Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hi -- I'm Emily in British Columbia. I haven't done much lace knitting before the Icarus shawl, but I really love this pattern -- or, I guess I should say, I love the photo of the finished product, but whether I'll ever get there.....

First I chose a lovely soft green lace yarn, but the owner of the yarn store (who knows how much of a 'fidget factor' I've got) said that she thought the kazillion rows of mostly plain knitting would kill me. So I decided to try one of those gorgeous Hand Maiden 'painted' yarns, thinking that the color changes would make the plain knitting bearable.

Well, I got on the plane for a long trip, and 20 rows into Icarus I could see that the color variations were too large: the shawl was coming out striped in a way that really detracted from the lace pattern. Woe! What am I going to do with those 3 very expensive skeins?

But I found a yarn store while on holidays, and bought 3 skeins of Kid Seta (mohair/silk) in a multicolor that works well for this pattern. [How do I post a photo? I'm totally new to blogging!]

So now I am home from my holiday, and into the 4th repeat on Chart 1... these rows take almost 20 minutes to knit! And it is boring... I am thinking that I will skip the 5th repeat of chart 1, as the shawl is already quite large. And thanks everyone for mentioning that the yarn yardage might be skimpy. I've only got 690 yards, so I guess I'm likely to come up short anyway. Now if I can just remember the name of that store where I bought this yarn....
I'm onto row 5 of Chart 4, and could use some kind words about light at the end of the tunnel, and so forth.

I need to have this finished and blocked by next Friday, at the latest, so that I can come through with my promise of a hand-knitted, hand-dyed lace shawl for a silent auction for a fundraiser.

No pressure.

It is good to see all the pictures of the beautiful, completed Icaruses.
Hey KALsters!

We've been mentioned in the latest edition of Knit News, the email newsletter from Interweave Knits!

If you've just found us through Knit News, welcome. If you're interested in signing up, you can find out how by clicking here.

Thanks for visiting, and happy knitting.

Finished! Blocked! But warning to y'all: Leave enough yarn for a loose loose bind off! I ran out of yarn in the middle of a tight bind off, then finished up with an even tighter crochet-style bind off. As you may be able to see, the points didn't block out and I have more of a scalloped edge. Oh well, it's still soft and pretty and light as air.
I used three skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, every inch. I used size 5 needles instead of size 3 needles. And I only did three repeats of chart one instead of the five repeats called for in the pattern.
More here on my blog.
Thank you all for the inspiration, ideas, fabulous photos, and great advice.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You've got to be kidding me.

This is Icarus. Icarus in Row 2 of the edging instructions. Icarus running out of yarn.

Sure, I only had 875 yards to begin with. Sure, I went up a needle size. But I wasn't supposed to run out of yarn. *pout*

Okay, in reality, it's not so bad. I'll do the next two rows and the bind off in some pale blue alpaca laceweight.

I think that should be nice, don't you?


Sorry to you new KALsters whose information still isn't in the sidebar, and to those of you who have finished but haven't been noted in the sidebar. This will be remedied soon.
Hi Everyone, my name is Doris and I've just started this shawl. It's going to be my first "serious" lace project. I have to say that I've started over about 4 times because by the time I reach row 11 in Chart 1, there is usually a mistake. Hmm, I hope that some folks have some tips for fixing lace since I hope to get past row 11 someday and somehow I can't imagine frogging back all the way to the beginning. Anyhow, nice to meet all of you and hope to have some nice progress soon to show everyone.

Monday, August 28, 2006

almost done with chart three!!!!!!!!

I see the light at the end of the tunnel. After frogging the beginging of chart 2 like 9e8r983983989384 times, finally some progress. The rows seriously take me like 15 minutes to do now, but almost done!
Knitting Math and The Intrepid Knitter

I sat and looked at my shawl.
I recounted stitches.
I weighed the ball again,
I read the pattern over.

Nothing changed.

The math doesn't lie. There isn't enough yarn to finish.

