Knitted Noro lace shawl – nice!

I tend to think of myself as a crocheter. That’s not to say I can’t knit, I just prefer to crochet and I honestly couldn’t tell you which craft I learned first. At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to knit myself pair of socks every month, and that lasted until I finished my second pair. I had the wool to make March’s pair…. but it never happened.

So much for that plan.

Knitting just wasn’t grabbing me the same way crochet does. I could do it, but I just couldn’t love it. It was only after I went to Fibre East this year and saw (and lusted after) so many beautifully knitted lace shawls that something inside my brain shifted and I was hungry for knitting. I’d never tried knitting lace before but now it was calling me…

I’d bought some Noro Taiyo 4 ply in a sale online a while back, and a quick poke around through the free patterns on Ravelry turned up the Rosalie Shawl pattern by Sharon Jane. I sprung for some Pro Style Symfonie interchangeable circular needles and I was good to go!

It only took a couple of weeks of on and off knitting, and then I had my very first knitted shawl!

Shawl in Noro Taiyo 4 ply

I was really impressed with the pattern, and it was just the right level of difficulty for someone having a go at lace for the first time, with a gorgeous band of diamonds and a picot cast off to give it a lovely elegant edge.

It was fairly unimpressive size-wise until I blocked it, and although I knew this would be the case, I was still shocked at what a difference blocking it made.

Wanna see some more pictures? I know you do…

Before blocking the shawl barely covered my shoulders

Before blocking the shawl barely covered my shoulders

The difference is even more dramatic when viewed from behind.

From this...

From this…

... to this!

… to this!

It was pretty scary blocking something so delicate. The yarn is a slubby single ply composed of 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Polyamide, 16% Silk, so it doesn’t take much force to break it. I’d never tried blocking something so big before either so I did a bit of research before attempting it.

I soaked it  in a solution of water and Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash for 15 minutes (the yarn band did say no soaking and the Euclan said soak for minimum of 30 minutes, so I nervously split the difference , which seemed to be fine). I then placed it between two towels, and squeezed the excess moisture out. So far, so good. I was doing everything I’d been told to. Next came pinning it out.

Shawl pinned out

I decided to use blocking wires, which was fairly straight forward. I’m still not convinced I pinned it all out straight, but I’m willing to bet it was better than if I’d just winged it without the wires. T pins are definitely the way to go with blocking; there is less risk of the pin pulling right through your work.

I generally use interlocking foam play mats rather than the much more expensive purpose made blocking ones. They worked okay, but I found I had to stick the pins right through them and anchor the whole project to the carpet underneath – a process that would have been considerably easier without a certain cat trying to interfere! If I had a deeper pile carpet I could probably get away with pinning everything directly to the floor like my mum does.

I blocked the shawl as hard as I dared, and I was thrilled with the way it turned out. The gradual colour changes were perfect for this pattern, and I love the way the bright blue falls on the diamond lace panel.

Knitted lace shawl

I don’t own a shawl pin, so I had to make do with a pretty chop stick instead!

I don’t think knitting will ever really steal away crochet’s special woolly place in my heart, but I definitely have a renewed affection for the Dark Art, and I’ll definitely be knitting more often. I’ve written a formula for knitting bunting – it’s far too simple a thing to call a pattern, but I’ll be sharing it here soon – and I’ve already started another shawl, this time in super soft, slippery viscose.

Knitted or crocheted, shawls are awesome. Is anyone else making one?

Beth 🙂

Moogly HOHD

14 thoughts on “Knitted Noro lace shawl – nice!

    • bamcrafts979 says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely starting to get to that time of year when it seems a good idea to make larger yarny things to huddle under. Shawls are generally quicker to make than blankets, and there’s less chance you’ll have to share them!

      Like

  1. sewchet says:

    I love this and I can’t believe what a difference blocking makes! I, too, rarely knit anymore as crochet is so much more comfortable working with only one stitch on the hook.

    Like

    • bamcrafts979 says:

      Thanks! I think I have a bit more patience with projects now than I used to, and you do need to be patient to knit, especially when something goes wrong! Crochet is more forgiving of the occasional mishap, and you can just chuck it in a bag and know it’s not the end of the world if it slips off the hook. I was far too nervous to knit this shawl anywhere but safely sat on my sofa!

      Like

    • bamcrafts979 says:

      The worst bit was that it had to sit on the floor while it dried, which meant I had to keep shooing the cats away with their muddy paws! Blocking is great for the knitting but terrible for my nerves!

      Like

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