June 9, 2007

FO: Diamond Fantasy Shawl

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl for my Mom is finished.

See the beads on the tip of the shawl?

Here's a better look.

I wanted just a tiny, little touch of something extra. I'm shooting for the four beads to echo the diamond motif.

Before I forget, Margaret requested blocking pictures. And, well, I aim to please.

This next picture is for Christene, the charming, goof-enabler at SheepsPyjamas.

Pattern: Diamond Fantasy Shawl
Designer: Sivia Harding

Yarn: Sirdar Just Bamboo in Oriental Blue
Needles: US 8 Bamboo 36" Circular
(I got a little kick out of using bamboo needles and bamboo yarn. I'm easily amused like that.)
Gauge: Roughly 3.5 - 4 stitches per inch (in pattern). The lace pattern in the bamboo yarn had fantastic drape and lots of stretch in all directions, making an exact gauge nearly impossible to identify.
Yarn consumption: Approx. 750yds

I didn't get precise finished measurements (couldn't find the long tape measure), but judging from how much space it took up on the futon while blocking, I'd say it's 70-72" long across the top, which was exactly what I wanted. After pre-blocking, I calculated that 8 repeats would be just shy of the length I wanted. Therefore, I figured I'd do 9 repeats because I'd rather have it too big than too small. Then I had a light bulb moment and realized I could finish off the shawl at 8.5 repeats and get precisely the size I wanted. Which is what I did. Good thing that worked, too, because I'm pretty sure I would have run out of yarn if I'd gone for 9 repeats.

This was my first time knitting with 100% Bamboo. I learned a lot about this fiber. Like it's very slippery. If I dropped a stitch, it wanted to run away faster than a vegetarian fleeing a bacon convention. After learning the less than fun way, I worked really hard not to drop stitches.

I also learned that bamboo behaves differently than many other fibers in the blocking department. Contact with water caused it to stiffen and contract. But as it dried it expanded and became softer. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable, scientific explanation for this. But I'm just glad to have learned through experience. After blocking, the yarn lost a fair amount of the crispness and luster it had initially. If you were especially fond of the crispness and luster (which would be perfectly understandable), you might be disappointed to loose it. For the purposes of this shawl, I didn't mind that change.

A lace shawl knit with bamboo yarn makes for a soft, cool, summertime wrap with a delicate touch of sheen.