by Dee O'Keefe
Available on Ravelry for $6.00
I must say, I absolutely LOVE patterns by Dee O'Keefe. Not only are her shawls breathtaking, her patters are very complete. When I say complete, I mean very detailed, edited well, small tutorials for complex stitch work type complete. Not only do her patterns guide you, they guide you well; there is a flow that makes sense as you progress through the project. (I won't mention the name of the pattern here, but I was working on a sweater and the write-up for the directions was very confusing. You had to jump all over the place to complete the sweater, with little bits and pieces on different pages without reference. While I made it through to the other side, it made me appreciate a well-written pattern even more.)
I made this shawl for my mother's birthday present. She loves red, so I went with a deep, hand-dyed red in a lace weight yarn. (The pattern is written for fingering weight, though Dee makes it pretty easy to choose any weight yarn for the shawl.) That way she can wear it from early fall onward without it being too hot. It is a top-down, semicircular shawl when complete. The center of the body of the shawl follows a lace pattern called English Mesh Lace and I feel the shape of that lace pattern is echoed nicely in the design chosen for the wide knit-on border.
With a toddler and a newborn, I had limited time to knit this project, sneaking a few rows here and there, so my time for completion is a little off. It took me about two months to get it done, but I think it could work up much faster. The pattern is actually pretty easy to memorize and there are both charts and written instructions for whichever you find to be easier. I was a little lazy blocking the very edge, but the shawl really does come to life when you block it. The finished product is something you can feel proud to have knitted.
Summary: This is a great lace shawl for an intermediate level knitter. As always, I recommend checking out the completed projects on Ravelry to get an idea of what different colors and yarn weights might give you, but gauge was not critical with this particular project. The price of the pattern may seem steep, but it is well worth it. Dee O'Keefe clearly puts a lot of love in her designs and patterns.