An Obsession with Lace…

… is the reason why I haven’t yet sewn up Martha. So she’s still sitting there patiently in my knitting basket. The project that has stolen all of my attention is this thing on my couch. Can you guess what it is? The sidebar definitely leaves a clue…


Yes, I’m one of the couple of hundred apparently fearless persons who couldn’t resist the Princess Shawl from Heirloom Knitting. As far as I remember I bought the pattern in the beginning of May 2004 while I was living in Vercelli, Italy. I started it right away but it has been an on-and-off project ever since. It sees a lot of progress during the summer, especially during the Tour de France which I follow fanatically.


Here are some pictures of my progess so far. First a picture of the hole thing. My couch is approx. 2 meters long to give a sense of the scale.


Then a couple of pictures of the center triangle. I’m not halfway yet…



Next is a close-up of the 3 center feathers. As you can see there’s some puckering around the beginning of the center. A recent post on The Princess Diaries had me worrying about my gauge but I’ve decided to trust the knitting gods on this one. Basically the diaries is the blog I needed 2 years ago and didn’t have so I just did it. Began knitting. Made mistakes. Oh yes, I’ve frogged entire rows on the border. It’s just 865 stitches anyway…



This is a close-up of the edging and the border. Notice the difference in colour? Yes, I’m using different dyelots. I’m hoping it’ll disappear after the washing, otherwise I’ll have to find some tea bags… The reason I chose not to buy all the yarn at once was economical. I’m a student and didn’t have the money but wanted to get started anyway.

Another thing I might not have done right is the picking up of the infamous 865 stitches. I think but I don’t remember it exactly (this is exactly the reason for keeping a blog) that I knitted up the stitches. Does it matter? I hope not… The third thing I kind of messed up was reversing the increases and decreases on the equal rows on all of the edging and most of the border. That is, I did a ssk before an yo and a k2tog after a yo. Reading the instructions I somehow understood completely the opposite of what they really said. Still , it’s not really a mess up because it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Boy, blocking this thing is going to be exciting… Just one more close-up because I’m none the less proud of it!


I’ve been knitting it on two different sets of needles. The edging I knit on a pair of straight 2mm needles from Aero and the rest I’m knitting on these:


It’s a 2mm circular needle 40 cm long. I found it at a cleaning up sale at a supermarket close to my parents home and have no idea who made it. It is working fine besides one join being rather obnoxious but I can live with that because I’m using cotton. What really annoys me is the fact that I have to take it completely of the needles to really see the progress.

As I said the yarn is cotton, the DMC Crochet Cotton # 70 recommended in the pattern. Here is picture to give a sense of the thickness or should I say thinness? The other yarn is a fingering sock yarn, 220 m/50g.


Besides the economical motive and not having that many options I chose it because I knew the DMC Cotton from an earlier crochet project. It’s sturdy and washes well which I’m thankful for now after having dragged the shawl around Europe for a couple of years. Trust me, it gets dirty.


As a bonus I’ll throw in a picture of the crochet project. It’s a small doily the size of a saucer and I made a dozen of them. They are protecting my nice china saucers from each other in the cupboard. I made them by looking on a set of nine that my great grandmother’s sister made. I never knew her but got them from her niece, my grandmother.

In the end I think the Princess Shawl has been and continues to be a nice learning experience. Sure, there are a lot of things I would have done differently now but this is not the kind of project that gets completely frogged and reknitted. I’m crazy enough to do that with a sweater if I don’t find it perfect but not with this…

So next time I’ll do my homework…



One thought on “An Obsession with Lace…

  1. What an amazing shawl!! I have the pattern for the wedding ring shawl, but with all of the work knitting that I take on it may be awhile before I even buy the yarn for it. I’m leaning towards the silk. I look forward to reading your blog!

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