For some time now I've been wanting a big shawl - one that's long enough to drape securely around myself and that's deep at the back to keep me warm. Finally I've achieved it.
It feels as if it has taken me ages to finish this shawl, but in fact I only started it at the end of October and finished the knitting just before Christmas. However, it was a lot of knitting. I didn't have time (or energy) to organise the blocking before I went away in late December, but inspired by this morning's Knitting Guild meeting and the chance to show it off to friends I conquered the blocking yesterday. That's what it felt like: a war, as I pushed and prodded and measured and pinned the shawl into submission across almost all the spare space on my living room floor.
The pattern is Stephen West's Transatlantic Shawl, and I just kept knitting and knitting till I felt it was big enough. Initially I'd bought four 50g skeins of the Rowan 4 ply wool for the solid dark graphite colour, but I needed to go back twice to Calico and Ivy to buy additional skeins to make it large enough. The variegated black and cream yarn is Schoppelwolle Crazy Zauberball where the skeins seem to go on forever. The pattern includes increases on every row at the edges, so the resulting shawl is very wide - and long at the front if I don't wind it around myself.
One of the great things about this pattern is its use of texture. I particularly like the contrast between the horizontal garter stitch ridges of most of the shawl and the strong vertical lines of the central slipped stitch pattern.
I'm very happy with my shawl, though as it began to grow I was surprised by its proportions...surprised and initially a bit dismayed by its width. But now it's finished I'm really happy to have such long shawl 'tails' to anchor the shawl as I wear it. A very good outcome.
Finally, I'm pleased to have a shawl in shades of grey. Clearly, it will match most of my clothes.
And really finally, thanks to DrK for the pics of me wearing the shawl