I think I’ve just knit the fastest shawl of my life.
About 2/3 weeks ago, one of my first cousins was diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer. (First cousin as in proximity…not as in that I expect to have second, third or more cousins diagnosed with cancers). As soon as I finished the deadline knitting I had at the time, I knew I wanted to make something special for her, both to let her know she was in my thoughts, and also to (hopefully) be useful. I ruled out a chemo cap because it will be a few weeks before she starts chemo/radiation, and I don’t know how sensitive her head will be once she loses her hair. Instead, I decided to knit her a shawl to help keep her warm during the chemo treatments, or just to make her feel pretty and special.
After investigating my stash and doing some browsing on Ravelry, I decided to go with the Summer Lace Shawlette, a free pattern from Interweave Knits and Knitting Daily. My cousin’s favorite color is red, and while I didn’t have any appropriate red yarn on hand, I did have some deep pink yarn in the appropriate gauge. The yarn is Tannis Fiber Arts’ sock yarn from one of Robyn’s Robyn’s Nest sock club kits, and the colorway is called E=MC2. I feel like the pink color works perfectly for a breast cancer shawl (and it’s October too…does that qualify as ironic?)
I cast on Monday, September 29th when I got home from the first night of Rosh Hashana dinners with my family. (Happy New Year to any Jewish readers, by the way!). This photo (above) shows the colorway pretty accurately, as well as my total progress by bedtime that night.
And the next photo?
This is the completed, finished, done shawl, blocking on FRIDAY night. Friday. Monday to Friday. 5 days to go from sock yarn to shawl. I’m stunned.
It was an (obviously) fast knit, easily memorized. I extended the body section by 8 rows because I had enough yarn and wanted a longer shawl.
Note: if you decide to make this, and to make it longer than called for, you have to pay attention to how many rows you add. The final border is worked on a certain number of sts for the lace repeat, and by adding 8 rows (and thus 4 extra stitches on each side) I didn’t have enough to extend the lace section. That meant that when ready to knit the 8 lace rows along the bottom edge (right before the bottom seed st border), I had to work the border as usual, then knit 4 plain sts in stockinette stitch before starting my lace pattern. Had I just started the lace at the beginning of the row (after the border) and decided to “wing it”, the lace never would have matched up along the center lace panel that has already been established. Ask me how I found this out! As you can see from the photos, it doesn’t look so bad having a little stockinette stitch gap on either end of the lace border. If it really bothers you, just make sure to add enough rows (1 stitch added at each end on every rs row) to be able to work an extra lace repeat before it would normally start.
Same shawl, same lighting. I just threw in a light bulb for scale. I’ll take some better photos when it is good and dry and I can unpin it.