I fear I am becoming a bit of a fingering-weight shawlette whore …
Project: Ashton Sweet Pea
Pattern: Ashton Shawlette
Designer: Dee O’Keefe
Available: FREE! on Ravelry
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in Sweet Pea
I had this ball of STR saved from May 2010. I tried (and failed) to make the club sock that month. The yarn seemed boring and lackluster, too pale. But, oh how this “spirit” colorway shines in a mostly-stockinette shawl! Ashton is a great pattern in it’s own right, but the designer makes it even better by intentionally making it accessible to the beginner lace knitter. A thoughtful step-by-step process leads a novice lace knitter through the process of reading charts to make a traditional top-down triangular lace shawl. I have, in fact, already recommended this pattern to a friend and a knitting student. I did do one repeat less than the pattern called for, because I knew I was working with a smallish skein. I ended up with 6g left after the bind off. Success!
Here I go, casting on new projects like a crazy person. I had a good reason though! I’m sure I did. I think.
First up: Parseval in the Clover
I finished the knitting on a sweater-for-me project, and although it was blocking and lacked three buttons, I gave myself permission to swatch for my long-planned Parseval. Except, I wanted to swatch in the round, because the garment is worked mostly in the round … and when I decided how much to cast on, I realized that it was almost enough for a sleeve … so in a way, I’m not swatching. I cast on for a sleeve willy-nilly with just a guess at the correct needle and garment size. I will wash & block the sleeve when it reaches 6 inches or so, but this is unsteady ground for me. I have learned, however, that flat swatches aren’t necessarily accurate when planning in-the-round garments, so there it is. I love the yarn (Gloss DK), and the pattern isn’t too terrible (4×1 rib, mostly). I really want the finished sweater, and all the knitting becomes interesting towards the end, so I should be good to go.
Next up: Ashton Shawlette
I love this KAL choice — it’s the Feb project in the Beginning Lace Knitters group. There’s nothing super-special about the pattern, but it is well balanced and extremely well written. The designer has written a lovely tutorial that new lace knitters should find exceptionally helpful, and she’s providing it for free. I’ve already used it to help a new-to-lace knitter get started. For my own Ashton, I’m pleased to say it seems like my unloved ball of Sweet Pea (from the 2010 Socks that Rock sock club) has finally found its true calling as a simple lace shawlette.
Third, I also cast on the “not a sock” pattern from the first shipment of the 2012 Socks that Rock sock club. This year, the good folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are providing two patterns (as they have for the last two years), but one of the two patterns is not a sock! Due to spoilage issues, I can’t say any more about the pattern or color, except that I am IN LOVE with both. Of course I had to cast on.