FO: Nightsongs Shawl

Now that I am back at work, it seems like I have a different set of clothing requirements – and therefore different knitting requirements. It is supposedly summer here at the moment. Traditionally February is the hottest month where I live, and in my old classroom it gets extremely hot in summer, and very cold in winter. My new classroom is much more temperate thank goodness (although a few students have compared its size to that of a cupboard), and I have had a chance to wear my wee shawlettes already on colder days. But I wanted something a bit more substantial, and fast. Enter some beautiful DK yarn that has been in my stash for over 2 years awaiting the right project.

This particular yarn is special to me  – it was a gift from a friend who used to live close by and moved out of town. It was a Christmas gift, and as it was for *me* I really wanted to make myself something out of it, but I couldnt’ find the right project. Well, a DK weight verison of Gail seems to be just the thing – I used all but a few grams of the 200g skein.  The yarn is a NZ yarn from Touch Yarns, and I used the creatively named colour ‘661’. It is so supremely soft and delicious, this will be gorgeously comfortable to wrap myself in.

Now, a quick word about this pattern – Gail is apparently also known as Nightsongs – I’d love to know the story behind the two names… but I digress… The pattern page on Ravelry for Gail is interesting reading – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a designer attack her knitting public on a pattern page before. It seems that knitters are less than impressed with the presentation of the pattern, it appears hard to read or understand perhaps. Either way, it didn’t bother me as I didn’t use the pattern. Not even once.  Instead of the charted lace pattern, I used an ‘unchart’, a concept I hadn’t heard of before, but it is a very effective way of communicating a lace pattern and where the repeats are, a mixture of chart – in terms of layout, and written form – in that it does not use symbols but written instructions within a grid.

I knit 5 repeats of the pattern. It seemed at times it went very fast, other nights I only managed 4 to 6 rows in an evening. I did a fair bit of ripping back, and actually used lifelifes for the first time ever – after I needed them of course, so I didn’t end up using the ones I inserted. However, the end result is a very pretty shawl that is very wearable and while it isn’t mistake free (darn it finding errors when you are rows and rows past them!), I am fairly sure there are just the two mistakes, and unless the kids at school are more into detail than they appear, I think I will likely be the only one to notice!

I do think I will block it again before wearing it though – the top is turning over in the pictures, which means it will do it when I wear it too – and while I can’t see it, it will definitely bother me!

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10 Responses to “FO: Nightsongs Shawl”


  1. 1 knitterlyanne February 22, 2010 at 4:55 am

    The shawl turned out just beautiful! Lovely yarn and Nightsongs/Gail is a gorgeous pattern. The “unchart” sounds most interesting. Where’d you get it, if I may ask?

  2. 2 Judy February 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Very pretty indeed!

    Yeah, if I had a pattern up for free that got the kind of comments that have her so upset (I only read the front page so I’m speaking about how it made her feel, not the actual comments) I’d probably just remove it.

  3. 3 Lina February 22, 2010 at 8:09 am

    What a pretty shawl! I love the color you chose for it. 🙂

  4. 4 Delwyn February 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Love the colour, love the lacy pattern. Beautiful.

    And while I wouldn’t claim to be the non-knitter that you labeled me one time, I don’t understand the “lifelifes” so maybe that’s just a little something for the “real” knitters.

  5. 5 Kate February 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t think I’ve seen that pattern before, it looks so interesting! I love that color, too. The variegation is beautifully subtle!

  6. 6 Jane February 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    What a gorgeous shawl! I’m intrigued by this “un-chart” idea. Can you show an example? I think it may be something I have done without knowing it. I don’t have much experience with lace, but I don’t find either charts easy or instructions. When I’m reading the chart – I hate having to count the little squares…so maybe this method would be for me!

  7. 7 Anne February 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    It’s just lovely- where’s the emoticon with hearts for eyes!

  8. 8 alyssaknits February 24, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I absolutely love the color!

  9. 9 Susan L February 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

    this is so pretty … the patterns looks like wings. and i like your colour choice. it’ll look so pretty against a dark coat for winter.


  1. 1 Calvados Beret Pattern « Shortly Stitches Trackback on May 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

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