After I finished my Ishbel, I probably should have jumped to a pattern calling for heavier yarn, bigger needles, and the promise of a faster finish. Instead, I decided to start on my Damask, which I had been itching to try since I first saw it on Ravelry. The pattern is so stunning, and really stands apart from the other lace shawls I’ve seen.

Although a bit tedious at the start, due to its long cast-on and bottom-up construction, it’s been really fun to knit. The pattern is really complex and requires a lot of attention, but the trade-off is that I can easily ‘read’ my knitting, making missed stitches easier to catch and remedy. I am especially enjoying the new stitches that I’ve learned: the pattern uses ‘nups’ to add even more texture (in fact, I would say the defining feature of this shawl is its texture, so that only closer inspection reveals all its flavor) and a funny combo of stitches labelled as ‘SlKYOK’.

It took me a while to interpret this stitch pattern, but finally I realized that the slipped stitch was passed from left to right, or the opposite direction of your usual ‘PSSO.’ The passed-over stitch holds the two stitches on the needle together, and a yarn-over is placed between them when they are knit. Thus the eyelet hole created has little borders surrounding it. The picture above is pretty lousy, especially since the stitch is lost without blocking, but the finished result reminds me of a motif from Greek pottery.

My only problem so far is that I’m a little nervous about having enough yarn to complete this project. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Unlike a top-down shawl, I don’t get to dodge the short-on-yarn bullet by binding-off early. If I don’t have enough wool, then I might have to settle on a shawl with no beginning.

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