Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Molly Nosegay Shawl

In the midst of my "race to the finish"---trying to finish projects that have been languishing on the needles for a while---I took time out to test knit another shawl. This shawl, called Molly Nosegay, was designed by Jennette Cross. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge.)

Molly Nosegay is what Ms. Cross calls a "combination shawl." It is based on what many knitters call "the Pi formula," which governs the size of circular shawl (i.e., the number of stitches must double when the radius of the shawl doubles). Molly Nosegay is semi-circular, but the same theory applies: when the radius doubles, the number of stitches along the bottom edge of the shawl must double.

Nerdy engineer that I am, I found Ms. Cross's method of sizing very interesting, and I love the shape of the shawl. The shawl is knit from the top down, starting from a garter tab and ending with a seemingly-infinite 577 stitches.

This is not a shawl for the faint of heart, nor for anyone who does not like to read charts. Molly Nosegay has twelve charts: some of them are only three rows long, others are twenty rows long. One of the short, three-row charts is repeated five times. The charts are well sized. My aged, never-very-good eyes did not have difficulty reading the charts. Even better, once the first few rows of a pattern section are established, it is easy to read the rest of the pattern from your knitting.

My shawl was knit with 2.76 skeins (1247 yards) of Dream in Color Knitosophy yarn in the FK85 Discover colorway. As can be seen in the photo below,  my three skeins were not all the same color: the first one (the upper back) was a lighter blue than the other two.
I like the effect of the color gradations in this shawl. If, however, I had been knitting something else---a sweater, for example---I would have been very upset by the color change. My three skeins of yarn were not bought at the same time, nor in the same place. Remember this example next time you are judging the amount of yarn needed for a project!

Molly Nosegay is a big shawl. Mine required 1247 yards of yarn, but the designer used around 1000 yards. My shawl, which was blocked just enough to show the lace pattern (i.e., not aggressively at all), is a whopping 118 inches by 45.5 inches; hers is 91 inches by 25 inches. The other test knitters are still working on the shawl, but one who is nearly finished is projecting yardage and size like mine.

I was surprised at how quickly I knit this shawl. My husband, who rarely pays attention to what I'm knitting unless it's for him, was flabbergasted. I started Molly Nosegay on 27 October and finished on 08 November. But it was the only project I worked on during that time.

Molly Nosegay is the twentieth shawl I've knit this year. (My goal was 11, and I  reached that mark in late June.) I am only counting shawls knit from start to finish this calendar year, so the As One stole and Girasole are not included. I've also knit six pairs of socks.

At the moment, I have two shawls in progress, and I am about three-quarters finished with a sweater---a cardigan---for my oldest grand-nephew.

Have you had a productive knitting year? Have you started planning next year's knitting?



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