FOs: Art Deco Shawl & Mitts

When I first wore my new shawl on a shopping trip to some local shops, I was approached twice. A drunk man outside the butcher's informed me that I was "the most beautiful woman in the world" and shortly afterwards a toothless shouted an indecent proposal after me as I was walking home with shopping bags. Based on that evidence, I think it is fair to conclude that my new shawl is a bonafide success. Oh, and that I probably do not want to wear it to the local shops.

The shawl was an easy and very intuitive knit. After a couple of fans, I had the pattern "in my fingers" and could fudge my way if stitches didn't add up. The last row of so-called "half-fans" did not make sense as I read it, but once I began knitting, things clicked in my head. Two tiny, tiny warnings: you will be picking up a lot of stitches with this pattern and there are many ends to weave in. If you are fine with those two aspects, I'd recommend the Fan Shawl pattern. It is smart, it's entertaining and it's free. Huzzah.

I chose to use King Cole Mirage as I wanted a washable wool with stunning colours. I had previously used the wool for a garterstitch project and really liked working with it. Unfortunately Mirage turned out to be a splitty nightmare once I started doing decreases and picking up stitches. I alternated between three balls in order to avoid pooling and had enough wool for an extra row before the "half-fans". The colours kept me going long after the fan-making had turned almost tedious (although the pattern had a "just one more fan before I.." aspect to it).

Honestly? I like the end result a lot more than I liked the process of knitting it. I think it may be a first for me. Dave says the fans remind him of the Chrysler Building, so we've dubbed this "the Art Deco Shawl".

After finishing the shawl, I had enough wool leftover for a pair of quick mitts. Last summer I admired a Hand-Knitted Pirate's mitts and had mentally noted the name of the pattern. When I found myself in need of a quick knit, I uncovered the pattern. I knitted these mitts over two nights but, really, they are a one-night project even including sewing up the sides and other finishing touches.

Modifications: I only used Pattern 1. I repeated it six times before ribbing and casting off. I also went down to 3.25mm because I remember The Pirate's mitts being a touch too big for my hands. These fit better. To be honest, I'm not bowled over by the pattern - I would have liked a thumb gusset and a bit more shaping - but what do I expect from a pair of quick and easy mitts?

They do look beautiful and will work well together with my grey gloves underneath.

(Apologies for the first photo; the light was slightly odd in the greenhouses today)