Finished Object: Henslowe Shawl

This was my first completed attempt at lacework.  My first two were a Henslowe (in a gorgeous cream color using the same yarn) and the Follow Your Arrow 2 KAL.  They both ended up in piles of yarn and tears.  And then when I was cleaning out my craft room, I found those jumbled tangles and just tossed them in the trash.  Expensive yarn be damned, I just couldn’t handle looking at them anymore.  Sometimes you just have to admit that sunk costs don’t count and move on.  But I LOVED the Henslowe pattern and wanted to give it another try.  So when I stumbled on this gorgeous green/grey Quince & Co I decided to give it a go.

I don’t want to give the impression that this is a difficult pattern.  It’s not.  At all.  In fact, I think it’s the perfect pattern for a beginner who wants to start doing lacework.  I just learn things that involve fine motor skills very very very slowly. This time around I learned how to use a lifeline (thank you, Stefanie) and I picked it up when I was calm and put it down when I was getting sick of it and it seemed to go much more smoothly.  It also took me about four months to complete because I put it down at one point and didn’t pick it up again for weeks.  (Knitting has been a good teacher of life lessons – don’t do important or intricate things when frazzled.)


I used Quince & Co Piper in San Angelo.  I made a few modifications to the lace pattern instead of just adding another repeat and I’m not sure if I love it as much I would have had I added some more repeats instead. You can read my project notes on ravelry here.


All and all it’s not perfect, but for my first lacework project, I’m very pleased.  I have another lace project picked out that has me very excited but it’s a bit more complicated and is using charts.  The yarn for it is GORGEOUS so I’m hoping to do it justice.


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  • Oh, it’s beautiful, Kate — you did an amazing job!!

    Couldn’t agree more: knitting IS a great teacher of life lessons. I’ve learned patience, perseverance, and yes, the all-important “know when to stop”…

    A few months ago I read Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It was a very funny (and educational) read, but one sentence in particular has stuck with me. She talks about projects that aren’t going well, for whatever reason, and how perhaps the thing to do is to re-imagine the project as something else. She winds up by saying “is the project perhaps a skein of yarn?”. This was such a freeing concept for me — if something isn’t going well, it’s perfectly ok to give up and take it back to its beginnings as a skein of yarn (or, in your case, to simply decide it’s totally unsalvageable and to toss it).

    • Thank you!! I love Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I haven’t read that book yet, but it’s on my list, and I LOVE her blog!

  • Beautiful Henslowe!
    As most of us tend to turn to our knitting during stressful times, I think we forget that projects that require our attention may not be the best of choices. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Thank you, Andi. It took me a long time to figure out that it’s okay to have more than one project on the needles at a time because there are different types of knitting. I love having projects that are bit more mindless for stressful days or when I’m going to be distracted by something, but it’s also nice to have something a bit more challenging to stretch my skill set. My knitting life is much more enjoyable now that I’ve stopped being a serial monogamist with projects!