It's taken a while - I originally cast it on on 15th February, and cast off last week (had to wait for this week to block it though) but the lace shawl is finally finished!
I'm really pleased with it. It's my first "proper" lace shawl, using laceweight yarn, although in May 2007 I made a Diamond Fantasy Shawl in 4ply yarn. This one is the Aeolian Shawl, from Knitty, on 3.25mm needles. I used 85g from a 100g skein of Clicky Needles merino silk laceweight yarn, purchased on holiday last year at Miju Wools near Gloucester Cathedral.
I mostly followed the pattern for the shawl (there are also instructions for a shawlette), although I left the nupps out. Apparently there is also an alternative plainer edging to try, but I didn't find that!
By the end each row was taking most of an hour to knit. One row had so many beads and fiddly bits on that it took 2.5 hours! This is it when I cast it off:
I gave it a bath in the washing up bowl before blocking. I used a free sample of "Soak", which I'd acquired somewhere along the line. It smells really nice, and I liked not having to rinse it out afterwards! I squidged it as dry as possible with a towel after its bath. Soak does now seem to be available in this country, although it's rather expensive! (the Little Knitting Company and Tangled Yarn both stock it). I usually use Ecover Delicate for washing handknitted things. I have noticed the Lakeland now stocks Eucalan, another no rinse one, but, again, it's expensive. Plus, I'm not sure of the ethics of transporting what is basically laundry liquid across the glove! Ecover is made in Belgium and France.
Then I settled down upstairs for a bit of blocking, along with some catching up with the Archers and a Herdy mug of tea.
Oh, and my new blocking kit, courtesy of Little Houndale Knits.
And this is it blocked! I had to squeeze it in a bit, as it only just fits on the spare bed (which is a Queen size). I used a combination of the blocking wires (I'm glad I got the flexible ones) and then pins on all the pointy bits. And, of course, it is SO much bigger!
A few close up shots, I couldn't resist taking.
So, there you go. I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to wear it. I think it would be great with a summer dress, but today is probably the last hot day of the year, so it might need to wait a while...
I've really enjoyed knitting it, although I'm also looking forward to knitting lots of other things now I haven't got huge long rows of lace to get through!