Friday, November 25, 2011

The final stretch!!!

Close-up of a border swatch at the corner with the dreaded crochet cast off
At last, the final-final-final instructions are in. For those of you that do not crochet, it may seem like an uphill battle, to juggle needles and hooks and mix both skills. However, once you are done with it, you will have learned a new, useful skill. Many classic lace pieces are finished in this way because of the elasticity and the dainty look - including just about any Herbert Niebling and Marianne Kinsel piece, so if you want to tackle one, you have at least that one out of the way.

To the block!
Once you get through that hurdle, you still have to block this large piece. Clear a room, and put a blocking surface on the floor. I use El Cheapo interlocking floor puzzle pieces for kid playrooms, about $20 for a set at any Wal-Mart.
I always use blocking wires with large pieces like this. I pass the blocking wires through the center loops of each flower spray,  and through the straight edge. First I stretch to dimension, and put some pins in the edges and the center of the straight edge (for a triangle)
Here is a close-up detail of the blocking wires. In this case, I run them through the corner motif, but it is usually best to let it free if it has a rounded shape, and block it all by hand.
Now I put anchor T-pins where the wires hold the shawl, and meanwhile work in stretching it to the max while keeping the symmetry. There is a lot of bending over. stepping back, frowning upon and back to the beginning. It usually involves lots of coffee or tea, (since beer or wine would lead to a lopsided edge, most likely - but it is not for the lack of wanting).
Now is where you use about four boxes of T-pins pinning each of the little crocheted loops into a point. The spray flowers are given a rounded shape by adjusting the pins - there is just no good way to explain it!
Here is a detail of the corner, and the many pins it takes to give the border its shape. It is quite a pain but definitely worth the time, in order to have a well-finished shawl.
And here it is, my spectacular gossamer silk triangle, made in natural dyed cobweb weight Muga silk. and it is being held by none other than Cat Bordhi! Cat was in town to teach at our LYS, and she was quite a lot of fun.
And here again is my shawl, Cat and yours truly in a break at the class.
The class was about how to take your creativity in unexpected directions, and that it did. It was a lot of fun, and very enlightening. I definitely would like to use some of these exercises to take some of you in a creative trip - More details below!
At this point, I know that the struggle with the shawl is far from over. But I can tell you one thing: this is one shawl that will make even non-knitters look at you with admiration. A brag-a-licious shawl!

And I also got to meet Lorri, who made me feel like a rock star! she reads the blog so it was a lot of fun to meet. And of course, this is why I hardly ever take pictures of myself - I can't help making goofy faces!By the way, Lorri designed the cowl she was wearing (while I was walking Ms Elly).

And speaking of Elly... I have some great pictures of the shawls that the sampler makers sent me which I will show you in the next update. They all did such a great job!

Startitis attack
Once I was done with the final instructions in the shawl, it was as if the floodgates of knitting were open. I just had waaaaay too many project that had been postponed, so naturally I suffered an attack of startitis. To wit:
Gridiron Sweater for my youngest, in Iowa State Cyclones colors.I only have to knit the number, and lots of weaving ends, and it will be done.
Of course DH demanded his own football hat. And when it was done to his exacting instructions, he demanded a pom-pom. I may add blond braids while I am at it and turn it into a Helga Hat. Go Vikings! Even if they are lurching more than going, this year.
The Paul Atwell socks are half way there. Meaning I have one sock done, one to go. I may have it for Christmas! And did you notice my cool new yarn bowl? I found it at my local second-hand bookstore, which also has a lot of funky and artsy stuff. If you come to Phoenix and love books, make sure to stop at Changing Hands Bookstore and you will definitely find something. They even have a great coffee shop next door.
This wee test sock, knit for my 5-year old long and skinny feet, was my attempt at testing some of Cat Bordhi's sock techniques. You actually start by cutting a footprint of your own foot and use it to make a template (see Personal Footprints for Insouciant Knitters
That also means I have to make two new vanilla socks to make my son happy. He actually chose that yarn from my stash.

And my eternal struggle to kill the acrylic continues; I actually have enough log cabin squares for a small blanket, but I plan to add one more row. Then, it is all the fun stuff: sewing, picking up an edge, lots and LOTS of weaving ends! Well... I actually used a cool technique to hide most of the ends while knitting so it won't be so bad.
But the acrylic is still alive!!!! YIKES!!! Maybe I will make Christmas balls next? for next year?

The Afterfrog
I have such fun at the Cat Bordhi seminar, I am actually thinking of using some of the exercises to do a small design seminar I am thinking of calling the AfterFrog (like the aftershock of the 2011 KAL, LOL). I know many of you are thinking of, considering, or in the verge of designing your own stuff. This would be a creative exercise designed to take you from the inception of a design idea to the completion of a pattern - mixing a little bit the creative and fun parts with the actual roll-your-sleeves process of making it happen. It is a bit of the blind leading the blind since I am not a very experienced designer, but this is not about imparting vast knowledge but rather about making the jump from idea to practice. I would like to hear if there are some interesting people out there, since I don't think I can handle a group of more than 10. And yes, since it is an experiment, it is free. So drop me a line at Ravelry if you want to partake, and if I can find enough interested people (at least 5), we will hash out the details.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween with clue 3

I have just returned from a work conference in San Francisco.  What best memory of San Francisco pre-Halloween than a sourdough pumpkin head? This was in display at the famous Boudin bakery, right behind it you could see the row upon row of loaves leavening and baking and cooling. The smell of sourdough was so delicious I was almost dizzy with hunger.

