Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kyoto Fantasy Shawl!

Hi, folks! I'm back from Kyoto! (Actually, I've been back for five days now, but have only now gotten to surface on the blog. Life has been busy, and I can't believe I was in Japan only last week! The days are really flying by.) And I have lots to blog about!

Japan was GREAT. GPG and I had such a good time there. We spent most of our time in Kyoto, with some day trips to some nearby cities, and we saw almost everything there is to see in Kyoto, which is a lovely, historically rich city. I'm thinking about co-opting the blog for about a week and a half worth of posts to document what we did each day, primarily to record down my memories. That's a pretty selfish endeavor, but I promise that there will be plenty of knitting posts interspersed among the travel posts.

So, to kick things off, I present to you . . .

The Kyoto Fantasy Shawl!

Pattern: Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Shawl
Needles: Inox 24 " circular, US5
Yarn: Koigu, 2 skeins (don't have the labels with me now, so I can't remember which colorway)
Recipient: Me!

I knit this shawl entirely during my trip to Kyoto. I cast on in Terminal B of Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport while we were waiting for our flight to Detroit (where we had a layover), and I cast off on the return flight from Osaka to Detroit eleven days later. I don't sleep well on planes, even on long transoceanic flights, so I was happy to knit most of the time going there and coming back (even if I was completely exhausted at the end of the flights).

The pattern calls for 6 repeats of the diamond stitch pattern for the "scarf," and 10 repeats for the "shawl." Given the other versions of this pattern that I've seen, I figured that I'd knit 6 repeats and then assess my progress. I wanted to wear the shawl on the Saturday after I got back at a fancy schmancy banquet for the journal I work on at school, so it was imperative to finish the shawl before I got back to Houston on Thursday night so that I could block it the day before the banquet. 6 repeats looked like plenty.

I ended up doing 7 repeats, which was just enough to use up all but a few yards or so of 2 skeins of Koigu. I suppose I could have done more repeats and broken into the third skein that I bought just in case, but I was getting very tired on the return flight from Japan. I also didn't want to start on the third skein and use only part of it, which would probably have happened because I was running out of knitting time on the way back. I decided that 7 repeats was probably big enough, and that 1 full skein of Koigu was more useful than half a skein. (Seriously--what can you make with half a skein of Koigu? It's not even enough for baby booties.)

I guess that I must knit lace pretty tightly, though, because the shawl was not as big as I'd hoped, even though I blocked as "severely" as I could, as the pattern instructs. Probably the full 10 repeats in my gauge would have been just right, even though January One's 10-repeat shawl looks totally huge. I also found the I-cord edging to be somewhat fiddly; I probably should have cast off more tightly because the top edge of the shawl is much stretchier than the rest of the shawl, as you can see in the second picture. If I undo the edging, I may just bust into that third skein and knit the remaining repeats.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back home, although I was really unenthused about going back to school yesterday. The good thing to look forward to is that I should be done in about a month and a half! The rate at which time is flying by is just overwhelming . . . !


Blogger caitlyn said...

Welcome back! I can't wait to see the photos and hear more about your trip.
The shawl is a beauty!!

3/27/2007 3:06 PM  

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