Sunday, June 14, 2009

Icarus. The real thing.

Honestly, when I first started knitting this shawl, I had no idea.

I mean, seriously. I didn't use huge needles, or a particularly fine-gauge yarn; and as I knit, the fabric seemed pretty dense -- a bit like sock gauge, if you like your socks on the loose side.

I'd hold it up from time to time, stretching out the lacy bits just to get a glimpse of how they might look when I was done, but they offered no real clues. I thought I'd have a fairly thick shawl, maybe useful for those cold winter nights I bitch and moan complain about here.

So it was really only when I'd soaked the thing for about 20 minutes in lukewarm water and Eucalan, and started threading the edges through the blocking wires, that it hit home: this shawl would be a big 'un.

How big? Well, let's put it this way: Rachel is over six feet tall. The average person's arm-span from fingertip to fingertip is supposed to roughly equal that person's height. When I was coercing Rachel into modelling this for me this morning, Icarus proved too wide for her to grasp both edges simultaneously.

I measured: it's about 85" across.

Not that I'm complaining -- au contraire, I'd hoped it might be large, and this has certainly exceeded expectations in that regard.

And not only is it big -- the fabric itself is lighter, gauzier, with a drape and a sheen I really could not have anticipated.

Its unexpected size explains one thing to me, though, and that's why it took me so frickin' long to knit! At one point, I was quite certain I'd be working on the damn thing until I was ready for retirement.

I do like the pattern, but it's in that weird hinterland between "totally easy/relaxing knitting that requires virtually no brainpower" and "complex lace that can cause cerebral hemorrhage in large doses." That is, too easy to grab my continuous attention, but too complex to be mindless. However, I would definitely recommend it as a first shawl for anyone who cares to try . . . as long as that person is a determined knitter with a lot of time and a low boredom threshold.

Here are the specs, for those who'd care to give it a shot:

  • Yarn(s):Indigo Moon fingering weight, 2 skeins in Victoria Garden and 1 in a semi-solid blue-green whose name escapes me at the moment
  • Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, 3.75mm
  • Started: May 16
  • Finished: June 13
  • Gracious model: Rachel


Dave said...

It came out beautifully! The multi-coloured border at the bottom really ties it together. And wow, that's big.

See you on the 28th!

Kathleen Taylor said...

applauding wildly!!!!! Standing Ovation!!!!!! Hoots and Whistles!!!!!

Geek Knitter said...

Very well done, those colors work so well together!

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Good job..and the color combination increase its beauty....