A few months back, I decided that I wanted to learn to knit lace, and I decided to start with Rowan's Birch
shawl. Unfortunately, I can't link to this, since the pattern that I have was a freebie Rowan pattern book included in an issue of Simply Knitting. I scanned the pic from the pattern, though...you can see it here:( Collapse )
I'd say that this took me a few weeks total to knit, but I'm not 100% sure since I put it down for a few months and I don't recall exactly when I started it. My version is done in KnitPicks' Shimmer
using Deep Woods.
I had a few problems getting the hang of the pattern at first...not that it was difficult, but I apparently kept getting distracted, or dropping stitches and not realizing it until too late. Instead of frogging (which would have been the RIGHT thing to do), I kept adjusting my stitch count by either making or reducing stitches to get back on track. This became evident when I went to block, since the pattern repeats near the cast on edge are clearly not symmetrical. Oh well, live and learn. :D( Collapse )
Since this pattern was published by Rowan, the recommended yarn was their Kidsilk Haze, but I think the Shimmer did just fine. I used about 1.5 skeins, and the shawl is enormous. It's about 6' wide, and when it's draped around my shoulders, I can feel the bottom point tickling my calf.
Overall, I'd highly recommend this lace project to anyone wanting to get into lace knitting but who's frightened of charts. The instructions for this lace are all text, and very easy to understand. It's only an 8 row pattern repeat, and I had it memorized by the time I got through the first 2 repeats. Another advantage is that you cast on at the long edge (299 stitches...yikes!) and decrease down to the point, so the pattern repeats get shorter and shorter and you really feel like you're making progress!