Thursday, December 10, 2015

Indie Gift-A-Long continues! Pattern Review: Hogmanay Shawl by Jen Lucas

In my (not so humble) opinion, a great gift knitting project needs to have that wonderful combination of being engaging for the knitter without requiring obsessive focus, but special enough to make the recipient say, "Wow!" For a real hat trick, it should help the knitter use up some stash. It's alchemy, really. The Hogmanay shawl by Jen Lucas is one of my new favorites in this category. To start with, I know very few women who could not use a new accessory to liven up their wardrobe choices every now and then. (myself included!) This lovely shawl is knit on the bias in fingering weight yarn. The pattern calls for 400 yards, which means that one skein of many hand-dyed yarns is all you need. The shawl shown here is knit in Mountain Colors Bearfoot. The lace pattern has a great rhythm to it, which makes the knitting really enjoyable and meditative. The long diagonal lines that run from the beginning point to the bind-off edge are almost like built-in lifelines that make it easy to remember where to start again when you've had to take a break. After a few repeats were complete I found that I could just glance at the chart for the beginning of each Right Side row and follow intuitively from there. This quality makes it a good traveling project, as well - easy to carry along anywhere, easy to keep track of. Mine has been everywhere in its short life - the theater, work, school field-trip, meetings, coffee with friends. I also love that you can just keep on knitting and make the shawl bigger without any extra math if you have more yarn than is called for. I feel very optimistic that I may even finish it by New Year's Eve if not by Christmas...(if I can control my compulsive startitis!)

I'll post photos of Hogmanay and my Paper Snowflake hat soon! In the meantime, happy knitting!

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