A Rippling Shoalwater

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shawl
My first gift of Christmas was the Shoalwater Shawl pattern from FiberTrends and four skeins of KnitPicks Gossamer lace weight yarn - all presented in a wonderful clear tote with pink trim. I have a total weakness for bags. Big bags, little bags, zipper bags. I love them all. Not purses, but bags to put "stuff" in. I don't know if it's genetic from my mom or environmental from watching my mom's similar obsession with bags, but I was thrilled to see the clear bag. She's had a set of clear bags for a while (with black trim). That she found me and M bags with pink and lime trim is just awesome. (Later, we got coordinating clear small bags for notions in our stockings.)

Back to the shawl... It's a pattern I've liked for a long time. It's always shown in a wonderful variegated blue (which looks to be a heavier weight - and the pattern is written for four yarn weights). Every time I see that photo, it makes me think of Maine and the ocean (in Maine; yes, I live in SF and go sit by the ocean a few times a week, but the ocean in Maine has a differenent resonance for me). I got started on the shawl right away. I admit I had to cast on a few times to get it picked up properly, but once started, the pattern has been a breeze. It is a bit daunting that in the lace weight I'm going to end up with 400+ stitches in each row. But, that reality is balanced by the fact that three out of every four rows are basically just knit. All of the lace patterning happens in the first of the four rows (with the exception of four yarnovers on the other right side row of the four). Pretty straightforward, and the large repeat in the lace is easily memorizable. Not that I don't have to still look on every fourth row to see what to do with all the stitches before and after the lace panel. I do. But still, in my experience of lace, this is a really straightforward pattern. I love how the yarn is looking. The colors are playing out nicely, and even though you can't see it all stretched out in the photo here, you still get a sense of the rippling starting to happen. Love, love, love it! The colors are so beautiful and rich. I can't wait to see how this turns out. It's actually my first project with lace weight yarn, too, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels and how weighty it is (or isn't). (I did try and start something last year in lace weight Shimmer, but once I ripped it out, I never cast on anything else.)

Thanks, Mom!

(I have more to thank her for, too, but I'll report on that later.)

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I'm knitting Shoalwater too! Now you have inspired me too actually get a photo of it up. Mine is in sock yarn. It's a great pattern!

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