Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Antipodes Shawl and a Giveaway

I'm a shawl knitting noob.  I love the way they look, but was intimidated by the fine lace.  I just always seemed to have a sweater on the needles.  You can only save so many beautiful skeins of indie-dyer yarn until you realize enough is enough, it's time to try a shawl.  So when Libby asked if I'd like to test knit Antipodes, I felt like it was a sign.  

Now, I'm a total convert.  I can't say how giddy it made me to test knit for one ravelry friend, 
Libby of TrulyMyrtle, using yarn dyed by another, Sandra of Duck Duck Wool, won in a giveaway hosted by another, Evelyn of Project: Stash.  I'm sentimental that way.

Shawls make sense in a warmer climate.  It would easily get more wear than a knitted garment through our winters.  They're lightweight, take only one skein, usually, and let me show off a really beautiful yarn without having to invest quite as much.  I've already got a lovely skein waiting to be the Settler Shawl, another of Libby's designs.

So, this was my first test knit.  Test knitting always looked like such fun, but I thought my erratic gauge would make me a poor candidate.  Who wants to re-do a test knit twice before the deadline?

For this project, I absolutely washed and blocked my swatch to be sure.  It seemed tiny as I knit, but I trusted the pattern that it would block out a bunch.  Honestly, I could've blocked it a lot more aggressively.  I just had to get a feel for blocking lace.  You have to be fearless as you stretch that thing all over the place.  I also lack a good blocking set-up.  It was camping mats with towels on top and straight pins.  

I was so proud when it was dry that I grabbed my husband on his off day to help me take some photos.  We were like teenagers again, sneaking off after church, onto private property to... take photos of knitwear.  

After looking at these pics, I think I'll block again- this time ensuring I get the length specified in the pattern.  That will open my lace a bit more.  But, hey.... first shawl!!   

The details: I chose a skein of Duck Duck Wool fingering weight yarn in the color Spellbreaker that I won in a Project: Stash giveaway too long ago.  Could there be a more beautiful and striking color for an accessory?  



I used bamboo needles in size US 3 to get gauge and started clicking along with the charts.  They were really easy to follow, giving me just enough lace to stay interested, while also providing a good bit of garter stitch for tv watching.  I was in a Supernatural kind of mood (even though I only like the first few seasons, and even that is only in a silly tv-as-junk-food kind of way)


You're not going to believe this, but there was an alligator about 20 feet away from me as we took the photos by the water.  We heard him crawl through the tall grass and saw him swimming away.  Oh, the things I'll do for a decent FO photo.

(more on my ravelry, kollabora, flickr, and instagram)

The Giveaway:

Oh yeah... Libby has generously offered a free Antipodes pattern for one of you, dear friends.  Just leave a comment on this post, including your Ravelry name, between now and next Monday Nov. 10 at 5pm CST and I'll announce the winner Tuesday.

Edit: This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks to all who participated!  The winner will be announced Tuesday, November 11.

33 comments:

  1. beautiful shawl! I love the colour and the photos are gorgeous! I want to knit more shawls, because they can really be worn in a lot of situations.

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  2. I'm wearing a shawl today for the first time ever. It was a gift from a friend (I'm making her socks) and I love it. I just finished knitting my first shawl too but it's awaiting blocking. I'd love to knit Antipodes.
    wahoomerryf on Ravelry

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  3. Congrats on knitting your first shawl, it came out looking great! Knitting shawls is definitely very addictive.

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  4. Love the red on you and of course the shawl. I can't believe this is your first, and first test knit. Welcome to the dark side.

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  5. Super gorgeous!! <3
    I've never done a lace shawl before, but I'm very excited to knit one someday... :)
    -appaloosa13 on Ravelry

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous design, and that red yarn is amazing!

