Pattern: Arctic Diamonds Stole by Donna Druchunas, from IK: Winter 2006
Yarn: Jade Sapphire Silk/Cashmere 2-ply, approx 2.75 hanks, colorway Blue Hawaii
Needles: Addi Turbo US 2.5
Notions: Glass seed beads. I forget what size, but a lot of them (18 per pattern repeat and one for each stitch on the cast-on/bind-0ff)
Modifications: Added beads to the centers of two different motifs on the pattern (essentially all solid-centered diamonds), as well as to the cast-on and bind-off. Added one full repeat of the main lace pattern.
Began: July 27, 2008 ; Completed: February 7, 2009
Notes: Let’s start with the pattern. I posed a query to my readers and blog friends a few months ago, asking for pattern recommendations. A few came back with this, and I wasn’t disappointed. I will say that the pattern is kind of a slog. I’d only really done triangular lace shawls before, which may have been part of it. Each pattern repeat is about 65 rows long, which makes it difficult to really see progress. However, the lace pattern itself is fantastically easy. It’s lots of simple yarnover, ktb, and k2togtb (did I get that right?), which makes me think it would actually be a great lace pattern for an adventurous beginner. That might just be my lace-induced crazy talking, but I really think it would be do-able.
I wanted something angular but still really pretty, and this pattern didn’t disappoint. Ideally I was looking for a pattern that was art-deco-ish to go along with the retro sensibility of my dress, and I think this pattern does that perfectly. It’s well-written and very clear, so I have no complaints. I will say that I added one extra body repeat after reading people’s notes on Ravelry, and I’m glad I did; if I hadn’t, the shawl would be way too short. With the extra repeat it’s just right. It didn’t seem to grow much upon blocking.
As for the yarn, I’m sort of at a loss to describe it. I found it when I was visiting KV in NYC and we wandered over to Purl Soho. I had just found the perfect, bright blue wedding shoes, and was thrilled to find fantastic yarn in the exact same color! It seemed like fate. The yarn is pricey, I’m not going to mislead you. However, I decided that it was worth it to have a beautiful shawl on my wedding day, and I still don’t feel guilty. My friend pointed out that this shawl very well may turn out to be a family heirloom, and so it seems fitting to have done it up right. The yarn was heaven to knit with, and flowed through my fingers like butter? Silk? Strands of awesome? I can’t describe it. It produced a fabric that is incredibly soft, has a slight sheen, and has amazing drape. And holy mackerel with the color.
I decided to add some beads to up the glam factor, and I’m glad I did. You may notice (on the detail shots on my Flickr page) that the bind-off row is a little loose. I think I was so paranoid to not make it tight that I over-compensated. However, this was just a quick and dirty blocking ,with no pins. I just washed the shawl to get any dirt and oil out of it, and will now dutifully pack it away until the wedding comes. I plan to invest in some blocking wires before then to give it a nice, tough blocking so it looks its best on the wedding day. It nearly killed me to put it away; it’s just so lovely and soft. I can’t wait to wear it in May, and be sure that I’ll post some more pictures of me in my dress in my bright blue shawl. I guess that covers my something blue, huh?