Swallowtail Shawl v2.0
Thank you so very much for all your comments on the Pi Shawl Blanket - it really is a special pattern and a very special knit to have around. I highly recommend giving it a shot with any yarn you have lying around - it's very versatile. There were a number of questions that I received via e-mail about the shawl (mostly about the yarn and blocking) that I've done my best to answer at the conclusion of this post. I hope they are helpful!
And since we're already in a lacey state of mind, I figure I'd exploit this opportunity to introduce a finished project that has been waiting for a little blog coverage for months. If you've followed my knitting for any length of time, you know I prefer knitting lace in thicker weight wools - I think the beautiful stitch work combined with something a little more heavy duty is a winning combination and I always seem to come back to it. My second swallowtail is no exception.
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark [Ravelry]
Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Materials: Queensland Collection Uruguay DK (70 ex.fine merino, 20 alpaca, 10 silk) [Ravelry]
Amount: about 4.5 skeins (approx. 225 grams/560 yards) in "Mint" (#10)
Needles: US7/4.5mm Addi Turbo 32" Circulars
Started: April 2007
Finished: May 2007
Blocked: August 2007
Gifted: December 2007 (Phew!)
The color in this photo is the least accurate - a touch too green. The other photos are more true to actual color
This is a wonderful pattern and quite a popular one. I knit my first one in October '06 with lace weight and ever since wondered how those lacey bobbles would look in a dk weight. Of the two I think I prefer the thicker one, but they're both beautiful and have their own unique charms.
Thicker yarns give a great stitch definition but don't have as good a blocking memory as lace. I see this as an added advantage because it makes them that much more thick and snuggly. I'll often add a couple repeats in the lace pattern if possible when working with thicker yarns to compensate for this.
The yarn is wonderful - I snatched it up from a WEBS sale last year and had a great time working with it. It's not the wooliest of wools but it's got a bouncy, soft feel and a light sheen because of the silk that provides both elegance and warmth.
This was gifted in December an I'm happy it's getting some wear now that the daily temps here in New York are in the low 30's.
Pi Shawl Queries: A few additional details about my Pi Shawl to answer e-mails I've received.
First, more specifics about the color of the wool. I received this yarn as a gift from a friend in Iceland. She purchased the yarn there in person. Schoolhouse Press does sell this yarn, but in a limited palette - which I should have mentioned earlier - and does not currently carry the color that I used.
The color of my wool is titled Sea Green Heather and listed as product #1422 on the Istex official color card - viewable here. You'll notice they have a lot of wonderful colors! Don't say I didn't warn you.
In researching, we think that the best bet for possibly acquiring this yarn by mail order would be the Handknitting Association of Iceland, but can't say for sure. All of their contact information is available behind the link. NOTE: it seems that the colorcard listed on their site is an older version and sites Sea Green Heather as #9736.
Blocking: Yes, blocking was quite a challenge in our hardwood-floored, tiny apartment. I was hoping to be able to block the shawl on the queen-sized bed but realized very soon that this would not be possible. After some creative brainstorming, we tried a rather unconventional but nonetheless effective way of blocking - involving the box spring. The picture says it all.
And finally - a few of you asked if I worked with the unspun Icelandic wool single stranded or held it double stranded. I worked single stranded.
I hope that helps - I'll add this information as a post-script in the original post so everything is in one place. Happy knitting!