I was worried about the durability of the yarn, I decided to wait.
While I was waiting for the pattern to come on sale, I tried my hand at reverse-engineering the pattern, and actually got pretty close. Because I really wanted to support the pattern designer, I did take her Craftsy class on Modular Knitting. That class should have been my first indication that my brain wouldn't mesh with the designer's, as her way of explaining things just seemed to get under my skin.
The class did confirm my hypotheses about the shawl's construction - it's worked like a triangular top-down shawl with a central increase. The additional shaping is created from the feather and fan pattern. And, once the shawl has reached the correct width, decreases are worked at the edges to keep the shawl from continuing out into a triangular shape. Instead, it forms part of a rectangle. Then, a second piece is made, the two pieces are put point to point, the live stitches are divided between the two halves, and the triangular pieces in the middle are knit, decreasing in the opposite direction until the spaces are filled in.
I got pretty close in my reverse-engineering, and actually had 80% of a pattern written out before I stopped work on it to do something else. By the time I was ready to pick it back up, the pattern was available for sale on its own. And since I feel so strongly about supporting designers, I decided to buy it.
I must admit I was disappointed by the pattern itself. It's great if you like written out instructions, as every single row is written out. However, I prefer charts, and the charts in this pattern left something to be desired. Plus, the pattern was $30, only to have statements like "the best way to visualize it is to actually do it and see for yourself." If I'm paying that much for a pattern, I expect everything to be crystal clear, or at least have links to video tutorials if the designer expects something might be difficult. (End rant.)
Anyways, once I wrapped my head around the "chart," the pattern was fairly easy, and my greatest worry was whether or not I would have enough yarn. I found myself combing the Internet looking for the yarn, hesitating to order it *just in case.* But in the end, I did have just enough yarn.
The final shawl is bouncy and springy and I'm quite please with the end result. I'm not sure I'll knit the pattern again - I feel like I've scratched the itch, and if I'm going to spend time following someone else's directions, I want them to make sense to my mind. Of course, it is good to step out of my comfort zone every now and then, and doing that with the shawl did help me learn a few things.
Ravelry Project Page Here.