Percy Shawl was brought up by a dear friend while browsing Ravelry. She loved the frost flower motif and suggested that we make it TKA's next project. Most of us agreed, fascinated by the frost flower, too.
Actually, I've been wanting to knit frost flower since I saw Frost Flowers and Leaves, but I was a novice knitter, very new to lace, and knitting lace on both sides was very intimidating.
I had recently finished a very big project Mandala II for my mother's birthday, which she loves very much, thank God, and I was knitting a bunch of roses just for the heck of it. What I really need was a new project. Something not too big, not too complicated for it's summer in Taiwan and we're at 36 degrees C everyday with NO afternoon thunderstorms, strangely, which should happen as it's a typical sub-tropical summer weather, which means no knitting or no advanced knitting during the day. Anyway, I had to start Percy for we're having it as a KAL and I want a shawlette and I think I have just the yarn for it: Malabrigo Lace.
I have quite a few colors in my stash, blue color family mostly and a little of the color Holly Hock, with which I knitted a Spring Tulips Stole for my trip to Paris last June. I had 4 skeins and used about 2.24 on STS. Although I preferred to use a new color, but eventually settled with Holly Hock. Kind of get-it-out-of-my-sight plus destash-y decision, not that I dislike the color. I LOVE it!
Usually I use a swift and ball winder to wind my yarn, but this time, due to laziness (of taking out the gadgets and setting up), I hand wound it. I was actually quite proud of myself for finally managed to make quite a nice ball!
A Malabrigo hand-wound yarn ball, looks equally nice and soft and fluffy in a ball as it is in a skein or knitting.
Set up rows of Percy
Chart A went on smoothly and I liked the pattern. I thought it a different one until I saw it in knitting, and I liked this better than the one I thought I was knitting! There's a curvy shape outside the little leaves or diamonds, which gives the pattern a softer look and enhanced by the red-purple color it looks even more romantic.
Set-up rows +Chart A
I was very careful while knitting Chart B. Experiences told me that knitting lace both sides requires concentration and good knitting environment. Chart B was knitted mostly at night when the air conditioning was on. I did knit a little during the day but almost everytime I did I ended up unravelling what I knit. Too darn hot. Stuffy mind. There weren't big errors but just...errors. I was knitting quite tightly with 4mm needles and unravelling was a bitch for the unravelled stitches were so tight and very difficult to move on the needles. I had to be very patient not to break the Malabrigo and everytime I finished unravelling a row, I had to take a shower. Somewhere halfway throught the first Chart B repeat, things got better and knitting went on much smoother and I was starting to enjoy knitting frost flowers. I decided to add one more repeat of frost flower before going on to Chart C. Knitting Chart B once doesn't do justice to this shawlette nor the frost flowers. I would've done two more repeats but I wanted a shawlette so one was suffice.
Chart B + 1 repeat
Nupps, strangely enough I hated them before. They gave me a hard time on the two Swallowtails I knitted a couple of years ago. The first one was hell for the yarn I used was too thin too slippery and as a novice lace knitter I knitted double stranded. Bad choice. The second one was better for I googled and searched and found some advice from other knitters and applied a slip 2 purlwise p3tog psso alternative for the nupps. I was quite pleased with the result but I certainly wanted to do it the "proper" way this time. I should say that I can appreciate nupps more for I was reading about Estonian lace knitting recently and discussion have been carried on among knitter friends. I also watched the demo Nancy Bush made on Knitting Daily regarding the nupps and decided to do it exactly as she did. And what do you know? Nupps and I are best friends now! Didn't know why I made such a fuss about it years ago...well, I have much more lace experiences now of course!
Chart C + Edging
Blocking was fun. Come to think of it, I haven't made a triangle shawl for quite a while! And I have more experiences with blocking now and hopefully I can block Percy beautifully. This is how it turned out:
I love the yos on both sides of the center stitch
I like how the frost flowers emerge from the center stitch...
I really love these nupps! I used to hate them, for they were a nightmare for me to make.
This shot gives the evidence of the nice and hot weather we're having here: bright blue sky,fiery sun (hiding behind my Percy) with a stifling breeze...
I really love this shawlette. Too bad I have to wait another 5 months to wrap it around my neck. That's why I don't have a modelled picture! I did, however, wrapped it around my neck in a air conditioned room, just to feel the Malabrigo, the frost flowers and the nupps! <3