I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that your 2011 is a happy and productive one. I'll be wrapping up this with one of my favorite projects of this year, the Laminaria Shawlette by Elizabeth Freeman. It took me forever (comparatively), but so, so worth it:
Another reason this one's a favorite is because I used malabrigo lace yarn. This was my first encounter with malabrigo and it really is everything I thought it would be. It is amazingly soft and the colors are SO beautiful, like candy for knitters. Seriously. I'm wearing it out every chance I get, just so I can have it close to my skin. Love. This particular color is called "Tuareg" and I couldn't be happier with the blue and the undulating Estonian forms. Elizabeth Freeman is a genius. I will have to try another of her lace masterpieces.
I am so pleased with this pattern, too! It's definitely, definitely an advanced pattern. It's got some techniques I've never used before that are unique to Estonian lace, things like knitting 9 stitches out of 3 or 3 stitches out of 2--beautiful, but far from easy.
If you do decide to be adventurous and want to try this pattern or another lace pattern you've been eyeing, my best advice is lifelines:
You can't see it very well in this picture, since the yarn I used was nearly the same color, but you can see the end coming out there. Every pattern repeat or two, you take a spare piece of smooth yarn and thread it through all the stitches on the needle, but do not knit it. In the event that you make a mistake, you can frog just the one incorrect pattern repeat and the lifeline will catch all the stitches.
Even if you don't make a mistake, it feels wonderful to have it there, giving you confidence to continue with the rest of your project without having to start over from the beginning. I will be using them for all future lace projects.
Next time I promise I will show you some Christmas creations and following that, knitting year in review.
Happy New Year!!