Although it does not scream anything about Alaska, this shawl will always be my memory shawl of my cruise to Alaska. It will remind me of planning and swatching and starting the knitting process, while in class with Amy Singer. I will remember pinning the swatch out on a towel on the glass coffee table in our stateroom, wondering what the stewards would think of it, but knowing they wouldn't touch it. Everything else around it would be spiffied up anytime we were out of the cabin, but they had a great instinct about what to tidy up and what not to touch.
I will remember sitting on the couch in that state room, starting the actual cast on. I will remember that stateroom getting too sway prone, one day of very rough seas, and going to a more midship area, sitting in the common area, knitting and trying to not really look at the waves. It was enough to feel them.
I will remember being thrilled with Amy's creativity to come up with several lace patterns that had names and concepts for Alaska. We were instructed to pick two and work out the arrangement, and then cast on at the point of the triangle. With steady increases, adding more and more motifs, we would have a shawl. Oh and just because this was Seasocks Cruise 2008, we were invited to make it in sock yarn. This actually was a novel concept to me, and I find I really like the resulting shawl's drape and feel.
So in keeping with the theme, I knit a shawl shaped like a whale tail:
Here's a photo unpinned and draped:
I've worn it once, and find I like that extra bit that curves along the top. The shawl stays on my shoulders pretty well, being a non slippery yarn. But if I am moving and need to anchor it more, I can tuck those extra curved bits under my elbow and keep the shawl in place. The style will not work with a shawl pin, the shawl is too wide and therefore too shallow to really fit around my shoulders and pin in place.
The lace patterns I chose from Amy's suggestions were whale tail, and icebergs. The whale tail runs right down the middle of the shawl, and the icebergs pattern surrounds it. Here's a close up:
This has been one of my favorite shawls to knit so far, not just because it was a memory shawl, but also the patterns were pretty repetitive, and easily memorized, the increases were dependable constant, and the yarn was enjoyable to knit. I have thoughts of doing it again, because it's a great way to use those expensive hand dyed sock yarns that really never seem to be worth a pair of socks.
Here's the specific details on the project:
Yarns used: Mountain Colors hand painted yarns Barefoot, one skein in Lost Trail colorway, 350 yds. Patons Kroy sock yarn 2 skeins 384 yards, in Gentry Gray. Basically I knit until the yarn was all gone.
Circular needles size 5
Cast on 43 stitches. Instead of starting with just say 5 stitches for a point, I went ahead and made a flat end to the triangle, so that I could start the lace pattern right away.
Cast on May 11th. Finished Aug 5th. Entered into 2008 State Fair, no ribbons.