There was an email sent to the Austin Stitch and Bitch group several weeks ago from Vickie Howell (founder of the Austin SnB) wanting to know if anyone was interested in knitting for Southwest Trading Company because they would be releasing her new line of yarn soon and needed samples knit. Admittedly, I don't actually go to the Austin Stitch and Bitch but I am on their email list and found the prospect of knitting with new yarn for a kick ass company who would pay me would be a decidedly good thing. In my email to Jonelle, I mentioned that I was a lace knitter, not expecting that they would be in need of such a skill but since it's what I do, I figured I'd mention it. It turns out that Mariposa is one of their most popular patterns.
I must admit, I wasn't impressed when I saw the picture. It just didn't seem like crisp lace and that's what I love. Somehow it seemed sloppy and off-putting. But I had the yarn - Indulgence - a nice blend of soysilk and alpaca and got the needles going.
Now that it's finished, I couldn't be happier.
I'm going to drop this in the mail tomorrow. Sadly. But I think I'll be knitting one of my own because I like it so damn much! One of the best features of this shawl is the ribbing tube on the left side that the point of the right side goes through to keep the shawl around your shoulders. No shawl pin needed in the least. It's fabulous!
There are a couple of things I found odd about the pattern - not major things and nothing that would impair a moderately experienced knitter but things that I think would significantly decrease the finished product of a new lace knitter. There are two repeat sections to the pattern, the frost flowers and the pebbles. For the pebbles, for some reason I don't understand, the designer only allows for a selvage stitch on one edge instead of both. I disregarded that and added a slip stitch selvage to both sides for symmetry and aesthetics. The pattern also never explains what a selvage stitch is or how to execute it. The other thing that wasn't mentioned in the pattern is blocking, something vital to lace knitting. There's also some decreasing needed for the points as you are knitting the pebble pattern and that was a bit tricky and I had to rip it so some clarification would be nice there but I can't find fault with the designer for that.
In other news, I've been knitting. Lots. There will be fo's coming. Some of the best stuff I've ever knit. There's even a sweater that's >< close to being finished. (>< means that I need to finish the neck, which means deciding how I want to finish the neck, sewing in about 5 ends, and blocking).