Back in January, I started the Soho shawl. I worked on it for a few weeks, became distracted with other less aggravating and more needed projects and didn’t get back to it until last week. I decided that I loved the colors enough to put up with the annoying pattern, so I pushed to finish it before the next knitting group meeting last night. I finished it Monday night with just enough time to wash, block, and dry it before the meeting!
The general design of the shawl is lovely, and I really like how it shows off the variegation in the yarn. The variegated Peacock Cherry Tree HIll Super Glitz had been sitting in my stash for about three years until I saw this pattern. I’m so glad that I waited to use it.
The pattern, however, is one hot mess! Several ladies from my knitting group were started working on these shawls at the same time, and we all had issues. My gauge wasn’t the same as that listed for the pattern, so that added an extra degree of difficulty. It was a good thing, though, because it made me pay attention to things like stitch counts and unclear directions. I also found that the length that I’d reached on the shawl was not long enough for a real shawl, so I added to each end of the shawl. (I’d have to do some comparisons to the other Sisters of the Wool shawls to see how or if I went wrong.)
I think most of the problems came from the designer trying to get a little too fancy with the layout of the pattern. Rather than just listing the lines of instructions in the order in which they came, the designer showed “Rice stitch” (which seems to have different meanings for different people) in a separate section (without the beginning and ending stitches for the border. It caused me to have to flip back and forth and lose my mind after a bit. When I picked up knitting on this again, I was almost to the end of the instructions for one half of the shawl. When I realized it wasn’t going to be long enough, I punted and did my own thing for the additional six or so inches that I added to each end.
I also changed the border around a bit. Instead of doing a ribbed border, I used seed stitch instead. Due to yarn limitations (not enough of the variegated), I switched to a Teal Super Glitz that I found to match. I really like the seed stitch border because it makes the edges sparkle!
During washing and blocking, I nearly had a heart attack though. The Teal Super Glitz bled like crazy! Before washing, it was mostly really dark teal and green. After washing, it’s not so dark. Fortunately, I learned my lesson from the MCY dye debacle and won’t keep washing it until the dye stops running! The next time I wash this, I’ll give it a dunk in vinegar water and apply a bit of heat before I wash and block it.
I’m really happy with the way this turned out though. It received quite a bit of praise from the other knitters and even caused Angele to say that she had to finish her Soho as well. This shawl will probably end up at the school to cover my arms when it gets chilly in the lab. It’s a bit glitzy, but even geeks need glitz sometime!