Now that Mountain Pines is done, I have to think about another lace project that is a little bit of a challenge. Although the Wedding Ring Shawl is a big project, it's so interminable that I can't focus on it too much or I will go mad. I'm nearing the end of the second pattern repeat for the center, but it requires at least 5 of these before I can start the border. So, while I knit away on that shawl, I plot what other "big", lace project I might start knitting. I find I also have time to do things that are not so very taxing as relief knitting. Those projects are important to me because they help give a sense of success that tends to spur the other knitting on. I think doing the Swallowtail Shawlette helped in that way just like watching missalicefaye knit the Wedding Ring Shawl helped to kick-start me back on my own WRS. So, see above my progress on the Flower Basket Shawl using my beautiful Christmas Koigu. It's a lovely shawl to knit for those who don't do much lace. It's not at all difficult and lacks those daunting "nupps" that are part of the Swallowtail Shawl (Jason, are you paying attention?). Flower Basket Shawl will be nice and warm and I think I will do the large size since I have enough yarn. Of course, it's been extremely cold out here for the Bay Area and this may have affected my perspective on shawls at this time :-) Also see pre-drafted fiber I am spinning for more laceweight yarn out of Romney I bought at Carolina Homespun . Blacks and greens, its a wiry yarn that spins up well but without the softness of the Merino/Silk I've been using lately. Still, pretty pretty though! See also that I am making yet another Swallowtail Shawl out of what normally would be considered a sox yarn by Shaffer "Anne'"which is wool with nylon in it. I bought it because it's about the right amount of yardage in one skein and it was pretty. The purple swallowtail is a gift to one of my co-workers who's leaving to go to another position so I still need to knit more of those little shawlett's so I might eventually end up with one. The Mountain Pines is sitting snug in a box wrapped with acid-free tissue paper. I don't often wear a shawl but I plan to wear this one a time or two at least. On the less satisfactory side, I am knitting on Fir Cone but it's not as pretty as I would like it to be. It's not the the ubiquitous Zephyr yarn in charcoal that is the problem. It's the fact that the lace pattern has difficulty holding it's own as the whole shawl rather than just an element among other lace patterns. Maybe it will look better once it's done and has an edge to it. Maybe I should have knit it in a variegated yarn and saved that Zephyr for something else.... Heck, I'd hate to frog it but it's just not very interesting. We shall see.
Lastly, I learned to spin when I was in my 20's, stopped for awhile while I obsessively knit cable sweaters, and took the wheel back up again a few years ago when I could not help but purchase beautiful hand-dyed fibers from Lisa Souza's booth. I did not do that first fiber justice. It was unevenly spun but I could not give it up once it was completed. I decided to knit a shawl with it but put it away and forgot about it because I was not happy because it was not "perfect" yarn. I found that unfinished shawl while I was tearing the house apart to find yarn to finish Mountain Pines. Rip or Finish? It would make a nice "office" or "car" shawl. One to sling over aching shoulders when it's cold. See my poor representation of the "Shetland Tea Shawl from the book "A Gathering of Lace",, pattern by Dale Long. My yarn is not so fine as the one shown in the book and I may already have a few errors, but I want to finish this shawl because it's a momento of when I started back with spinning and with lace. I will be looking at "A Gathering of Lace" and my other books/patterns for my next big project while I persevere with this odd little shawl.
To all of us who do persevere, Good Knitting!