After posting the picture of Stephanie & the purple blob, I got to wondering what the shawl really looked like. So here's a photo of it spread out onto half a dozen needles:
and here is a close up of the patterning:
The madeira wave around the neck was difficult to do, especially since I was in the car and my husband was talking to me from time to time, and now I think it will be invisible when the shawl is worn. Maybe I'll repeat it around the bottome -- when there will be a few more repeats of it.
The shawl currently hangs just above my elbows unblocked, and gains about six inches when I stretch it (very unscientific). I'm almost at the next doubling point. The discussion of the shawl in Knitting Around says they generally don't double a fifth time but this shawl needs so much more length that I think I'll do it. I've got about 8 rows to decide, though, and 8 rows takes a while.
This faggoting pattern is simplicity itself, which has made the shawl mindless knitting. I'm hoping, though that it won't look funny in the middle of the shawl, with more solid areas above and below. I can't quite remember why I launched myself on this huge project without any planning (something to do with a looming vacation & no travel knitting on hand, plus this huge quantity of purple laceweight Shetland and a decade's curiousity about this oddly shaped shawl ....). Maybe what it needs is something that combines the top and the middle -- something more open than the top but more patterned than the middle -- say, something like Sharon Miller's Feathered Border pattern (Heirloom Knitting p. 164 - 167).
That's a good plan for someone with two little kids and about half an hour of knitting time every day.
Well, I've got the 12 rows of the zig zag and a couple of rows of increase and maybe a plain row or two before I really need to figure out what I'm doing next. I'm sure inspiration will strike. Suggestions are welcome.