Thoughts about Peacock Feathers

I'm moving along with my Peacock Feathers shawl. It isn't fast knitting, but it is moving along. A few things I've noticed:

The yarn I'm using is stored on a cone. I like it! It's such tiny yarn (see the single strange coming off the cone?) that I'm sure it would be a horrible mess without the cone. It is disconcerting to knit with what feels like thread, though.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I had finished Chart 1, and that I was going to try to make myself put a lifeline in. I did install the lifeline -- after Chart 1, and then a second one after Chart 1A. I am so very grateful that I did! On the fifth row of Chart 2, I noticed that I had dropped a stitch and the drop had made a giant mistake. It's laceweight with lots of yarnovers. No way I could work my way back to fix it, so I just frogged back to the lifeline and reknit the rows. It was more than easier -- it made fixing the mistake possible. Otherwise, I probably would have had to restart from scratch. I'll keep using lifelines, at least between each chart, and maybe more often when the rows get longer. (See the yellow lifeline in the picture? End of Chart 1A -- that's the very lifeline that saved the shawl.)

I love to read charts. I much prefer charts to written out instructions, but I have never had to reverse direction of decreases while working the chart backwards. It's not too bad, really. I have gotten used to it. To keep myself straight, I printed out the charts (I bought the downloadable version of the pattern) and took them to my Office Supply store to have them laminated. I am using a piece of painter's tape to keep my place on the chart as I knit each row. I used a Sharpie to mark the direction of the symbol for the knit two together decrease -- on the right of the chart for the normal direction and on the left of the chart to remind me as I go backwards. That's saving me lots of grief.

It is also a cool aspect to this pattern -- so far -- that the row number equals the stitch count to the halfway point of the shawl. So row 61 has 61 stitches to the halfway point and then 61 more stitches for the rest of the row. I think of each row in two halves, so it makes counting my stitches for accuracy easy. And believe me, I count stitches at the end of each row -- also made simple by the use of stitch markers.

It's not an easy knit, but the designer has kept it from being frustrating by very excellent instructions and charts. It makes doing something difficult a fun challenge rather than an impossible task.