Pattern: Evenstar, by Susan Pandorf
Yarn: Colourmart Cashmere/Silk 2/28 NM lace weight, 1500 yards
Needles: 2.75 mm
Started: February 12, 2010
Finished: September 18, 2015
What I Learned: Oh boy. I learned that slow and steady gets you there eventually. This is easily the most complex thing I’ve ever knitted. The pattern itself isn’t that difficult. The yarn I chose is just a hair heavier than thread, and has absolutely no memory, and it’s a bit on the slippery side. So this wasn’t mindless knitting by any means. And the border is endless. You knit the whole thing in big concentric rings, then knit the edging on perpendicularly to the shawl. The edging is a mindless 20 row repeat, but in thread and with beads so it took forever. There were a couple of complex stitches in there but mostly it’s just following a series of charts.
The pattern is well written, this is the first of hers that I’ve done, but it was clear and mostly without errors (there is a link to errata on the Ravelry page). The lace is charted and written, though why anybody would want to knit lace from written text is beyond me. I started this before I was using Knit Companion, but used it for the last couple sections after I pulled this out of the UFO pile to finish.
Lora asked in the comments on a previous post about the blocking process. I soaked the shawl in slightly soapy water (Kookaburra wool wash), then rinsed in cool water. Silk and cashmere aren’t as durable as wool when wet, so you really need to support the wet lace when pulling it out of the bath. Then I blotted most of the water out with a bath towel, and pinned it out on my blocking mats, which are foam play mats that you can get in carpet shops or places like Costco. I have a ton of them so I can block almost anything.
Before I tossed it in the water, I ran a cotton thread through all the points, then pinned the thread and not the actual shawl. I forgot to take a photo before I had all the pins out this morning, but here’s a mini-recreation to illustrate.
Lora, I start by stretching it out gently by hand into as close to a circle as I can get it, then start pinning the running thread between the points to stretch. It takes a few times around, pulling a little more each time, and smoothing out from the center to get it as even as possible. I probably could have blocked this a bit larger, but I wanted to retain just a bit of the texture of some of those stitch patterns. I use a yard stick to measure in places to see if I have it even, but mostly I just eyeball it.
I love this one! It’s by no means a practical warm shawl, but I can see wearing it for special occasions. In fact, we have symphony tickets tonight, so I’ll wear it there. I’ll probably leave the tiara at home though.
Edited with one more photo. John wanted me to add a photo of just the edging. Here you go.