Friday, June 13, 2008

FO Report: Forest Canopy Shawl

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl for My Midwife

Yarn: High Prairie Fibers "Big-Horn" Hand-Painted from Crazy Girl Yarn Shop in Muscatine, Iowa; 55% mohair, 45% wool; used 302.5 yards from a 325 yard skein
Pattern: "Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl" by Susan Lawrence
Pattern Gauge: 5.5 sts/in
My Gauge:
4.75 - 5 sts/in

Needles: US8 24" circular
Size: 51" wingspan, 23" from top middle to bottom point
Started: 6/4/08
Finished: 6/11/08

This was my first lace shawl so I was excited to try the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl pattern since the designer wrote it with new lace knitters in mind. I appreciated all of the extra information she included and found it very easy to follow along. I wish that I had heeded her advice about "lifelines" once or twice when I had to go back to add or subtract a rogue yarn-over a few rows down, but all in all, it was an easy knit.
However, I should have noticed that the word "shoulder" is very prominent in the pattern's title. I also should have thought about the dimensions more to ascertain what 52"x23" (I was one inch shy in the wingspan...) would really mean for wearability. Maybe I'm just not a lace shawl person, but this seems rather small to me (which is why you're not getting any model shots). I can't figure out how one would wear this and have it stay on while providing a little warmth. Clearly, it needs a shawl pin, but even then it barely covers the upper arms.
Hmm. I'm torn about it because while I absolutely adore this pattern - for both ease and style - I would hesitate to make one again in this same way. Any advice you can offer on the best way to wear it, or just reassuring me that, "yes, some people like a smaller shawl like this and your midwife will like it so just give it to her" would be great. (My midwife is slightly smaller than me, and I'm just 5'4" with medium shoulders...maybe it will work better for her? Again, maybe I'm just not a shoulder shawl person?)

Maybe some of the problem lies in my yarn choice. The pattern wanted a DK weight, I chose a worsted weight. The pattern wanted 5.5 sts/in, I got about 4.75 to 5 sts/in. The pattern called for 350 yards, I only used 302.5 yards. (I didn't think any of this would matter if my ultimate shawl dimensions came out the same though, and I was just one inch shy on the wingspan. ???) So maybe I should give it a go in another yarn. But I ask you, could you have avoided the inevitable paring of the "Forest Canopy Shawl" with a hand-painted yarn called "Evergreen?"

(Put a sticker on my forehead that reads, "I'm a sucker for pretty names." I deserve it.)


a day in the life of a davis said...

What about tying it around your waist over your fav jeans? It would add extra warmth in the winter and look very stylish. Just an idea...

Heide said...

This is fabulous! The colorway works perfectly with the pattern and your midwife is going to love it. I never measured either of the FC shawls I made... then again, I'm not sure how many repeats I did either. I knitted until it was the size I wanted. Anway, I'm sure that she will use it lots. Hope you're feeling well and not too hot. I don't know why my site was down. Probably wordpress maintenance or something. Cheers!

Chris said...

It is absolutely gorgeous! I'm not much of a shawl wearer, so...

Hege said...

That's a beautiful colorway!
I'm not a shawl person either, but I do love a little shawl to put around my neck ;)

I think your midwife will love it.

Have a great weekend :)

Lolly said...

i think it is fabulous! beautiful knitting :)