This is the my sweet friend Ariel. I met her through a mutual friend who said we would be fast friends, and he was very right. We instantly bonded over babies, creativity, books, faith and food. She is my favorite whole foods date, and the only one who will stand there with me for thirty minutes trying to decide between the chocolate coconut gelato and the regular coconut gelato, and not get impatient. She understands me....so when she left for Cambodia to do mission work I knew I had to send her off with something very special.
Pattern: Rock Island by Jared Flood.
This was a serious pattern hah. It starts with the border, which is only a few stitches wide, but you have to do around 70 repeats of the 12 row stitch pattern. This might sound daunting but about a quarter of the way into it, I had already memorized the pattern, which made it fly off of the needles. The great part of this is that you create little loops on the outside of the border by starting the row with a yarn over. You then pick up all of these yarn overs to form the base of the triangular shawl. A few rows of garter stitch help to motivate you to get to the Rock Island chart. This chart is very easy to read and memorize as well, although the use of a life line is helpful. I wont lie, halfway through this chart and I was frustrated, its easy to drop stitches and yarn overs, and if you don't keep track of which row you are on you can get lost very easily. Once I did get past this chart, I was a little sad it was over. The rest of the shawl is worked in easy garter stitch excluding the slip slip knit (a left slanting decrease) and knit two together (a right slanting decrease) to form the spine down the middle. I think I finished this part in a couple of hours. You then kitchener stitch the last 8 stitches together to complete the triangle. The thing that really makes this shawl sing though, is blocking. Infact, when she comes home I may block it out again so that the lace opens a bit more. It was a great pattern that taught me several new skills, which is always a great thing when it comes to patterns.
Yarn: Chantilly Lace in Birch Bear.
It is from The Woolen Rabbit. Im always looking for great yarn that is hand dyed, or spun, or both, in the US. This shop is so great because its just one woman who does all the dying in her home in NH and in small batches. The yarn itself is so wonderful, a strong blend of silk and merino wool, with rich drape and just enough sheen. You can see how beautifully it drapes if you look at the third photo, and notice how it lays on the shoulder so nicely. The color is hard to capture in pictures, a cool mix of grey, dark blue, icey white and even a little bit of green.
Over all I would recomend this pattern to anyone who wants to challenge themselves with something new. It is such a great knit, not exactly relaxing but it gives you an excuse to sit alone at a coffee shop with some music and focus on nothing but the click click and fluidity of yarn overs and decreases.