Swallowtail Shawl

I started this shawl on a whim many months ago, and it completely kicked my butt. It was my first time using lace weight & doing an actual shawl. I decided to go against my nature and read the written out instructions instead of following the chart.

It ended badly. Three times badly.  First I ended up with 1000+ stitches after the 6th repeat. That’s classic Preita, I plowed ahead with out ever a thought for the ending stitch count, which is as I found out 195 after 14 repeats of the budding lace. Nice right? I had ruffles to the max! So I put this away and decided that one day I would conqueror this shawl.  Everyone has their arch nemesis knit, one that is so freaking easy to everyone else but you can’t figure it out. This was mine.

Then I found some lovely blue yarn & I decided to give it ago once more. This time I read only the chart.

Swallowtail Shawl

Swallowtail Shawl

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl
Yarn:Araucania Nature Wool Multi 2.5 skeins
Needles: US 6
Mods: 19 repeats of budding lace per Mintyfresh’s specs. Worked out quite beautifully.

Im not really pleased with these pictures, but they will do.

I'm not really pleased with these pictures, but they will do.

It’s beautiful and I actually did knit this whole darn thing in 2.5 days. I think I found my knitting mojo again. I wanted to make this extra large because though I thought this was going to be my shawl when I started, 1/2 way through I realized it was going to be a gift to my husband’s great aunt.  My MIL had told me that blue was her fav color so it must have been fate.

Large & In Charge

Large & In Charge

 It came out fabulously, it’s big enough to wrap around my shoulders with out a problemso I think it will keep her nice & cozy while watching TV or reading. I hope she likes it as it’s now in the hands of UPS who is rushing it toward Pennsylvania.

I’m currently knitting a second swallowtail in lighter weight yarn for myself as more of a scarf. I don’t know if I can pull off the shawl look so a scarf it is.

In other news the Mr has made improvements on the pond and it soon will be ready for water, a pump and fishes.

The pond is almost done.

The pond is almost done.

I think it looks amazing. The boarder really adds to it, we are going to find some low growing ground cover to fill in the dirt patches 🙂 This is right by our front door so I’m looking forward to being greeted by fishes every time I pass by. 

I have to say though that I think I have a husband that enjoys a good day’s hard manual labor more than most.  He was happy as a clam digging that 4 foot deep hole and hauling dirt.  I find it quite charming actually, some men fish to relax, my Mr works himself ragged. 🙂

I am going to be finishing up the sweater pattern that I have now named Matthais.  It’s a whole lot of math but I want everything to be as perfect as I can.  I will post the pattern when it’s ready for public consumption.

I also have finished 54,700 words as of last night in novel.  Writing this has really been mind blowing for me as I think I’m probably going about this completely wrong.  I can’t think about the story when I’m not writing, I can’t think about what’s going to happen because it’s like trying to shove a truck through a key hole.  I a general idea of what is going to happen, but every time I try to guide my characters in a direction it seems like my brain fights against it.  I am constantly surprised at what my characters actually say or do.  The best way I can describe it is like it’s someone else’s story, like it’s already written down but it’s just flowing through my brain to the computer. 

This probably means I’m completely wacked.  The Mr has been reading & proofing and giving me feed back and sometimes when he suggests that I change something I find that I can’t bring myself to it, like suddenly I’m putting my mark on the story.  When I go through and change  bits and re-read it the flow is gone and it’s obviously just a patch, so I end up deleting it.

The best example is that I didn’t plan to reveal my traitor till right before the climax and I didn’t intend to reveal my dragon (yes it’s fantasy, I’m a ridiculous dork) till the climax, well randomly it’s like my characters flipped out while I was writing last night and both revealed themselves.  Reading through it I can’t even figure out how to change it because seeing it on paper I realize that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

It’s just such a weird experience all around.


10 thoughts on “Swallowtail Shawl

  1. The shawl is gorgeous. Congrats for conquering it!

    It is so weird about writing fiction…I’ve had the same thing happen. You start out with a certain rough intent, and suddenly the characters take charge! Spooky, and cool, and exciting, and frustrating. And impossible to explain to people who haven’t BTDT. LOL

  2. Wow, that shawl looks amazing. You’ve totally inspired me to try my hand at it – but I think I’m going to try sock-weight yarn. Wish me luck!

    PS – you’re silly, that’s a great photo. Your hair looks particularly awesome.

  3. I think that a story, so often, ends up writing itself. You have in mind what you want and then find out that, oops, a new direction has been taken and then when you go back to read it, it makes sense.

  4. The shawl is beautiful! Congrats on conquering the pattern. I adore charts and would follow them exclusively if all designers would include them.

    Love the pond, but beware the wayward crane! A friend of ours lost all his expensive fish to a crane and eventually had to cover the pond with chicken wire.

  5. Loverly shawl. I’m working on my first full-sized one right now.
    Do you or the Mr like chamomile tea? It’s such a pretty ground cover…and you get tea! Thyme is also a great cover.

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