02 Oct Late August
(This is our first-ever guest post, written by Chloë!)
If you had the chance to come by the shop over the last few weeks, you may have noticed a new addition lazing around the furniture.
Late August is a circular lace shawl pattern that was released, as you may well guess, this past August. As soon as it hit the Hot Right Now section on Ravelry (under the Patterns tab), I had it open. I spent the following week opening and closing the pattern page, gazing longingly at the pictures. It was one of those patterns that manages to consume all of your project dreaming energy until you give in and knit it – I eagerly procured two skeins of Cascade Eco for the project and readied my 6.5mm needles for battle.
There are a lot of modifications that can be made for Late August. First, it comes with instructions for both lace (“shawl”) and heavy worsted (“blanket”) weight yarns. The pattern is broken down into 4 sections – the center “circle” (there are instructions to do this section in either a lace pattern or a plainer garter pattern), the bramble lace ring, and then the pinecone lace ring. Modifications are given if you want to make the shawl bigger by adding extra repeats to the final ring. In all cases it’s finished by binding off in knit-on edging. Depending on your taste, your Late August can be a delicate, lacy summer shawl on through a big bulky lap blanket for winter. For me I think it was the image of wrapping myself in cozy lace doily that did it.
I love circular shawls – you start at the middle, with an excitingly small number of stitches, and gradually increase to a scarily large number without really realizing it. I opted for the lace version of the center circle and finished that within the first day, the bramble lace ring in a week, and then another week to the end of the border. This project definitely qualifies as my end-of-summer knitting bender.
For any of you just as enchanted about this project, I would recommend it. Just as soon as you become tired of a repeat, you’re finished and ready for the next section. Every other row is a rest row which helps to maintain your sanity. The author does start off the pattern with an apology for the time-consuming edging, but I didn’t find it as bad as I thought it would be. It took me a day, and after the stitch-count of the final section, switching to a 3-5 stitch row feels good. I did hit the end of the second skein of Eco with 8 stitches left to bind off – I generally have loose tension so I’m not surprised I went beyond the advertised yardage requirement working on the recommended needle. Fortunately I had leftovers from a project in the same colour. Something to keep in mind depending on your gauge.
I did not to block it as aggressively as I could have, mostly because it was by far the largest item I’ve ever had to block – I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared to confront blocking a handknit bigger than my bed. It spent half an hour in a bath with some grapefruit-scented Soak, was gently stamped to a bearable sogginess, then laid out only as far as the futon permitted. There was a bit of a blocking pin panic, solved by the enlistment of over a hundred diaper pins, that could have been avoided by some creative circular needle work/blocking wires. I blocked to a radius of 28 inches.
I’m very happy with how it turned out, both as a knitter, and as someone who used to play with her Oma’s couch doilies. Now I have one of my very own, cozy enough to wrap around my head when it comes time to go gallivanting in the snow. Also great for impromptu napping.
Check it out in the shop window!
(check out Chloë‘s finished-project page on Ravelry for more notes about this project here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lambdashuttle/late-august – Thank you, Chloë!)