So what's an intrepid knitter to do? I'm altering the pattern. If I dismiss knitting rows 1-8 of Chart Four the feathers may line up close enough to make it work. This requires some tweeking with increases but it should leave me enough yarn. I've used just over a gram per row in the last few rows.

So instead of 24+ rows remaining I'd have 16+ rows. My yarn ball weighs 24 grams. I also have a swatch that weighs 2 grams. If it comes down to the last row - I can frog the swatch.

Hopefully I'll have pictures up of the shawl soon. We're having technical issues with the digital camera.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hey hey. Guess what I learned last week?

I learned to count to 7!

See what happened next?

Icarus got her (his?) first set of feather ends. Here's a closer look

As you may recall, I've decided to make this more of a feathered cape look than have just one set of feather ends....

She'd be even bigger had I not then started the next tier of feathers offset by half a feather width. Oops. I WANTED them offeset, but wound up knitting them even.


And may I say how much I LOVE this yarn which is showing ZERO signs of wear despite repeated trips to the frog pond? I am so psyched!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Icarus is off the needles. Note I didn't say it was finished, just off the needles. I began experiencing acute pain in my forearm while knitting on Icarus and finally decided that it was time to swallow my knitterly pride and admit defeat.
After completing chart 3, rather than proceeding to chart 4, I did a row of yarn over, knit two together (to mimic the eyelet across the top edge) and then two rows of plain knit. I ran a scrap yarn through all the live stitches and slipped them off the needle. I am now in the process of adding a knit-on lace edging to the live stitches along the bottom. This edging should give the shawl a finished look (if you didn't read the pattern and know better!) and give my poor arm a break. I wish I had the fortitude to stick it out for all of Icarus. This is a gorgeous pattern. My modified Icarus will still be lovely, however, and I am looking forward to it's completion.
See more of my work on Icarus and other knitting endeavors on my knit blog.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ta da! I'm done, and I'm so relieved. For awhile there, things weren't looking so good.

I picked Icarus for my Amazing Lace Project. As soon as that Interweave hit the shelves in the Spring, I just fell for that shawl. It reminded me, not of a boy who got his wings fried off and crashed to the sea, but of a butterfly. My favorite t-shirt when I was a kid had a butterfly, and in looking back on childhood pictures, I was always wearing a huge smile along with that butterfly t-shirt. So, I "swatched" lilac Zephyr and cast-on. When I say "swatched" I mean that I didn't swatch for gauge, but for the fabric that I wanted. So, I began knitting . . . then I began sleeping . . . and then I got distracted. That first chart is such a bore to knit I just wasn't sure I would get through it.

Then, I resolved in August to get some unfinished projects off the needles, and I designated Icarus just such a project. I took it up with new resolve. However, when I did, I noticed a HOLE in a yarn over column. How could that have happened??? I inspected it closely - it was no moth hole, and believe you me, I know I moth hole when I see it. Then, I remembered - for one of my Amazing Lace Challenges (the one where you had to hide you knitting in a photo a la Where's Waldo), I had smooshed up Icarus into a ball, and hooked it to my toilet paper roll (because that's about how I was feeling about it at the time). I must have poked a hole. What a moron! Anyway, I darned up the hole - its close to the top, and my hair kind of falls over it anyway.

Chart 3, Chart 4 and the edging are much more interesting - and I found myself getting curiouser and curiouser about how the thing was going to look. I began knitting at furious pace- and, just before bind off - I ran out of yarn. Geesh. Could this project be fraught with more obstacles? Luckily, my LYS had just enough left on the cone to allow me to finish it off.

During the hate period of my love/hate relationship with Icarus, I thought about gifting it when I was done. But, now, I don't want to part with it - and I really need to cook up a fancy night on the town so I can wear my wings!

Good luck to everyone - especially those plowing through Chart 1 - hang in there - it's so worth it!
I have finished my Icarus, look att my blog:
I have used flax about 200g of 16/2 and needles 3.0
It is so soft and cosy and I really recommend you to use flax in your next project!!
If you want to have som translation, please ask and I will write in english!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here's Icarus, nearing the end of Chart 2. If you look over on my blog, and peer closely at the top of the knitting, where you can see the cable from my needle, there are the beginnings of the feathers that make up the edge of the shawl.

