Quick lace shawl project?

michaelpthompson's picture

OK, here's an impossible request. I have a friend who made me a wonderful crocheted afghan for Christmas 2009. She started it in May or June of that year and just finished it a month or so ago. It was a year and a half of very hard work that she invested on my behalf.

So obviously, I want to do something nice for her in return, but I've been working furiously on so many projects, including some under the Christmas deadline, that I haven't even gone there yet. I was going to do a nice sweater, and I still may do that, but I wondered if there's any type of lace shawl that I could make in a week or so. She does like shawls. I've never actually made one, so my hope that it's quicker than a denser fabric may be totally misplaced.

So any suggestions for a lace shawl I could make in a week, or something else that would be suitable, at least for this Christmas so I can do the sweater later? Or should I just be put out of my misery?

michaelpthompson's picture

Well, didn't quite finish it

Well, didn't quite finish it in time (mostly because I started over three or four times and had trouble getting the gauge right, plus I've been working on three other projects too), but I'm more than halfway now, and I do like this pattern. People who don't like stockinette won't like it. It's pretty much just pattern at the beginning of a knit row, then finish the knit row and purl back, then do it again. I think it's looking good though:

If anybody's looking for a really nice shawl that's not too hard, I'd recommend this one.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

A great and fast knit shawl

A great and fast knit shawl is the PI Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I have knit it in various weight yarns and the great thing is that you can make it as large as you want , then end it off. The formula for increasing and knitting is very simple and you can easily fit lace panels into the pattern. I once knit one in worsted weight yarn and it was big enough for a bedspread. So, in theory, you could use worsted and only do a few increase sections and finish it off early. When I did that, I did my next increase round, then added the edging to the outer edge to avoid any puckering. The pattern is in 'Knitter's Almanac' and several other works by EZ. Lots of luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

michaelpthompson's picture

Thanks Joe. I've already

Thanks Joe. I've already cast on the Selkie Skin and got going on it. If I had seen this first, I might have done it instead. I also don't have any EZ books yet, so that's something for the Christmas list.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Hope you can try it. I

Hope you can try it. I consider it one of the very best EZ patterns. You might find it on-line as well. Or check your local library, there are often great knitting books on hand. Great way to preview before adding them to your collection. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

smalltownknitguy's picture

Don't shoot down this Idea

Don't shoot down this Idea too quickly. Over at Lion Brand there is a shawl pattern that I knit in just one weekend. With the right kind of yarn this one would be a great gift and it is very easy to complete. It is such an easy knit that my Knitting/Crochet group is going to begin to make it in January. I just ordered some wool from ebay to make one. Hope this helps.


TomH's picture

Do you have photos of the

Do you have photos of the one you knitted? The pattern's photo isn't that clear.

michaelpthompson's picture

Looks very interesting

Looks very interesting Russell. Might try that one too. I don't have a size 13 circular needle that long yet, so maybe for her birthday or next Christmas. Thanks.

MMario's picture

the 198 yards of heaven

the 198 yards of heaven sounds like a good choice;

michaelpthompson's picture

Endorsement by Mmario AND

Endorsement by Mmario AND WillyG seems to have led me to 198 Yards of Heaven. I like that it's worsted weight and on 5.0mm needles. Should be fairly quick (I hope). Stopped by the LYS this afternoon for some Cascade 220, which I love anyway. I'll keep you posted.

michaelpthompson's picture

OK, changed my mind. Maybe

OK, changed my mind. Maybe it's just me, but I was desperately confused by the pattern for 198 Yards of Heaven. I followed the instructions to the letter, and came out with two markers next to each other, wrong number of stitches more than once. I ripped it out and started over three or four times before deciding this is just more complicated than I'm ready for. This is my first time at lace, after all. Maybe later when I have more time.

I did a search on Ravelry with lots of narrowing factors and wound up with the Selkie Skin by E. A. Kelly. So far, it's much easier, though I do have a couple of mistakes already. Thought about frogging it, but I need to have it ready by Tuesday, so I decided to stick with it. They're not overly noticeable, so perhaps it won't be a big deal, especially after I block it. Hope it doesn't surprise me and get more complicated later.

