A finished knitting project! Yay!
This one was a long time in the making, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. It’s nice and big, but very lightweight.
I used about 1600 yards of yarn for the project.
The shawl is knit from the center out. Most people used Judy’s Magic Cast-on, but since there were so many stitches, I did a winding cast-on instead (I think this is also called a Turkish cast-on). It was fussy to get the cast on done and the first few rows knit, and to get the pattern established. But once that was out of the way, the main body of the shawl was really easy.
When you get to the border, you need to really pay attention again to get the edging pattern set up properly. But again, once you get a couple of rounds done, it’s simple to follow.
The pattern has an optional method of doing the increases at the points to help the shawl block into shape. I thought the instructions were a little difficult to follow with the two methods listed in the pattern, but I do think it’s a good idea to do the optional method – or at least a variation of it.
The pattern calls for doing M1R and M1L increases (as described on Knitty’s site here) on either side of the “points”. This is an easy method, but since it uses yarn from the previous row to make the increase, the increases can be a little tight. The optional method has you start that way but then switch to doing a YO on the left side of the points, and knitting it through the back loop on the next round. Since you’re creating the increase with the working yarn, the increase is a little looser – and the points block out better. The end result is the same as M1L, just not as tight – and it’s better for blocking.
After a couple of rounds, I switched from doing the YO and knitting it through the back loop on the next round to doing Elizabeth Zimmermann’s backward loop increase instead. It ends up exactly the same – you are just twisting the loop as you put it on the needle, rather than doing a YO and twisting it on the next round when you knit through the back loop.
When I got to the edging, I decided to just use Elizabeth Zimmermann’s backward loop increases (right-leaning and left-leaning) for both the M1R and M1L, instead of just the M1L. I think if I knit this pattern again, I’ll follow the original instructions (not the “optional method”), but substitute the backward loop increases for the M1R and M1L for the increases at the points. I think that will be easier to follow than remembering that you have an extra stitch on one side of the points, and having to skip the final increase for that section.
To follow the increases a little easier, I made a chart with 16 rounds, with 2 lines per round (one for each needle), indicating what increases to do on each round. Then I could just go down the chart and check off each round as I did them. The chart is on my Ravelry project page linked above, (but without the actual increase instructions, of course).