You'll have to look closely, or use a magnifying glass; I was afraid to pull the knitting taut enough to really show the detail. The last time I put photographic excellence ahead of knitting, I spent about an hour ripping and putting stitches back on to the needle.

I'm still loving the colors, and the response to the yarn. I was knitting while wiating to go in to a doctor's appointment, and a woman walked up to me and exclaimed "what beautiful yarn!" Yup, I made it myself. Koolaid dyed, very easy to do, color fast. Yes, she agreed, while she hadn't done any yarn dying, she knew from trying to get Koolaid stains out of her kids' clothes that it is very colorfast indeed.

If one was counting, one might note that after the last two rows of Chart 2, all that will be left to do are charts 3 and 4. And because one is resisting the temptation to make this competitive, there has been an effort to avoid counting said rows. However, eyeballing it, I'd say I have about 35 rows or so to go. Yeah!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wow, those last 12 rows seemed so long!

Yesterday, I finished Chart 4 - and today the last four rows. She's done.

icarus - done - before blocking

She was about 28 inches down the center line before blocking - after 34 - and almost 70 across the back. I added some carmel brown glass beads the same way that Miriam did on her original Icarus -on the purl stitch above the 4yo's. I'm quite happy about them. Sparkly - but not trashy.

This is the first time I've got to use my new blocking wires - what a treat! Here's a couple of shots:

Icarus - blocking shot 1

Icarus - blocking shot 2

Can't wait for it to dry and let her fly!

For the knit geek in all of us:

Knit-Wise Cashmere (2ply) 4 - 25g skeins - 800m (only 5 grams left) Garnet Red colour. Made in Scotland - available through YarnForward in Ottawa.

3.25 mm needles - It knits around 30 sts per 4 inches - but softens and relaxes to about 28 after wash.

Unblocked: about 28 inches down center spike - blocked - 34. I could have blocked it *more agressively* to size - but I liked the way it was looking - without being strained.

Thanks Miriam!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I've been loving this shawl, especially in the Aziza yarn (tencel from Just Our Yarn). However, I have already modified the pattern once, since I really hate having points at my butt... I found moving the "center" increase lines was easy, and I was able to incorporate them into the natural yo lines in the pattern.

Here she is, as seen on my regular blog, draped over the table lamp:

Now I'm starting to question my sanity -- I'm wanting to add more "layers" of feathers. This, of course, will mean that this isn't really an Icarus Shawl anymore, but would still use only Icarus charts.... I have this vision of a feathered cape...

someone stop me... or cheer me on....

Off to insert a life line so that if I try this and it's dreadful, I can frog in comfort...
Just posting a little progress report...
End of Chart 1
I am two rows shy of being done with chart 1. I'm afraid of running out of yarn, so I left lifelines at the 5th and 4th repeats. Hopefully I won't have to frog back! I can't wait for the really juicy stuff in the remaining charts!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I have finished Icarus! I am so amazed at what the blocking does for the whole process. So is my husband - he just couldn't see how my big lump of knitting was going to look anything like the photo in the magazine.

I made this for my mom's birthday, which is today, and I completed it Tues, blocked it Tues, and got it in the mail overnight to her yesterday.

Here is the shawl (no it isn't huge - it is being modeled by my 8YO DD). I added beads to the edging, like many other people - Thanks Miriam for the directions on how to do this!

I started this project on June 26, and finished on Aug 15. I have to admit I neglected my family as much as they would let me during this last week, and I definitely neglected my house. I used a 80/20 Mohair/Nylon yarn by Filatura Di Crosa in a dark red. It turned out to look great, but was very hard to fix problems because it was so fuzzy and didn't frog very well.

I am hoping someday to make another one of these for myself. Someday...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I am starting Chart 2 and hope someone who's worked past this point can help.

Should the second YO in the pattern repeat of row 1 of Chart 2 line up with the center stitch of the K2tog, YO, center stitch, YO, SSK of Chart 1? and if not, do the Yos in Chart 2 line up with anything in particular from Chart 1?

