Completed Tree Shawl

Whew!  Lately I’ve been so busy, it’s been hard to find time to work on any of my projects.  Classes have picked up, and I just started a new job.  But, I have completed the tree shawl!

While this project did not turn out the way I had hoped, I did learn a valuable lesson in designing.  Yarn choice matters even (especially?) when you’re messing around with an idea!

Tree Shawl - front

When I started this project, I just wanted to see if the structure of the garment and my tree motif would work.  So, I grabbed some yarn from my stash and happily set away knitting.  I knew the colors were not what I would want in this shawl, but that wouldn’t be a problem in an experiment like this, right?  Wrong!  The stripes ended up totally distracting me while I worked, making it really difficult for me to tell if the design was actually progressing the way I wanted it to or not.

Tree Shawl - Back

The second challenge this yarn provided was how loosely the fibers were wound together.  The yarn was soft (it felt heavenly to work with), but the loose winding actually made it very difficult to undo pieces I wanted to change.  When I was frogging sections, I frequently had to deal with the yarn breaking.  Great fiber for a super soft sweater.  Bad fiber for experimentation.

Tree Motif Finished

However, I did learn from my experimentation that this sort of garment needs to be worked with a gauge that is larger than recommended.  The finished fabric ended up so stiff that the shape of the garment is not the most flattering.

All this being said, I am still not going to consider this shawl a flop.  I set out in working on this to learn and test my ideas, and even though the results were not what I had hoped for, I did manage to test the ideas and learn ways to improve the design.  (And I have a new, incredibly warm shawl.  I’m excited to curl up with it and work on Christmas presents as it gets colder!)

Do you have any lessons from a project that didn’t quite turn out the way you expected?  Share your stories in the comments section!


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