Intricate, double-sided lace patterns have always intimidated me. Not least because they are usually charted and my brain does not translate those easily into working instructions. If it’s a short chart repeated multiple times, then maybe I would be able to memorize it but if it’s double-sided lace it’s not as easy. This is partly why I have started and stopped knitting Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl twice! The edging lace chart was just too complicated for me. It didn’t have rhyme or reason, as one other knitter said, to facilitate memorization of the 8-row chart.
At some point in March this year, I decided to give this another go. I’m glad I did because look at the finished shawl. Thanks, Eliza for modelling it for me! Gratuitous shot of the dessert display at The Lime Tree Cafe. You’re welcome!
I made this shawl larger than written, 95 repeats in total as opposed to the 71 called for in the pattern. I was hoping to use as much of the skein of Wollmeise Lacegarn as I could, knowing just how generous this skein is. Since I added lace repeats, I had to pick up 190 + 4 (into 7) + 190 = 387 sts in total. That’s a lot but because I was decreasing constantly, it steadily whittled down to the last 11 stitches. Another modification I made is not breaking the yarn after binding off the lace edging, instead I continued picking up the YOs as instructed. Also in the Rock Island lace section, I had to put markers to easily find my place in the chart, but have to keep moving them when I need to do the sk2p. Still better than counting stitches.
WARNING: if you have the attention span of a 5-year old, do not knit this while watching Supernatural, or Agents of SHIELD or any other TV show that needs your focus and attention. I had to frog a couple rows on the body because I missed the centre double-decrease!
I used a laceweight yarn, which is more like a light fingering actually. It was a little scrunchy while knitting but once it relaxed in the soak and blocked out to size, the drape is fabulous. It’s light enough and not bulky at all to wrap around as a scarf.
Or draped around the shoulder as a proper shawl. I like the extra coverage this gives so I’m glad I added all those extra edging repeats. There was a bit of a panic at the end when I saw three stitches hanging loose towards the end of the edging. I was apparently dragging those loose stitches around while I was working the Rock Island chart and the body. Good thing the yarn is a bit grabby so they didn’t unravel all the way down to the cast on row. That would have really ticked me off! I managed to rescue it by doing an emergency surgery, i.e. grafting.
And after all of that, I still have 165g left from the skein!
Needle: US 6 – 4.0 mm
Yarn: Wollmeise Lace-Garn
Used: 870 yards, 158 grams 0.5 skeins