BTW, this is even more suitable because I share a love of Celtic culture with the friend for whom I'm making it. We both play and sing in an Irish band. The Selkie is quite a part of Irish and Celtic folklore, so having a shawl named after her will make it even more meaningful.

michaelpthompson's picture

BTW, I said this is my first

BTW, I said this is my first time at lace, but this really isn't lace at all, though I used that as a search term. It's pretty much all stockinette with a bit of interest at the edge. Not that I mind that, as I'm actually pretty fast at stockinette. Many people don't like the purl, but I find it just as easy as knit, so I'm good either way. My only problem with it is that I sometimes get distracted and forget if I'm on a knit row or a purl row. You do the wrong one, you get this stupid little ridge that's pretty noticeable. I hate whtn that happens.

michaelpthompson's picture

Well, didn't quite finish

Well, didn't quite finish the Selkie Skin in time for the gift exchange, but I had half of it done to show her, including the center. I had started on the second half. I really like this pattern. It's simple but nice.

I don't know what was up with the gauge. The pattern specified size 6 needles. I used size 8 and still had way too tight of a gauge. Finally wound up with 10.5 and got close to the specifications.

I wouldn't have minded the tighter gauge, but it was taking way too long at that density. I started over four or five times til I got something I was happy with, but now I really like it. Photos to come when it's done.

WillyG's picture

A nice cabled mitten pattern

A nice cabled mitten pattern would make a beautiful gift, too...

michaelpthompson's picture

Good idea Willy.

Good idea Willy.

WillyG's picture

I once knit Clothilde in a

I once knit Clothilde in a weekend... I was surprised at how quickly it knit up. Granted, I had a lot of time waiting for buses and riding buses; but still, it was immensely quicker than knitting plain stockinette, I think. (Oh, save us all!)
The drawback would be that it's $6.50 on ravelry:

A free pattern using worsted weight yarn--yes, worsted weight-- is 198 yards of heaven.

Of course, you don't have to stop at 198 yards. I made mine bigger, and with a bit of striping at the border, I love how it came out. I just wish the wool I used wasn't slightly itchy (maybe it's the mohair?). Check out my blog for pics, as I think the pictures included with the pattern just don't do it justice:
One thing about shawls is that the ending can get kinda grueling as it gets longer. Two advantages about this pattern are that the heavier weight yarn gives you more distance for your number of stitches (and you get to work on bigger needles!), and the border is super easy to knit, being worked in a garter stitch rather than stockinette, right when you need that kind of break. This would be my vote for you. Two skeins of Lambs Pride and a smidge of other yarn got me a decent-sized shawl.

One more pattern suggestion: The Traveling Woman Shawl. Another reasonably easy knit, and fairly quick. It's free too:
This one is special for the way it handles variegated yarns, if that's what you are considering.

michaelpthompson's picture

Thanks for all the help

Thanks for all the help Willy. As I said above, I had trouble with the pattern for 198 Yards of Heaven, but I do have a couple of skeins of Lamb's Pride in my stash that I can dig out later and try it again.

WillyG's picture

I don't really recommend

I don't really recommend Lamb's Pride for a shawl; I find it to be the slightest bit itchy. I did block out nicely, though... so if your recipient doesn't mind Lamb's Pride touching his/her neck, then go with it. Good luck with the selkie skin!

michaelpthompson's picture

I can believe it. I made a

I can believe it. I made a hat of Lamb's Pride and it's itchy if I wear it too long.

KnitsWithBalls's picture

I have a quick free pattern

I have a quick free pattern too that you might like its called Simple Elegance, ita a pretty fast knit and easy to memeorize


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Bill's picture

Ravelry says..."This pattern

Ravelry says..."This pattern is available for $5.99 USD"

TomH's picture

Mario might have your

Mario might have your perfect answer.
Right now I'm knitting a Holden Shawlette as a Christmas present. Don't know if you can knit it in a week but maybe something like this would be an answer. It's a free download at Ravelty.
Then I'm going to try to whip out a knit cowl yet before Christmas. A Noble Cowl is also a free download at Ravelry.
A Noble Cowl might actually be quicker to knit. Hope this helps a bit.