January 8, 2012
Leaves of Grass
My first finished project of the year, Jared Flood's Leaves of Grass, is also one of my favorite shawls ever, although this does not count towards the official 12 shawls in 2012 challenge, because I started it in December. However, it was so enjoyable to knit that I don't regret starting it too early.
As I expected, it was very similar to Girasole in construction, all the way down to the knitted-on edging. As I also expected, the edging, which used up 20% of the total yarn, was my least favorite part of this project, but it was still more enjoyable than that of Bridgewater, and also, for some reason, a lot easier for me to memorize. For the majority of the edging I only needed to glance the chart every once in a while, in those moments of temporary amnesia when a part I'd repeated tens of times was suddenly escaped my consciousness. Overall the various charts used in it were easy to memorize row by row, so, for the circular rows, I only needed to check the chart at the beginning of each row, which in chart D meant only once in every 580 stitches. The stitch patterns are also very "logical" in the way that the previous row gives you plenty of clues what's going to happen next. All in all, I'd consider this easy as shawl patterns go. I really love knitting circular shawls, and I think there will be a few more coming this year. But I think whatever I'm knitting next will be sans knitted-on edging, though.
I used my trusted shawl yarn, Ohut Pirkkalanka by Pirkanmaan Kotityö Oy. I used the same yarn for both Girasoles, this time in purple. This shawl feels quite a bit stiffer than the Girasole I've been using for three years, which probably means it'll limber up over time. The stitch pattern would probably benefit from more aggressive blocking, since the bottom of the chart D part looks a bit bunched up, but I'm not sure I want the shawl any bigger. I did use 1368 meters of yarn, which is over a 100 meters more than the pattern estimate. Based on my previous experience I knew to expect this, though. I recommend for all those knitting this pattern to buy more yarn than the recommended amount. Someone on Ravelry is knitting this with the official pattern yarn LOFT, and instead of the 5 recommended skeins it looks like she'll need 7.
I definitely recommend this pattern, and I'm surprised there are so few projects so far on Ravelry, compared to many other Jared Flood shawl patterns. It's beautiful, easy and enjoyable. Definitely in the top three of the most beautiful shawls in the... room ;).
The Ravelry project page