Long-awaited, much anticipated… mostly just for me, but with the slowed pace of store work after the turn of the year, I was at last able to turn my attention to a “selfish knitting” project I’d set aside in favor of pattern design, festival booths, and the holiday rush – my Liara-Rose shawl. For all that this was the first circular shawl I’d ever cast on, it’s not the first I’ve finished – just the first finished circular shawl I get to keep for myself.
The Liara-Rose is a circular lace “pi shawl,” knitted in 100% superfine alpaca fingering yarn, with a beaded knitted-on lace border.
At one point late in the pattern, back when I still thought I’d finish this in time to wear it to our first festival booth (oh, sweet summer me), I’d been very anxious about running out of yarn; thus, my particular iteration of this pattern has some notable “missing repeats” of the last lace chart in the body of the shawl as I hoped to avoid the delay of shipping in more yarn. Alas, even that didn’t save me – I ran out of yarn partway through the knitted-on edging, and the shawl was put in the back of a project cubby to get back to “just after I get through this.” I ordered more of the fingering-weight alpaca yarn, and told myself sternly that it wasn’t worth ripping back to add more body lace. As it turns out, I like the look of my alterations… and if I’d done the full body of lace, this might have turned out larger than I’d intended! As it is, it frames my body exactly as I’d hoped.
Another change from the pattern-as-written is evident in the beading. I wanted beads, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the design’s called-for parallel rows of beads at the edge. After some deliberation, I left only the outermost row of beads, and added a small four-bead flower motif in the center of each repeat of the edging lace. I love both the final look, and the beads themselves! I had such a hard time deciding what kind and color of beads to add; eventually, I settled on a variegated set of cool gray beads as yet another nod to the narrative origins of the pattern design.
I’m so incredibly in love with this shawl. I’ll be taking a break from epic-sized lace, briefly, to finish up some smaller projects (and to keep putting work into several sweater designs I’ve been workshopping), but never fear – I have two new pattern designs of my own and a whole folder of patterns on Ravelry for circle shawls I want to add to my collection. This is just the first of many – and what a good first it is!