Yesterday I finished my first knitted shawl, and I'm in love!
It's a free pattern called The Traveling Companion Shawl, supposedly because it has enough repetitious work to take with you on the road. There are no charts to read and keep your place in until you get to the lace border - which I definitely don't recommend a new lace knitter attempt while traveling. I learned that from experience.
I used an acrylic yarn instead of the wool yarn the pattern calls for. I would definitely recommend using wool, simply because it can be blocked easily to the correct dimensions. When mine came off my needles, it was much smaller than I expected. It fit my 6-year-old daughter quite well. I was secretly horrified, wondering if I would ever get it adult-sized by steam blocking (the only kind of blocking that works with acrylic).
Yes, it worked! I was so thrilled to see that it stretched out perfectly when I pinned it to the correct dimensions. I think mine is just a tad under the pattern dimensions, but I'm thrilled at how well it came out.
These pictures aren't the best, but it's terribly difficult to take a picture of a shawl on yourself in the mirror. You can get the idea, though. :)
I started this shawl in February, got bogged down in the lace trelllis section, and put it on hold until last week when I felt like picking it back up.
If you're not on Ravelry, you wouldn't have access to my project page, so I'll post my modification here in case you want to try this shawl ...
In the 2nd Lace Trellis Section, I worked a row 4 of purling as well,
instead of just rows 1-3 as the pattern states. After adding in the row
4, it went much better and even looked better. (Perhaps I just
misunderstood how the pattern was written and you’re supposed to do
this, but I’m a very literal pattern-follower.)
I'd love to know if you have any favorite knitted shawl patterns. Now that I've done one, I'm not so scared of them. I have two of them lined up right now that will probably go into my gift stash, but I'm always looking for good ideas!