I absolutely LOVE this shawl.
I hope my grandmother feels the same.
Pattern: Sun Ray Shawl by Shui Kuen Kozinski, from elann.com
Size: approximately 80 inches wide x 40 inches long
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted 60% Pima cotton / 40% Modal, color Wisteria; I used a little more than 10 balls, each 50 g and 75 yards, for approximately 770 yards total.
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 10, crochet hook for cast-on
Started: October 6, 2007
Finished: January 12, 2008
I got the idea to knit a shawl for my grandmother early on in my knitting career, and I’d actually purchased this yarn for a Cozy that I started back in November 2006.
My requirements for the yarn were not easy because my grandmother lives in Hawaii and is afraid of bugs getting into wool or animal fibers. I chose this cotton because it is machine washable and easy care, with a lustrous sheen and gorgeous feel. It should be said: I officially have a crush on this yarn. It is a pleasure to work with, and I think the results are stunning. When I had this shawl around my shoulders, it felt like heaven.
I chose the color because my grandmother often wears brights and pastels, so I know she’s not afraid of color. Her favorite scent is lavender, and I always think of her when I see soft purples and lilacs.
I also wanted something a little more casual than a crisp white or ivory because I want her to wear it often and get a lot of use out of it. I worried a more formal color would make her think it’s only for special occasions and thus relegate it to the bottom of a drawer. I want her to grab this shawl when the sun goes down in the afternoon and her house gets chilly, bring it to restaurants, or just drape it on her lap when she wants a bit of softness and warmth.
After the initial pattern sequence, I completed an additional six repeats, to give seven total, 154 rows. This gives it a really comfortable, substantial size and used up almost all of the yarn I had for this project.
The picot bind-off took me ages, but I think it gives a really nice edge. The pattern called for pinning out each fifth picot to give a scalloped edge, which my boyfriend enjoyed helping me with. I dug that effect. It looks very much like my grandmother’s style.
I really recommend this pattern for a great beginner’s lace shawl. I love the symmetrical progression of the pattern, which becomes easy to memorize in 10-stitch repeats across the rows. I strongly urge using a row counter to keep track of the 20-row repeat, and for my part, I found it easier to read the written instructions than to follow the chart. For peace of mind, life lines were a big comfort as well.
I will most likely knit this pattern again, as it yields a surprisingly large, comfortable, and elegant shawl with a comparably small amount of yarn.
As my first time blocking lace, it wasn’t too bad, though I found even a queen-size bed was a tight fit. I pinned it out on towels and had a fan oscillate across it to speed drying time. It came out feeling soft and lovely.
I packaged it up with fiber content and care instructions that I printed out. If I know my gram, she’ll keep the whole kit together, so I got a non-acidic tinted plastic portfolio at a local art store to protect it all. I will of course encourage her to keep the shawl bunched up in her purse or haphazardly thrown over the sofa, but we’ll see.
I’m thrilled with this shawl, and as I’ve said previously it is the largest project I’ve ever made. It feels like a real knitting milestone, my first big shawl, and I just hope my grandmother loves it as much as I do.
I will try to get photos of the shawl in Hawaii, which is incidentally where I will be through January 26th. I’m looking forward to lots of plane knitting and hope to have my Hederas close to finished when I get back.