When the Fall issue of Interweave Knits arrived I was less than thrilled by the Swallowtail Shawl. Soon afterwards my parents came to visit and dropped a bombshell which left me shaken and upset. To calm myself down I flipped through IK and found myself suddenly really liking Swallowtail (don't worry, my parents' news ended up not being so bad after all and now I am actually quite pleased about it (I just realized this sounded like they're getting divorced when they are actually just moving)).
Back to the shawl. Coincidentally, I had just received two balls of the recommended yarn, Misti Alpaca Laceweight in red (actual colour name is Lipstick Lace; I love it!) from an online swap. I cast on in mid-August and worked diligently on it until early September. I decided to increase the body by 5 extra repeats, which I am very glad I did because it's still pretty small. Of course, it doesn't help that I did it on 3.25mm needles instead of the 3.5mm called for. I ran into a problem when I reached the nupps section; I kept having the wrong number of stitches. I just couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. A phone call to Heather revealed the problem: I had misread the part of the pattern where it says to k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 in the same stitch!! Needless to say this was a major problem. I was disheartened and put the shawl aside. I tried to come back to it several times on the following months but the nupps were driivng me crazy!! I figured I was going to wash my hands of it until in mid-January when I got the brilliant idea to finish the shawl in time to wear on Valentine's Day. After that I pretty much worked exclusively on the shawl until my triumphant finish.
Yesterday I showed you the pre-blocked, aka Ramen noodles, pictures. Today I can show off the true beauty of this shawl.
Held up in front of the window
Shot from behind
This picture makes me feel like a senorita!
Now that I have shown off the glory of this shawl, I need to point out the problem. If you look closely you'll be able to see that the spine veers to the left amid the nupps. I know exactly what caused this to happen; there were a few times when I had the wrong number of stitches so I decreased every other row until I had the right number. I thought I was being so clever however, since this only happened on one side of the spine, it caused the lovely detour that we see. Normally I'm a perfectionist but I'm just so happy to be done that I'm refusing to consider doing anything about it. As SpillyJane said, now it's a design element. (Hey, Spilly, when are we going to get to see the blocked pictures of your shawl?)