Finally an FO! It seems like I've been languishing in WIPs for ages, but now everything is more or less 75% done so I will be finishing off more and more things. The first is the Heartland Lace Shawl
The pattern is meant to be buffalo hooves, I think, with diamonds, but to me it's just a great geometric pattern. I'm not a fan of lace leaves, this kind of design appeals to me much more.
The yarn is Isager Strik Alpaca 2, a fingering weight alpaca/wool blend that my good friend Yarnmaiden gifted to me two Christmases ago. The shawl took just under a year to knit (51 weeks, according to my Rav page!), but of course that includes my two months in Central Asia when I got no knitting at all done, and my move to the UK.
Also, the lace pattern was not memorize-able, so I had to keep a chart with me when I wanted to knit it, which reduced its travel-knitting potential.
The strange thing about this lace is that it isn't really symmetrical, and the repeat was a large number of rows, so I wasn't able to remember what rows came after what - in many lace patterns, for instance, you have a leaf that decreases into a point, or whatever, so you can easily predict what the next row will be. This was not like that, so it was a little more challenging.
I LOVE that final result though. The fingering weight yarn makes it more cuddly than delicate, and the alpaca content makes it so soft and warm. This is one of the biggest shawls I've knit (using just barely under a full 100g of yarn, on size US6 needles), and it is cuddly and surprisingly wearable. Epic success!