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  7. It's hard to believe that this is your first test knit! You did a beautiful job and I love that you used the DDW yarn you won from me. I think there are many shawls in your future. How I would love to win this pattern .... ; )

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  8. You wear Antipodes well. I would love to be the lucky winner of this pattern.
    cynshep on Ravelry

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  9. Where I live, we get very cold winters. I love shawls because you can wear them anytime for a little extra warmth and can always loosen them inside if it gets too warm. This came out just beautiful. :)
    Rav ID: melosa

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  10. I really like how this is wrapped around multiple times. I think that makes it a really easy to wear shawl! stretchforever

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  11. So pretty and congrats on your first shawl. rav id: pattymatt

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  12. It is lovely, I wanted to test knit but was in the middle of one already; hope you knit more shawls, they're such fun! sewsable on Rav

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  13. Cute pattern. Like your color choice. rav id:yollma

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  14. This design is so lovely! I love reversible scarves/shawls and the lace adds such a pretty touch
    - hodges00

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  15. I was admiring the pattern first in her blog, and now in yours! :). --Bookaholic13 on Ravelry

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  16. Such a lovely colour and really suits you! I would love to knit this shawl in a similiar colour for my mother in law who loves red. I'm also planning to knit Libby's Settler Shawl too once I find the right yarn. Jezren on Ravelry

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  17. It's so beautiful in red like this!!! Really a lovely pattern! My Ravelry Id : lounatine.

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  18. It looks so great! Shawls can be addictive - I'm currently working on two! The color you used is just beautiful.

    Also, an alligator?? Yikes. Not sad we don't have those in WNC.

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  19. I think this shawl looks great on you, and I agree that it would be the perfect knit for your climate. I have made some myself but I can just wear them a bit during autumn and spring. We have thick scarf weather right now, and I already took many of my knits out of the drawer (mittens, scarf and hat).

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  20. I absolutely love your shawl!! The colorway you used is absolutely stunning. I was sincerely thinking of purchasing the pattern before I realized there was a giveaway! My ravelry id is: merey.

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  21. Love the shawl and what a gorgeous colour! I've never made a shawl either but would really like to at some point, they look so intricate and delicate. I've also never used fingering weight yarn! I'm miniandmerky on Rav

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  22. How pretty! Nicely done! I'm mamagiff on ravelry

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  23. You did such a great job, shawls are such a wonderful way to use those single skeins of artisan yarns. The color you chose is a perfect fall color and looks lovely on you. I'm sheknitsinpearls on Revelry.

    She Knits in Pearls

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  24. Oh, your shawl turned out so lovely! That colour is really good on you, I think. I love the squishy garter stitch with the pretty lace, and I adore shawls that act as scarves. :)

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  25. I love the shawl design and yarn choice. It amazes me that you have knit many sweaters but this is your first shawl. I'm the exact opposite. I get teased that I'll have a shawl for each day of the year. I live in FLORIDA and find them so useful.

    I'm glad your first experience with a lace shawl was so successful. I'm sure it won't be your last.

    I'd be thrilled to win this pattern. I'm off to queue it up in case I am not that lucky.

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  26. I loved your comment about never not knitting shawls because that's how I feel about sweaters! I love knitting shawls. My neck is always cold. Your test knit came out lovely. Congrats on first shawl and first test knit. I love the garter stitch on the bias. I look forward to knitting this pattern some day.

    Rav ID: jentm

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  27. I've been keeping my eyes on this beauty! I hope I win!!
    Rav: curdy

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  28. beautifully done! I'd love to win one of those patterns! I'm b-girl on ravelry Thanks!

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  29. Your shawl is beautiful!!
    twinsknit on rav

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  30. love your shawl! I have a cheap blocking solution that works great for me. I have four blocks of connecting foam gym flooring from ross that work great. You can just press in the T pins and your all set! I think they're about 6$ per set.

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  31. Beautiful! I love all the Rav connections too. I hope to see you knitting loads more shawls now! :)

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  32. Gorgeous shawl and photos! I've also got the Settler Shawl on my list of things to knit :) JLCherry33 on Rav.

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  33. Beautiful shawl! Love the colour!

    krisnc29 on rav

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