This shawl was knit with 4.5mm needles (well one 4.5mm needle, see below) and Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk yarn. The pattern is Shaelyn by Leila Raabe.
I had several false starts knitting this shawl, but I learned a lot and the finished shawl is stunning. This is thanks to the delicious yarn. Alpaca silk is absolutely yummy, I loves it. I mean, it’s alpaca blended with silk, what’s not to like. I’ve become a bit obsessed with navy recently (finally over wearing a navy uniform in primary school) and the finished shawl has the most beautiful sheen and is so silky soft. I’ll wear this as a scarf with the point to the front. Must try and get a photo of that. I was very put off by the idea of shawls until I realised I didn’t have to wear them over my shoulders, but instead more like a scarf.
However, it was not without it’s problems. I started with 5.5mm needles, then switched to 5mm after the beginning chart as I wasn’t happy with the tension. Then switched again to 4.5mm as I still wasn’t happy. This was my first fudge, because I just switched needle size without starting again.
My second fudge was slipping the first stitch knitwise, until I realised this wasn’t giving the smooth edge that I was looking for. The first two stitches are knit on both the wrong and the right side. For some reason that I cannot figure out in my brain, I need to be slipping purlwise to get the smooth edge. Again I didn’t rip, just kept going, now slipping purlwise.
Then as I approached the second lace repeat I miscalculated how many stitches I needed on my needles and knit two rows too many (there are 4 increases on each right side row). I could fudge this too, but then one of my stockinette stripes would be longer than the rest.
Individually I could live with these fudges, but all together they were getting to me and I decided to rip back and start again. Even though I hate ripping back and avoid it at all cost.
Oh and then, just as I was about to do the final lace chart I realised I was using one 5mm needle and one 4.5mm needle. D’oh.