2 Birds, 1 Skein

I recently participated in a Shawl Swap hosted by my fantastic Rav friend, SparkleShan!  We were each assigned a secret partner to knit for, and a secret partner to knit for us.  The person we knit for gave some ideas for their favorite shawl, color schemes, and fibers.  At the same time, Colorsong Yarn was having a KAL in our own Rav group, featuring Flaxen and Lino yarns.

I knew it would be a challenge to finish two projects at the same time, especially larger lace projects, so I thought it was pretty brilliant to combine the two into one project!  I would knit a shawl out of Lino to send to my swap partner – 2 birds, 1 skein!  My swap partner liked the Rock Island shawl by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.

The Lino is an odd bird; in the skein, it seems somewhat stiff and maybe even a bit rough.  However, once you begin to knit with it, it transforms into a wonderfully drapey fabric that begs to be touched.  Then, once you wash and block it, and start to wear it, you will totally understand the appeal of linen.  It’s the perfect yarn for any summer garment or accessory.  It gets better every time you handle it.

For this pattern, you begin with the border, knitting quite a few repeats of a fairly challenging lace repeat.  Once you’re done with that, you pick up stitches to begin knitting the body, using decreases to shape the triangle.  The lace portion in the body looks a bit complicated, but it’s really only a 4-row repeat (and to be totally technical, it’s really only a 2-row repeat, with the repeats being offset by a few stitches every other repeat).

The beauty of a shawl that begins with the border then uses decreases is that each row is progressively shorter!  I know when I knit a shawl from the center out, the last few repeats are total misery because the rows are hundreds of stitches long.  But with this construction, you’re done in no time, and the last bit goes by in a flash!

I would  highly recommend this shawl for anyone who has knit lace before.  While it looks like a very complicated piece, it’s actually quite easy.  The pattern is well-written, easily understood, and includes charts.  And the finished product…amazing!  I’m sort of jealous of my swap partner.  Luckily, I can always knit one for myself 🙂

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