ALBERTA IS FINISHED! (AND WHY I'M NOT READY FOR THE BIG LEAGUE)
I finished the Alberta top-down shawl from Myrna Stahman's book last night. Here's the front:
(If I look exhausted, it's because I've been on call the last three weekends in a row.)
And here's the back:
Here's a close-up of the lace. I haven't blocked the shawl yet, so the seed-stitch edging puckers a bit.
For those of you who haven't tried a Stahman shawl, they're fun to knit. You start with the neck edge and work your way from top to bottom, increasing, increasing, increasing as you go. I think I ended up working on over 500 stitches by the time I got to the bottom band, but I never had the patience to count!
I love the Henry's Attic 100% alpaca yarn I used for this project. It made a lovely, cushy warm lace fabric. The fuzziness of the yarn resulted in an indistinct lace pattern, however, so if I were determined to show off the lace pattern I would use a smoother, more firmly-spun yarn. Alpaca is known for it's insulating properties (warmer than wool!), so a lace shawl is a good choice for this fiber. In retrospect, I should have used a more elastic bind-off for the bottom edge of the shawl, because the tight knitted bind-off I did use probably caused the puckering at the hem you see here.
And why am I not working on the SOAR vest, you ask? Because it's become obvious to me that I don't have enough yarn. I chose a stitch pattern that uses up more yarn than I'd anticipated and now I find I won't have enough to finish the fronts. I thought about filling in with a different yarn of similar color, but decided that looked too slapdash. So I'm going to be frogging the whole thing and starting over in stockinette.
That's why I'm not in the big leagues. But I'm learning. And at least I have the shawl to wear at SOAR.