Tuesday, 10 June 2014

FO: Orchid Thief Shawl

This was just one of those patterns.

It's the Orchid Thief by Ysolda.  It was so very lovely, and I've been wanting to make it for a while.  It came from a book called "Brave New Knits", which featured a host of well-established but young-ish knitwear designers, and wispy, winsome looking models.  To me, it was the perfect sized shawl- not so small that it would drape around your neck without always coming un-draped, no so large that it might be cumbersome and frumpy.

It also seemed to be rushed through production as the pattern had dozens of mistakes in it.  It seemed like the person who proof read this before printing was bit by a fox (blind drunk) or maybe had no idea what they were doing, or both.  I noticed right away that something wasn't right.  I found the errata online and I was able to get through it, and I went on for quite a bit with no issues, but then the instructions on row 86 made me put down the project and shove it into the darkest recesses of the couch for a week.  The transition from the lace diamond section to the leafy section at the bottom edge was driving me all sorts of batty, and I knit and it ripped it out several times.

Bonus Routemaster double-decker bus action!

Eventually, through a couple Ravelry searches, I found that everyone else was insane over this row as well, as the instructions were confounding and it is hard to tell where things should be lining up.  A few people took the time to actually write out the pattern by hand and were kind enough to share.  This is what saved me.  I ended up following the new instructions blindly as it was my very last chance to get this before I dumped gasoline on it and flamed the whole thing.

Well, it worked out.  If you make this, good luck with it and search around before you get to row 86.

The yarn is Sundara fingering Silky Merino in Summer Sangria.  It's dyed gorgeously, with tones of peach and apricot picking up the light.  It's my go-to yarn for shawls now, and a generous 500 yard skein means that I can do most small shawls with no yardage issues.  HOWEVER, I was tempted, as I am often, by doing another repeat of the small triangles as I thought I had PLENTY of yarn at that point.  I'm glad I didn't, as I wouldn't have.  This is why so many of my shawls have a contrasting stripe at the bind off.  For once, the urge to use up all the yarn was overcome by having a correct shawl of one solid color, and I'm very pleased with the results.    

The finished shawl, along with some tea and cakes, got shipped off to the USofA in a care package to someone in need of a pick-me-up.



  1. SO pretty! I need to learn how to knit (all I can do is a scarf!)
    Meghan :)

    1. Scarves are infinitely useful! It's pretty easy to graduate to slightly more complicated things. PS I'm riding again, it's fantastic. Miss you!

  2. Glad you persevered! It's gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! I love lacy little shawls like this. For gifts, anyway. They feel a little too froufy for me to wear.