Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Icarus takes wing

I've been eyeing the Icarus shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue for some time and have been inspired by the completed shawls that I have seen coming off of my friends' needles. So naturally, I had to make one of my own. Most of the completed versions I've seen used lace-weight mohair, but mohair makes me itch like fire so that wasn't a good choice for me. Besides, I'm on something of a yarn diet due to budgetary restraints (sigh) so I did a little stash shopping. I found a beautiful 800-yard one of a kind skein of hand-dyed silk noil yarn from Pine Tree Yarns that has been begging to be made into something wonderful. The Icarus shawl calls for 1 skein of about 875 or so yards, but with given the difference in gauge that I'd have using the silk compared to the fine alpaca I figured it was worth seeing if I could make it work.

I also had just purchased some Addi Lace Needles in US size 4 and wanted to try them out. Yes, I did a gauge swatch to compare the differences between size 4, 5, and I think 3, and 4 was the hands-down winner (besides, I also really wanted to try out my new needles). So I launched into Icarus, hoping to have enough yarn.

The pattern includes very clear directions for making the shawl larger or smaller. As I am short in stature as well as in yarn I chose to make the smaller version, but I still ended up running out of yarn before finishing the last chart for the border. I managed to complete the feather shapes that I had underway, but the finished product is missing the last 8 rows of chart 3 and the 4 border rows. I had to cannabilize my gauge swatch to complete the bind off, and to make the edge look like I meant it to be that way I added beads in a mixed assortment of blues and clears to give it a nice finish and weight. It blocked out a lot wider than I expected but the size, weight, and feel of the yarn are fantastic, as is the colour. I LOVE this shawl!

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