So it looks like my unfortunate brush with Fate did not permanently ruin Christmas and I am happy to announce that all of my urgent gift knitting is finished and ready to ship.
I am having a really really really hard time letting this one go. But you know, it's a bit ornate for my personal taste, so I should just get over it already.
I've said it before and I'm sure you'll hear me say it again: lace knitting is magical. While you're knitting, it feels like you're handling a pile of cooked noodles, but once you soak that sucker in warm water and pin the shit out of it, it transforms into the most amazing fabric you'll ever see or feel. This is alpaca and silk, so you can just imagine... Delicious. And I still have a ball and a quarter of it left, so mama's getting a new scarf! (I mean ME, of course. My mother is already getting this shawl, so she's not getting a new scarf.)
I should probably mention (this will go in my Ravelry notes, too) that if you have never knit lace, this is NOT the type of project to start with. I attended a lace knitting class a couple of months ago and I am not sure I could have made this shawl without having learned some very crucial points from the teacher. Even just reading the chart takes some getting used to, never mind all the new types of decreases/double decreases. If you're interested in lace, start small and work your way up. And don't use lace weight yarn on your first time out of the gate. Fingering is thin enough to get the effect and is much easier on the hands, not to mention the eyes. And acrylic is a no-no. Lace must be blocked and acrylic doesn't really block.
This type of lace knitting isn't really done for enjoyment or entertainment - it's actually kind of gruelling. I must have gotten lost and/or missed stitches at least 25 times. It takes a lot of concentration and vigilance. The teacher told us this at the seminar and I didn't believe her until I tried it. She was totally right - my neck and shoulder muscles are screaming at me.
Having said that, this pattern is incredibly beautiful (am still totally shocked that I have created something so stunning) and very well-written. I don't know how the designer did it, but it's perfect. I am in total awe.
And the softness and sheen of the yarn is gorgeous beyond description. I can't wait to make myself that scarf.
My mom is going to totally love this thing.