I finished a pair of socks that have been on the needles for over six months! This is not an unusual situation for me. I always have a pair of socks on the needles that are for me. I like knitting socks. I wear hand knit socks, exclusively. Since I am obsessive about always having a knitting project in my bag, no matter where I go, having a sock on the needles is pretty much a lifestyle requirement.
Sock knitting conquered, I pulled out the ball of Reticule (Mrs. Crosby) and spent a day knitting the design-as-one-goes pi shawl. I finished the third segment (48 rows). Worked the next increase row and then contemplated a new design element for the next segment (96 rows). I wanted to add a lace element to my band of traveling stitches swirling about the shawl. I leafed through the Treasury of Knitting Patterns (volume one, by Barbara Walker) looking for inspiration. I knew I wanted a very open lace pattern. I also wanted the stitch pattern to be easily converted to knitting in the round (the majority of stitch patterns are written to be worked flat) and easy to remember. I had used a faggoting stitch when knitting a market bag several years ago but wanted something a bit more interesting. After swatching a few contenders, I decided to use the Vandyke faggoting stitch. It is a multiple of three stitches, allowing me to insert the lace as stitches open behind the traveling band. The fabric under the traveling band will stay in stockinette. I also decided to change my needle size from 2.75mm to 3.00mm. The slightly larger needle size should add to the openness of the fabric.