Does that make sense? Basically, I'm wondering if I should see the long lacy lines from Chart 1 continue, or line up symmetrically or not with the edging?


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Finally, I am up and running with this pattern! I bought some laceweight yarn in lavender from the Knittery (web digs here:

I have had some trials and tribulations to start with (this is my first laceweight pattern) but I think I understand what is going on with the first chart.
Here is the link to my blog entry about it:

I will be checking in with you all for the help I'll undoubtedly need as I go along...

Monday, August 14, 2006

I have finished Chart 4 and am starting to work on the edging, and I have only gotten one time through the first repeat (of 18) in row 1 and it doesn't seem to be lining up. I counted my stitches, and I have the right number (it kinda amazes me that I didn't mess up somewhere). I am afraid to just forge ahead, and then frog if it isn't right, because the yarn is mohair, and very sticky - hard to undo. I guess I will try to do the math in my head and see how it works before I progress.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any input?


Ooops, I figured it out - Brain Malfunction! I was adding the k5, k2tog,k4 between the * and the [ into the rest of the stuff inside the brackets. Off I charge!
After getting deeply bogged down in the 5th repeat of chart 1 , I'm finally done and have already ripped back 4 rows of chart 2 .
I have no idea whatI did that went so badly wrong but here's hoping it doesnt't happen again !
Thinking it was the early morning (woke at t 3am and couldn't return to sleep ) tha tinduced a knitting fog ..of sorts !

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Greetings everyone! This is a first for me - first time joining a KAL, first time really trying lace (and charts), first time dying yarn.. how fun! Anyhow, since everyone loves pictures, here's a photo of mine.

The yarn is KnitPicks "Paint Your Own," dyed with KoolAid. I'm actually a little bit further along than this, and am in my second repeat of rows 19-42 of the first chart. I feel like it's going slowly though - I find that my wrists keep getting sore, and I have to take rest breaks. This doesn't happen when I'm knitting anything else, so I'm not sure what it is that I'm doing differently here? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to seeing everyone else's progress!

I'm finally starting to make some progress; the white line represents the completion of the first repeat. I'm trying not to think about how much knitting is left, but just keep knitting.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

On a break...


As in, the doctor thinks I might have broken my hand. Specifically one of the bones that helps the pinkie of my yarn holding hand work. Specifically, the pinkie that holds the yarn when I knit or crochet.

So, I'm on a break for a while. All puns intended.

I had fallen about two and a half weeks ago, almost three, and thought I had only sprained the wrists or maybe broken a scaphoid. Okay, that takes a few weeks to heal. But since I'm very pregnant, healing is going to take longer. I have 6 weeks to heal up before I can start expecting Bitty's arrival. The scaphoids came back negative. So did the wrist. But when my doc examined my hand today, I just about jumped out of my chair when he pressed one spot. So he suspects a fracture because the finger is still numb and it isn't getting any better.


And I wanted to get Iky done before I had Bitty...

So, up early in the morning - to knitting I go. It's really slow now - with almost 30 minutes per row. Yup - almost 30 minutes per row. Not that I'm a slow knitter - I just want to make sure that I don't goof up. Here's a shot (in natural light) of Chart two being complete:

Icarus - end of chart two

The garnet colour is closer in this photo - however that carpet is a mid-carmel colour... it's hard to get the colour exactly right.

After supper - and yes it's about 30 minutes per row... I'm about to start row 12 of Chart three. I think the last 30 rows are going to take me a week to complete! That's not too bad - makes about three weeks to do a shawl. I'll have to go and investigate blocking wires...

Here's the overexposed picture - but you can sure see the feathers developing!

Icarus - almost at end of chart three

Friday, August 11, 2006

All Strings Considered

When I got the Interweave Knits magazine in June I looked longingly at Icarus and thought, "I'll never be able to make that." Then I started following this KAL and found my own courage in all of yours. I cast it on at the end of July using a buttery soft rusty red 100% alpaca laceweight I purchased from Birgitta Nostring of All Strings Considered. I am knitting fearlessly now, bolstered up by others' tales of lifelines and frogging as well as their triumphant thrills of accomplishment when the feathers emerge. The internet is a wonderful thing!

