this is something i finished several weeks ago...i don't know why i haven't bothered to blog it, since i am so darn impressed with myself for finishing it. you'd think i'd want to do a little showing off. never mind. here it is now!
i started this swallowtail shawl several months ago (like, almost a year ago. yeah, that long). it was to be my first big lace project, and i began the shawl with much enthusiasm. well, let's just say that enthusiasm didn't last. i used lifelines throughout, and though i was glad to have them, it was still discouraging to have to rip back a repeat (or at one fool-hardy point...four! i got a lot more serious about the lifelines after that). so though my mistakes were all easily fixed, each simple error was often enough for me to shelve the project for months at a time. i guess i don't deal will with adversity!
finally, finally, i decided it was time to just get it done already. when i picked it up for the last time, i was on the final repeat of the budding lace chart, just about to start the lily of the valley chart (with the infamous nupps!). well, it turns out that the nupps were way more my style. i loved making them! the last few charts went exceedingly fast, and i actually found myself binding off this sucker. my reward was my first true blocking-as-alchemy experience. sure, i've blocked sweaters and hats and color-work pieces and whatnot before, and it makes your stitches look even and the finished piece smell pretty, but wow! i had no idea. i had sort of mixed feelings about the shawl until i soaked it, pinned it out on my bed, and came back four hours later. it was perfect! i mean, it definitely wasn't perfect, but to my eyes, i was just so impressed that i had made something so intricate and beautiful. lace...it's really something crazy, isn't it?
pattern: swallowtail shawl, by evelyn clark
yarn: jamieson's ultra, 1.5 skeins, in clematis
needles: size 5