Pattern: "Swallowtail Shawl" by Evelyn A. Clark, available for free here
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace (100% single-ply merino)
Plus: I made real, live lace! Estonian style. I'm glad I learned how to make nupps (apparently pronounced "noops" not "nuhps"). The first go round, I approached it like a regular bobble but was unable to p5 on the wrong side to close it up, resulting in sweaty, shaking hands and eventually broken yarn. The trick is, as far as I can tell, knit the increase 5 with fingers looser and sloppier than wet noodles. Then, on the way back, stab, wriggle, curse, and grunt until you shove your needle half a millimeter through all five and whisk that sucker through before it realizes you're winning. Repeat. Simple, right? It's worth it for the texture.
Delta: While the semi-solid hand-dyed effect muddles the clarity of the stitch, it was probably a good choice for my first lace project. Though I don't see any glaring errors now, I lost count of how many times I fudged the stitches, increasing here, decreasing there, trying like hell to keep the overall graphic images aligned. Also, I started out really suffering on this project, working it on size 4 bamboo. It was so tight and sticky on the needle! I eventually switched up to a 5 on my Knit Picks harmony wood interchangeables, and the difference was PROFOUND. I guess lace of this sort just needs slick, big, and pointy. (hehehehe. I'm so mature.)
I'm sending this to my very glamorous aunt-in-law who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. I really hope she likes it.
Posted by Kat at 1:13 PM