Finished Object Friday: Hannah’s Beech Leaf Shawl
I’m not a shawl girl. I’ve ended up with a couple of handknit shawls from my co-worker Meghan Babin because she is kind and I am cold at work a lot (handing me a shawl is probably her way of telling me to stop complaining). But until recently I had only knit a couple shawls, one of which I don’t even have anymore. They aren’t something I wear on the regular, but there are a few gems that have caught my eye over the years.
A few weeks ago, I waxed romantic about the Interweave Knits Spring 2015 photo shoot, when one of those gem shawls came onto my radar. I started knitting the Beech Leaf Shawl because it has always struck me with its simplicity and touch of feminine lace. I’m happy, but also a little sad, to say that I recently finished my project. I’m happy because it’s gorgeous, the yarn is scrumptious, and I love wearing it with everything—not to mention it’s helping to keep me warm in my office this summer (women’s winter is not a joke for me). But I’m sad, too, because it was so much fun to knit. I want to make one in all the colors.
What makes this such a great project? Many things. First, as I mentioned, the yarn used for this project is amazing. If you haven’t knit with Shibui Maai yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a chainette alpaca/merino blend with lovely loft to it, and it creates a very airy fabric. It comes in great colors, too.
Secondly, there is a great deal of stockinette stitch, perfect for “knitflixing.” There are short-rows, but once you get the groove going you don’t have to think about those much.
Lastly, my favorite thing about this shawl is the knitted-on lace edging. Once you’ve finished all the stockinette stitch short-rows, you create a perpendicular lace edging by knitting it on. It’s different from just picking up stitches and knitting; essentially, you cast on additional stitches at the end of a row and knit those stitches back and forth, working 2 stitches together when you get to the first stitch of the main piece of the shawl. As you follow the lace chart and your edging grows, it’s attaching to the side of the main piece. It sort of reminds me of something being zipped very slowly. It’s incredibly gratifying!
The lace chart itself is only a 10-row repeat—very easy to memorize so you don’t have to pay a whole lot of attention. If I can memorize a lace chart, so can you!
I mean that.
I am lace-challenged.
But this was just the perfect amount to get me hooked. I’m definitely going to make this shawl again!
What have you finished recently?
Happy FO Friday!
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