I started this post a week ago, but then got sidetracked with More Important Things so I never got around to finishing it up and posting it. But it's all new to you, so it's still good. :)
My first Year of Lace shipment arrived last Thursday. I was so excited to open the package, and even more excited when I saw that the yarn was GREEN! My lovely green! If you remember, I have recently decided to embrace my lifelong love of green, hecklers be damned. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace, a 50% wool/50% silk blend, and it's absolutely beautiful. It is in a colorway called Mossy Grove, which is a variegated blend of (mossy) greens and browns. It's quite pretty, and even though I don't normally like variegateds, I absolutely love this yarn and I'm very happy to get a chance to use it.
The pattern? Ummm...it's not my favorite. It's called the Ancient Woodland Shawl, and it's designed by Miriam Felton who is no slouch when it comes to lace. I don't think you can see the details too well in the picture, but it is a two-sided shawl with images of three trees formed out of yarnovers and cabled branches. It's not the cables in lace that bother me (would you think I was lying if I told you that I have been sketching out a shawl with images of trees using cables for the branches?), but it's the miles and miles of stockinette. I'm not a huge fan of stockinette in lace. I think lace should be...lacy. It just looks pretty and complex and if I wanted a solid fabric I could always use worsted. Plus to me, the trees look rather anemic. They need about 5 times as many cabled branches as they have...but I don't think a lot of people would be up for that either, judging by how many people have expressed dislike for this project on the YOL group page on Ravelry. And finally, I'm not a huge fan of drawing little pictures in lace by outlining the shapes with yarnovers. MAN, I'm hard to please! ;-)
So far, working it has been a little bit of a challenge. I don't have the right size Addi Lace needles for it and my regular Addis are not sharp enough to cross four stitches at the back right after a yo. I had to go back to using my Knit Picks needles for this project, and I am reminded of why I like Addis a whole lot better! Another bothersome aspect of this project is that the yarn smells. Lorna's Laces must use some kind of scented wool wash on their yarn or something because the yarn smells like an old woman at a theater matinee. You know, the one who always wears waaaay too much perfume because she can hardly smell anymore, and who you always get stuck sitting next to out of all the seats in the theater, and by intermission you are so high from the fumes you would swear everyone on stage is floating three feet off the ground and you spend the entire intermission in the bathroom blotting your face with wet paper towels so you don't faint? Tell me it's not just me. There's a reason I don't go to matinees any more.
But anyway, the yarn is all perfumey and it makes me dizzy just knitting with it. So to the list of things to avoid when knitting cabled lace, I would like to add perfumed yarn right after alcohol and screaming children. I persevere because the day has not yet come when a lace project will conquer me with its overpowering stench...but I try not to work on it for long lengths of time either. :)