Every now again as a maker, you finish something, step back and find yourself thinking, “wow, did I do that?” When you’re in the middle of a project, you’re caught up in the process. Maybe it’s fun, maybe it’s a little dull, maybe it’s going too fast or too slow for you. And every so often, even when you do finish, you’re a little underwhelmed by what you’ve made.
But every so often, you surprise yourself.
Presenting my current all-time favourite project at the moment: My Phoenix Shawl!
I will not lie to you. Making this shawl was a long haul. If I hadn’t had three days at home with a nasty cold, it would probably still be a work in progress. But as I couldn’t really do much but stay under a duvet and close to a box of tissues, I found the long rows towards the end strangely soothing. Even so, this is something of a challenging project.
Like all triangular shawls that are made from the point up, the first few rows seem short and fast, lulling you into a false sense of security, because by row eight or nine of this shawl, I realised that I’d started a marathon, not a sprint. I’d already made the Phoneix Hat, so I at least had the stitch pattern in my head, but even so, I had to keep up a strict stitch marker regime to keep my place in the pattern. If you take on this sort of project, I really recommend using 2 stitch markers in the pattern repeat sections. Put the first one at the end of the first repeat, the second one at the end of the second repeat, then move them over each other each time you finish the next repeat. It’s a bit of a faff, but much less annoying than ripping out whole rows because something went wrong in the middle.
Then there was the edging. Oh wow, the edging. I absolutely love it, but the reason it curls is that it has extra stitches in there, so it really does take longer than you think. Still, it’s one of those things where you just put something good on the radio/TV and plough on, because you know the results are going to be worth it. And wow are they worth it.
The yarn was an absolute joy to work with. It’s Fyberspates Vivacious in Mixes Magenta, and I ended up using 2.5 skeins, which is pretty good for something this size. It’s one of those springy-soft yarns that manage to have body without being stiff and softness without pilling. I’m a little in love with it, and wondering what I can put with my remaining half-skein to make sure that every yard gets used up.
This is a big shawl, enough to wrap around and keep me properly warm, and I’ve actually been a bit disappointed that the change in the weather came so soon after I finished it so I haven’t been able to wear it as much as I wanted! It’s going to be a real staple in my wardrobe for years, I’m sure.
To see if everyone else is as happy with their finishes this week, head over to Tami’s