Lace Wingspan Finale

This past week brought the conclusion of the 8-week Lace Wingspan class at What in Yarnation. While the plan was to tackle the eighth section of the shawl and then talk through how to finish, two participants came in with their eighth sections almost done and finished their entire shawl in class! Check out their handiwork below:

Linda Lace Wingspan in Elements

This gorgeous version is done in Berroco Elements, which has a beautiful luster, and reportedly was great to work with as well. One word of warning for using Elements – the yarn had a halo to it, so you only get one chance to rip out and redo before the yarn starts to show the wear.

Eloise Lace Wingspan in Encore

This springy green version is done in Plymouth Encore, which also worked well in this project. The maker of this shawl LOVED the idea of lifelines and made liberal use of them throughout her project! :)

And don’t worry – the third student is more than half-way through her own Lace Wingspan. She simply got distracted during the past several weeks by other fibery interests. It happens to all of us from time to time.

If you are interested in a class for Lace Wingspan, just let me know and we will be sure to include you in the scheduling of the next section.

Lace Wingspan class begins

There has now been two sessions of the Lace Wingspan class at What in Yarnation! in Cannon Falls. There were just two students the first week, but the second week brought us a third. So far, so good! Everyone seems to be catching on to the basics of how the shawl is made and learning various new techniques and tips to improve their knitting skills. We have talked about how useful lifelines can be; reading charts; a way to check your work using the chart; the various stitches needed to make each specific lace pattern; stitch markers as both static place markers and as travelling markers; and perhaps the most popular of all – wrap & turn.

Since the Lace Wingspan is heavily dependent on short rows, the wrap & turn is an important part of the pattern. In explaining the concept initially, I commented that it was essentially like wrapping a noose around the one stitch. This has evolved (or devolved, depending on your perspective) into a rather bloodthirsty glee of “hanging” the stitch you are wrapping (aka “the accused”). It is memorable, and this approach does seem to be working for them – and entertaining us all along the way!

Eloise is our new addition, so she’s just getting started on the first section, using a pretty pale green yarn:

Eloise lace wingspan

Linda is using a pretty blue-green/gray shade of Berroco Elements, which has a subtle sheen:

Linda lace wingspan

And Mary Jill is using a combination of a pale pink worsted weight yarn held together with a lace-weight alpaca with a touch of sparkle:

mary jill lace wingspan

All three are well on their way to having a beautiful shawl all their own in a few more weeks!  If you are interested in taking a class on the Lace Wingspan, please let me know as we can always schedule another class if there is enough interest.

Happy News

I am happy to share with everyone that I am going to be teaching classes beginning in January 2013!

The first class will be the Lace Wingspan pattern, first mentioned earlier this week. This wonderful pattern has eight sections, each with a different lacy pattern. However, for the class, we will be knitting on worsted weight yarn which will make it easier to see the patterns (and correct any mistakes). That also means the end result will be bigger than if we used fingering weight as the pattern calls for. But the original pattern makes a scarf or shawlette sized finished object, so bigger is not necessarily bad. Here’s a photo of what we will be working on:

Lace Wingspan

This class is offered at What in Yarnation! a LYS in Cannon Falls, MN. A great shop that opened just a couple years ago. They have already upgraded their retail space once and are a great place to visit to shop or just to knit for a bit. If you have not been by yet, you really should put it on your list of Things to Do. (And if you happen to be a foodie – be sure to also stop by at Ferndale Market, home of the Best Turkeys Ever as well as a selection of other local and/or organic foods).

If you are interested in joining us for class, you can read the full class details. We will meet once for each section of the shawl, so eight sessions. The class is scheduled for Wednesday afternoons. If you would like to participate but are unable to make the current time slot, please let me or What in Yarnation know. If we get enough interest, we will schedule another session at a time the works for the people participating. Meanwhile, registration in advance of class is required and space is limited, so sign up soon!

Wingspan and variations

Wingspan is a wonderful, versatile knit that even beginners can complete successfully. Knit all in one piece the pattern uses short rows to create the unique shape. This simple design does a great job of showing of variegated or handpainted yarns. It is also a great way to use up various bits of scrap yarn. Because the pattern is so easy to memorize, it makes a good travelling project as well. Best of all – its free! Just download it from Ravelry and away you go.

While the pattern calls for Fingering weight yarn, you could use any weight yarn you wanted. It will change the yardage requirements and/or the finished size, but its a shawl – a variety of different sizes “work” and there is no single right size. In fingering weight, its finished size is about a shawlette or scarf, but if you want it larger, just do more repeats of the pattern. This example is done in Noro Taiyo Sock, whose color changes make for an interesting final result:

Wingspan shawl

Since the Wingspan pattern came out, it has been very popular. Many people have taken the basic pattern and created lovely variations, including stitch patterns, planned color changes, different edgings, and even versions for crochet, tunisian crochet, and loom knitting! My favorite variation is the Lace Wingspan, which uses a different lace stitch pattern for each section of the shawl. This variation offers directions both written out and charted, making it reasonably easy to work through. This example was knitted using Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash:

Lace Wingspan

Like the regular Wingspan, this can be done in any weight yarn. By doing it in worsted weight, the finished shawl is a typical shawl size and can be wrapped around to keep you warmer, which is not really an option with the smaller size generated by using fingering weight yarn. It also means I could leave off the “small” triangles called for in the pattern as the shawl turned out big enough without those additions. I have worn it a few times and it is always noticed by others.

If you are leery of doing “lace”, doing the Lace Wingspan in worsted weight will make it easier as you get to use normal size needles and you can easily see the pattern the stitches are making. Plus, you get to experiment with eight different stitch patterns in one project. If you do not want to be committed to a big lace project, this one changes often enough to keep you interested. Give it a try!