MISSION: Design, knit and complete a shawl in less than 48 hours.
START: PST 9:00 a.m., Thursday, September 23, 2010
END: PST 9:00 a.m., Saturday, September 25, 2010
MISSION STATUS: Completed!
OTHER MISSION STATS:
– Number of times I casted and re-casted on: 5
– Number of times body rows ripped back: 2
– Number of stitches fudged prior to working border: 3
– Number of times border design changed: 3.5
– Number of times border ripped back and restarted: 4
– Approximate design & planning hours (pattern unwritten): 3
– Approximate actual knitting hours: 17-20
My dear friends will wholeheartedly tell y’all that I am crazy for coughing up this idea in the first place. The idea came up when I realized that I hadn’t gotten anything for my godmother, who is visiting from Taiwan. I don’t have to give her anything, but I usually want to. Whenever she comes, I try to take her out or spend some extra time with her. However, this year, we were both busy and we could only arrange to see one another on Saturday for an early lunch. So, I thought that a nice handmade gift would be very nice and appropriate, but I only thought of it very late Wednesday night and I was planning to meet her for an early lunch on Saturday. Thus, Operation: Two Day Shawl was born!
I dug around my stash and came up with some 40% cashmere/ 60% merino fingering yarn that I had hand-painted a while back. Since the yarn is so variegated, I wanted to keep the shawl design simple. Any intricate patterning would be immediately lost otherwise.
The shawl is constructed with 5 panels worked in garter stitch with yarn over increases. I chose garter mostly because of the time factor. While I can knit and purl relatively fast, my knits are definitely speedier than my purls. I worked the shawl on US 9 needles for 2 reasons: I wanted a more open look to the fabric to show off the colors, and it also kept it light and more airy for Taiwan’s tropical climate. After lots of hemming and hawing, I chose to work a continuous border as opposed to a knitted-on edging, also in the interest of time.
I didn’t spend much time knitting or working on the project on Thursday and I only managed to get about 3 inches, which meant that the majority of my knitting occurred on Friday, and not without some setbacks. I finally finished knitting at around 5:45 a.m. Saturday morning and only had time to steam block the sucker before I crashed for about 3 hours.
By 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, the sun was already really bright, so I really couldn’t get any really great photos of the shawl, and of course I didn’t have time to even attempt a photo shoot. And in my haze, I also forgot to measure the shawl. Oh well. I definitely don’t think that it’s my best work, but it certainly isn’t bad for a 2-day shawl. The good part is that I finished and completed the mission. My godmother seemed happy to have received her gift (and I hope she likes it).
I am planning to write up the pattern with some changes and then I’m thinking that since I haven’t offered a free pattern in a long while, I might offer this one up for free. Well, maybe at least for a limited time. Some of the tweaking that I want to do for the shawl include working the body in stockinette stitch with lifted increases instead of yarn over increases, making small changes to the border’s patterning, and of course, I’ll have to reknit it. People like freebies, once in a while, right?