Friday, August 12, 2011

FO: Alison Shawl

I finally finished my Alison Shawl. This shawl was a long time in the making. I start it in 2010, and I honestly can’t even remember why it ended up in hibernation. I found it in my UFO bin*, and decided that it was about time that I finished it! I am thrilled with the finished result, and am not sure why I put it off so long! I wish I could count this in 11 Shawls 2011 but, alas, since it was started last year it does not count.

This thing is really big and warm. It’s a great size for wrapping around me when I’m freezing (which is most of the time, in my office building!). Not only is it functional, but the lace pattern adds a bit of elegance. I love the color, too!

Berroco Ultra Alpaca is such a wonderful yarn. It’s soft and makes you just want to cuddle up with it and the colors are gorgeous. It also has fairly decent stitch definition, but is fuzzy enough to be a little forgiving of mistakes.

The only downside is that this shawl is kind of heavy. I’m a bit afraid that it will stretch out. I suppose if that happens, though, a good sock and re-blocking will fix it.

I made a few modifications to the pattern. First of all, the pattern calls for K3tog. Knitting three stitches together hurts my hands when I’m doing a bunch of them, so I decided to do a centered double decrease instead. I slipped two stitches knitwise, knit one stitch, and then passed the slip stitches over. It’s way less complicated than it sounds, I promise!

I decided to omit the four rows of garter stitch at the end of the shawl. The shaping of the shawl through the lace pattern naturally makes points at the bottom, and I felt like the garter stitch smoothed out these points a bit, even more than blocking could fix. I was concerned that the pattern would curl without the garter stitch, but it seems to have blocked out okay. I only wish that I had decided to omit the garter stitch before knitting those 1,124 stitches, then having to rip them out!

I also decided to go without the picot edging. Picot edging can be really pretty, but it seems like the only way to get it to lay flat is to pin out each one of the little picot bumps. I have neither the patience nor sufficient pins to make this happen. Additionally, when I tried the picot edging, some of the little picot peaks were lining up kind of weirdly with the natural points in the shawl, looking off-center. I ended up just doing my favorite nice, stretchy bind-off. Basically, instead of the typical bind off, you knit the two stitches together instead of pulling one stitch over the other.

Pattern: Alison Shawl

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca

Colorway: Oceanic Mix

Yardage: 806.3

Project Ravelry Page

Modifications: Centered double decrease instead of K3tog, no garter stitch at the end, no picot bind-off.

This post is part of Tami's Amis' FO Fridays. Head on over there to see what everyone else is working on!

*“unfinished object,” not “unidentified flying object,” for those of you who are not knitting initiated.


  1. This looks so warm and lovely! Can just imagine wrapping myself up in this! Gorgeous!

  2. Beautiful shawl, that looks like a lot of knitting! Love the colour, it's so rich and vibrant :)

  3. Oh wow, it's huge and wonderful! I love it.

    Someday I'll end up doing a knitted piece with a picot edging, and when that happens I'll just bind off with a crochet hook for picots that I actually like the look of. :)

  4. Interesting - thanks for the info on the mods, particularly the K3tog substitute :-)

  5. I love the shawl, well done you for getting it finished!! Thanks for the new cast off method, I'll have to give it a go!

  6. Very elegant and looks very practical as well. If the picots don't line up nicely then the effect of the picot edge is ruined; you were wise to change it. And what a gorgeous colour!

  7. Lovely shawl. And I agree, Ultra Alpaca is to die for!!

  8. Congratulations on the finish! That's my absolute favorite color...I have some Ultra Alpaca in my stash in that color right now....

  9. So worth the wait (and yikes, all that thousand-odd stitch frogging!)---what a huge and gorgeous piece it is! I love the texture, and also the edge that you ended up with by omitting the garter stitch. The back view of this shawl reminds me of a spiderweb, which I mean as a good thing. I love spiderwebs!

  10. It's beautiful and HUGE!!!!!!! I love it. I don't have the patience for knitting anything that big but would love to snuggle up in that! :)