Sometimes I throw practicality to the winds and just make something for fun. This is most apt to happen in the summer months because I have fewer knitting students. They're all in the garden in Maine -- summers are really short here. And it is months before the Christmas rush so I have time to be self indulgent. This is the Crown Prince Square Shawl from Nancy Bush's book Knitted Lace of Estonia. I did not spin or dye the yarn. I did not personally develop the design. This project is made from Alpaca Cloud lace yarn from Knitpicks and you can order either by just clicking on the highlighted titles, although it looks like this particular red is a discontinued color.
I am showing you the glam shots first. I have been waiting to find the chance to get a picture on a person but Devan is away at college and it is just too ridiculous to try to take a picture of myself in the mirror. So these shots are intended to give you the feeling that you would love to pick up this lovely bit of russet loveliness and wrap yourself in its soft lacey alpaca layers. It has been a very warm early fall here and I am waiting for it to chill up a bit so that I can toss this across my shoulders and channel my inner French Lieutenant's Woman. Do get your hands on Nancy Bush's book if you want to try a piece of knitting that is a bit of a challenge. This is definitely what I call Thinking Woman's Knitting. And get yourself some Addi lace circulars before you begin. You really need the sharp points for doing the nupps and this project is nupp intensive.
Here is a close up of the nupps with the shawl on the blocking board. Note the blocking wires, also available through Knitpicks. This particular shawl you could pin out a point at a time, but the blocking wires were extremely useful for really stretching this project. Lace in general is really enhanced by stretching, but a lace shawl in particular really needs to have the bejeesus stretched out of it in order to come into its own. So here is this summer's project of indulgence. I made it for me, it took all summer, I had to ignore my family while I was working on it (although you can see in the picture below that I didn't always manage that...there are "inconsistencies" in the pattern repeats). I really, really love it.