Friday, January 22, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Do you remember my plans to knit the glorious Princess Shawl? I began dreaming about it as soon as I saw the pattern....but then had to wait until it was rereleased in 2008 before I could actively begin pursuing it. Unfortunately, I let myself be completely intimidated by the pattern...and it would then be January of 2009 before I ordered the pack of sample yarns recommended by Heirloom Knitting. I fell in love as soon as they arrived...but then dithered around and never made a decision about which one I wanted. One was out immediately because of the yellow cast to it...but that left two beautiful little skeins of yarn, each as lovely as the next. I did a bit of swatching (read," a very little bit") and then let it sit...all while I was being teased more and more by my friends in the guild about the project that wasn't.

My Princess shawl came up again at my last guild meeting. Fortunately, I had pulled my swatches out a few days earlier to reclaim one of the needles, and so had recently laid eyes on them. As we discussed the whole mess, and as I started to list the reasons why I was leaning towards one of the yarns, my friend Shelda said, "You sound like a woman who's already made up her mind." I thought about it, and realized she was right. After a quick perusal of Princesses on Ravelry, I made my decision.

This afternoon I ordered five wee skeins of Heirloom Knitting's Gossamer Merino. Why the Merino and not the CashSilk? I do have some good reasons.
  • The Merino was actually the more pleasant yarn to work with during the swatching. The Cashsilk had a dreadful tendency to well as the fact that it pushed the envelope on what was too fine for me.
  • When I pulled the swatches out, the Merino swatch was the one that I was actually drawn to. It's quite fetching!
  • Likewise, there are now several completed Princess Shawls in the Merino on Ravelry, and they were GORGEOUS! In fact, of all the finished Princesses, I thought they were the best.
  • Merino - being a nice wool - is kin to the original yarn that would have been used for this type of shawl.
  • Likewise, wool is most likely going to hold up better for the long haul than a cashmere/silk blend.
  • The only thing the CashSilk really had going for it was the sheen, and I don't really NEED shiny.
  • The Cashsilk is soooo very fine that you must add two extra repeats of the feathers in order to make the full sized shawl. This is a problem for the following two reasons.
  • It makes an already huge project that much bigger (and more daunting) and
  • It throws the balance of the design way out of whack as it makes the center panel much bigger as well. I've seen pictures of one of these on Ravelry, and was very turned off by it. One of the things that attracts me so well to lace patterns is the overall sense of balance, and I think the Princess completely looses that with the extra feathers.
  • Finally, the Merino was less expensive, and by choosing it I was also able to order Heirloom's most recent limited edition pattern! (Because I'm flippin nuts....)

SO, now my job is to get back to swatching with the merino on hand so that I'm ready to begin just as soon as the yarn gets here. I would like to actually be able to show my guild friends progress at the next meeting! Having said that, however, don't go expecting a finished shawl anytime soon. This is DEFINITELY a long-term project.

PS. I found a group on Ravelry a month or so ago called Knitting Everest 2010...and I joined for this project. Felt appropriate!


Jenn said...

Yeah! You didn't mention this today (not top of the list of catch up topics...) Can't wait to see!

Anne said...

You can do it tho - I feel 100% sure. You know how... just one stitch at a time and then it's done. :)

Paula said...

I can't imagine you being intimidated by any lace project. It will be fun to see you progress.