theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 1, 2010

From Sally — Popularity Contest

Filed under: Back Story,Sally's Swallowtail — surly @ 7:52 pm

Some patterns become extremely popular among knitters. The contrary knitter in me (there’s a reason my Ravelry nickname is surly) sometimes skips over those patterns for no other reason than their popularity. “Does the world really need another X Project?” I ask myself. Other times, there’s no denying the appeal of a project no matter how hard I might initially resist. Thus, I come to Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl.

This is a very popular shawl pattern; on Ravelry alone, there are 6166 Swallowtail projects as of the writing of this post. It’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful. It’s simple. It’s free. And it’s fast. On a Friday, I bought yarn (more about that later). On a Saturday afternoon, I cast on. By Wednesday, I had a beautiful Swallowtail shawl — and it was even blocked. Who could ask for more?

I love it. And it goes beautifully with my Baby Cables sweater.

As for the yarn, I love it, too. It’s Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Sock yarn in the colorway Cooper Circle. I saw it, and I had to own it.

I tried to knit my Swallowtail in just one skein, but when I got to the bind off row I saw this:

Yep — I only had three grams so I had to dip into the second skein. The remainder of it is going to my sister in the hopes that she can whip up something nice out of it. Otherwise, I’ll have matching socks for my shawl.

Where did I purchase this lovely yarn? At my new favorite yarn shop in the DC area: Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a wonderful shop. Danielle, the owner, is friendly and helpful. Veronica, her lovely chief enabler, already recognizes my voice on the phone. (Is that a bad thing? Please say no.) They carry wonderful yarns from many smaller suppliers and a few larger ones. They’ll even call you when a yarn you’ve been lusting after arrives in the shop. (Don’t ask how I know this. Please.) They have a great frequent buyer program (gulp), big windows, Italian greyhounds, and — get this — a “Ravelry computer” for shoppers. Yes — it’s true. You can log onto Ravelry from the shop and browse for patterns, check how much yarn something takes, show off a project. It’s a great idea.

I definitely recommend stopping in at Fibre Space if you are in the area. Odds are surprisingly high that I might be there. What?

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