Had to frog back 7 rows to my lifeline last night. My own stupidity, but thank goodness I was able to recover nicely. I am doing an extra repeat of Chart 1 because I love larger shawls. Using KP Shadow in Oregon Coast. I am so relieved that I was able to recover because I couldn't have lived with my mistakes. Everyone's shawls are so lovely!
Happy Knitting!
Sue J.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

This is my first post, although I have been working on Icarus since the end of June. This is my first lace project. I am making it for my mother, whose birthday is Aug 17 - one week from today. I have just finished up chart 3, and am thrilled to see the feathers emerging.

I am hoping to clean house tomorrow, and spend the weekend knitting my fingers raw to get this done by Sunday night, block on Monday/Tuesday and get in the mail Priority by Wed. It may be a day late, but my mom won't mind.

I want to add beads - I have some beautiful ones already picked out, and I have read other posts about adding beads, but have not been able to mentally figure out where people have put them. I would appreciate any input (with detailed instructions) on where in the pattern people put their beads.

It is so wonderful to see everyone else's shawl emerging, and realize that the blocking really does make this mass of yarn look so fantastic.

I need some support!

So I am in chart 2. I had to frog back to the last bit of chart one to fix a mistake I made and now I am just messing up all over the place. Somehow I ended up doing the k2tog of the k2tog yf k1 ssk part 2 sts before I should have and I created another hole. I tried to fix it and well I just f%^$ed it up more. Gah. It's just a little bit of a hole, but I am just messing up all over the place. Now when I did my first row of chart 2 somehow I ended up missing two sts on one of the repeats.

I am thinking about just frogging back to the part where you repeat rows 19-34 of chart one and doing it right. But the froggin physically pains me.


Encouraging words please. I feel like I shall never leave chart 1 and I don't want this to be something I just stop knitting.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My first post here, though I've been working on Icarus for several weeks now. I am finally into the fifth repeat of chart one, but progress is very, very slow. I hate to work only part of a row, so I don't pick it up unless I'm fairly certain I can complete at least one whole row in a sitting.

I do love the pattern. It is easy enough to knit without being boring. As I am sure you have all encountered, the rows are a tad bit LONG. Can't wait until it's done!
I am using Alpaca With a Twist, Fino, 70% baby alpaca 30% silk, color #0098. It is beautiful to work with. It is light and airy but has a nice weight to it as well. Very enjoyable!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just a few pictures of my finished Icarus:

Blocking really shows off the detail:

The yarn is Great Adirondack's Serino and the shawl used about 1200 yards. It's big and soft and beautiful and was a lot of fun to knit. I took it to my LYS today and the owner who sold me the yarn was impressed. I've already purchased Miriam's pattern for the Seraphim Shawl and am looking for the right yarn for that.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hello. I've just joined the KAL and am excited to get started. I have my pattern and ordered the yarn a couple days ago. I'm anxious for it to arrive so I can get started. This will be my second lace piece I've knitted. The yarn I ordered is Lorna's Laces, Helen's Lace. It's a variegated blue colorway. Blue is my favorite color. I'm a little bit nervous about the variegated bit, but we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to seeing all your beautiful work.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Icarus - starting to slow down

Hello, this will be my first post - crossposted to the Icarus knitalong.

I started a week ago with some Cashmere from Yarnforward in Ottawa. Garnet coloured.

I’m technically 1.5 repeats away from moving to chart two. Funny how it doesn’t seem that it will be “big enough” :) It’s also taking longer to do a row (I’m close to 300 stitches)

Icarus - close to the end of chart one

I’m looking forward to going onto the next chart. There are so many beautiful shawls on this site!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally figured out what to do after the first 42 rows of chart 1!

I like to understand things completely. With Icarus being my first Lace project other than a scarf, I was in need of lace pattern directions broken down into quarks and atoms before pressing forward.

