Better late than never...
I spent some time yesterday reading the posts and comments here and looking at all the gorgeous work in progress and finished work. Wow! This is an inspiring site. I hope the shawl action continues for a while 'cuz there is such a sense of accomplishment and momentum here.
Part of me is a bit flabbergasted -- didn't y'all just start, like, yesterday?
I am porting over some bits from an archived post on my blog. This is the Moonlight Sonata shawl I started in March. I am about halfway through the fourth repeat now, but it has been sitting around for a while. Shui Kuen asked me to report on some of the things I discovered while knitting it.
The yarn is Mondial Giada, a sport-weight merino/silk blend that is softer than a baby's cheek. I dyed it myself in a colorway I'm calling Moonlight(when it is lighter) and Midnight (when it is darker). This would be Moonlight. I'm using 4mm needles.
The tricky bits to keep an eye on are:
It is not as difficult a shawl to knit as it looks, but I would not recommend it to a beginner. You do have to pay attention to both sides of the knitting. What I like about that is that it is a constant check that I have not made mistakes. I count every section like a litany. I can't knit this one with a talking book or TV or music, or anyone else in the room. But that's jut me.
Watch for S2KP and SK2P: You need to do both of these, and it can be easy not to notice the change.
When YO before a purl stitch, you have to wrap the yarn around the needle twice. When YO before a knit stitch, you simply have to keep the yarn in the purl position.
The double increase takes getting used to. You do the back stitch increase, then the front stitch, the slide that off; THEN pick up the vertical loop from behind with the left hand needle.
Shui Kuen says that once you are past the first two repeats of the moon pattern, it gets easier as you can see what is coming and read your lace. I've never been good at reading lace, but Shui Kuen is right. I have caught a few potential errors easily because I can anticipate what I should be doing next to make the moon pattern come out. Cate can probably comment on this too, since she is also knitting the shawl.
I am knitting Sunray now too, and I am in the third or fourth repeat. It's going very smoothly. I find it an easy, rhythmic pattern to follow, and I love the day-glo orange and soft buttercup yellows of the yarn I'm using. I can't report on the Sunray shawl on my own blog, since the recipient reads there sometimes. I'm planning to take pix and post a report here later today.