Directions say: Repeat rows 19-42 of chart 1 five more times for 342 sts. See Notes for how to adjust size at this point.
Notes say: For larger or smaller shawl, work rows 19-42 of chart 1 more or fewer times before finishing chart 1 by working rows 19-34.

Whut? Uber confusing.
Ok, I get that this sentence is to describe that increasing accordingly will make the shawl longer and wider, but how exactly to increase? According to these directions... had me a boggled.

Having already invested 42 rows (with some additional tortureous rows of ripping back and reknitting to deal with dropped sts), it was time to sit down with pencil and paper and take a closer look at the pattern.

Addition of another section for clarity would have helped me here. Something like, "for each of these five repeats, DOUBLE the two 12 sts pattern repeats at the odd numbered rows" so that:

At the end of the first section of rows 18-42 repeat, adding in two repeats of the pattern box you should then have:
2 pattern box repeats = 24 sts on each side of the center, 48 sts added, 151 sts
4 pattern box repeats = 48 sts on each side of the center, 96 sts added, 199 sts
6 pattern box repeats = 72 sts on each side of the center, 144 sts added, 247 sts
8 pattern box repeats = 96 sts on each side of the center, 192 sts added, 295 sts
10 pattern box repeats = 120 sts on each side of the center, 240 sts added, 343 sts

Having the pattern broken down this way allowed me to see how exactly I didn't need to follow along and end up with 343, how I could still go on to futz with the numbers of pattern box repeats in my way, and still keep the shawl shaping.

I hope this helps out someone else out stuck in the same spot.
"Giving one pair to his son, he cautioned him that flying too near the sun would cause the wax to melt."...

Should have read

"Placing one shawl in the washing machine to spin out the water, she should have been warned it would cause the wool to felt."

I now have a very slightly felted Icarus Shawl. I'm rather upset, but I did it myself so I can't blame anyone but my stupidity. I now have a rather warmer version of the shawl. It didn't seem to shrink at all. It just lost some stitch definition. I used some Knitpicks Dye-Your-Own yarn, and size 2 needles. The fabric was quite dense to begin with for me, also.

Here's the whole thing. It's rather large. My rug was barely large enough.

Close up detail. You can see the slight color change from where I had to dye new yarn.
Today is about Knitting and Not Blogging.

Next to last day of vacation.

Yoga this morning, lunch with a friend, and two one-act plays by Pinter and Albee tonight. I hope that Lollapalooza traffic does not result in hours trying to get into the city. I usually like to drive, but this time I'm sitting in the passenger seat and working on Icarus in order to distract myself from the bumper-to-bumper Friday night rush hour.

I'd take the train, which I love to do. But the theater is on the other side of the city, and so far, we have not become quite urban enough to take the train and then take a cab to our destination.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Click here for a few more pictures.

Thanks so much for this KAL. It was nice to have all this support and encouragement!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What the heck is wrong with me?

I am in chart 2 (woohoo!) and for some reason I missed a YO 2 rows down. I tried fixing it without tinking back. But I am thinking I am going to have to.

I am so pissed. Because it doesnt look right now with the itty bitty mistake in it. Plus i will know it is there.

How the hell do you fix a missed YO? I lost like 2 stitches there!

I took Helen's advice and did a swatch, after completing two rounds of Chart 1. And yes, I have been knitting too tightly.

So here's my progress, after switching to a size 4 needle. It's much easier to knit; the stockinette parts look prettier, even before blocking; and I'm moving faster through the charts.

Today it was over 100 degrees in Chicago, heat index of 110. Good weather for staying indoors and knitting. Even my dog didn't want to be outside.

Icarus is done but for the blocking. I finished the knitting sometime last night. The cast off was fun (I'd never done this one before) but took a lot longer than I thought it would. I ended up adding beads to the patterned areas and along the cast off edge. Hopefully they will show after blocking. Right now they are hidden.

I hope to block this within the next few days and will post pictures of the finished shawl. In the meantime, I started the Swallowtail Shawl from the new Interweave. It's a breeze after the long rows of Icarus.