Here is some more SF images:
"Occupy San Francisco" protesters camp-out

The "Occupy SF" movement was quite noisy across the street from the hotel. Apparently some of the Occupy Oakland folks were expected over the ferry to come join them. The police had a raid scheduled but it was called off in account of a minor earthquake. I was blessedly unaware of both the protest and the earthquake.

My friend, who slept in the other side of the hotel, had a lovely view, but unfortunately was too close to the protesters and had some trouble sleeping. Still, great views of the Bay bridge and the Ferry building.
Atrium of the Hilton Embarcadero hotel

Speaking of the hotel... what a lovely atrium. Curves and straight lines crisscrossing. I will keep this in the inspiration board.
Sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf

I heard the weather was terrible most summer, foggy and sad, but past week the weather was lovely, sunny and clear, just a bit chilly. Here are the sea lions huddling together lazily

And just a hint of fog over the Golden Gate bridge. It is just fitting I finish my USA clue 12 here since it was the point of inspiration. Yes, I did 12 rows here! can you say "tendinitis"?

 I did need a lot of coffee to stay awake - I have simply lost the ability to sit still and listed to somebody speak for 8 hours straight. Luckily, the famous Blue Bottle Coffee was across the street. Best. Coffee. Ever. Will put hair in your chest. Just look at the huge queue of people waiting outside circa lunch time.

A good soul pointed me in the direction of 'Imagiknit",  a quaint yarn store in the lovely Mission district, rows of houses  just cute as a button. The store was packed to the rafters with gorgeous yarn in a dizzying variety of colors and materials. I went straight for the sock and lace, then thought better and got some chunky weight yarn (of which I have none in the stash). My hands also got tangled with some gold-colored Himalayan silk and it followed me home. I realized I had unconsciously bought Halloween tone yarns: autumn orange, black, and zombie green. Probably because I have become totally addicted to Zombie Farm for Android. It is such a silly game - farm zombies, invade your neighbours. Like a sick Farmville, but totally cute. My Nook suffered a power outage (maybe it does not like earthquakes?) and fritzed on me, just when I was reviewing a novel I may use for the 2012 KAL. I was a little sick of knitting (8 hours of conference - 8 hours  of knitting), ergo Zombie Farm. I am not very good at the game, and I am getting my undead butt kicked, but having fun at it.
I did get much done in some of the projects, and as it often happens in the airports, I came up with a new idea during the waiting. I promise pictures next time!

Reaching the end of 2011
We will be soon reaching the final clue of 2011. I may need again to push the date of release, mostly because I want to add a tutorial for the cast off portion, and I don't find anything to my liking, meaning I may have to make one myself, maybe even develop a small practice swatch such as the dishcloth last year... but with better instructions :)

And maybe the beginning of 2012?
Keep the inspirations coming! There was some talk on the forum about it; People suggested round shape, floral motifs, it looks like you guys are in the mood for a very romantic year. I would love to hear more suggestions, as well as some of your favorite books/stories/characters/themes to use as an inspiration. I have started the research phase of it (i.e. I have been looking at shawls I like, books, books about shawls...), which is always an anxiety-ridden phase, until finally the golden idea strikes and I have a vision of where I want to go. The final result may be different, but I do need that point of departure. the 10% inspiration, where I can put the remaining 90% perspiration. So keep pushing me in the right direction.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rav member Fenna, and her gorgeous shawl through clue 2
My silk triangle shawl, through clue 1, with gold beads
One more clue, and the end is so close we can almost touch it! By now, the rounds are becoming tediously long, but as the edge begins to unravel, hopefully you all have new found energies to arrive in London safely and claim your wage :)
Unfortunately, my experimentation with some of the new Ravelry features had a rather disastrous effect; Some of you found that clicking the "update" button brought indeed the new clue, but also wiped out the past clues from Rav library. In retrospect, this makes a lot of sense; the "update" function is there to let you know that there is a new version of a pattern you acquired, and that means the old pattern is obsolete and it is removed when the new, updated version is uploaded. sigh.
Fortunately, I think I will be able to use this feature next year, and just have one cumulative pattern that gets updated with the new clue added, so you won't miss old clues or have dozens of little clues all over. This is still on the refining process, and I definitely have to make sure that there are no glitches (such as, Rav attempting to charge you after the pattern changes from free to pay). But we are getting there. Meanwhile, if your data got wiped out, you can either buy the cumulative pattern (2.50, not a bad deal), which you can keep in your library forever, or if you honestly feel you are owed a copy, email me and I will send you a copy of the pattern up to clue 12, but yo won't be able to keep it in the library or update it with the final clues.
Clue 3 will take us one step closer to the end. However, I need to push its release a couple of days back, to Sunday, October 30th. I will be in a conference in San Francisco until then, and even if I take my laptop with me, I don't want to have any surprises having to rely on whatever Internet connection I have in the hotel (some hotels give you very limited data upload and such).
Any good yarn stores I should visit while I am in SF???

New projects

With my square shawl trudging along the last rows of USA, I really needed to get cracking on my mom's coat. This is the first time I design a truly shaped sweater, with set in sleeves, sleeve caps, and all that jazz. There was a lot of math, and I really had to struggle to stay organized and type down the instructions as I go. I have a bad habit of making shorthand notes in a dozen different locations, which make perfect sense at the time, but after a few weeks, or even days, I can't decipher my own gibberish. Case in point is the hat I developed as a swatch. I did some beautiful crown shaping with the cabled motifs merging gorgeously, and now I can't for the life of me figure out how I did it. Which means making another hat while I try to figure out whether the scribbles are cable symbols or Chinese characters.
This coat also meant I had to develop smarter strategies to make the model, and minimize frogging. I am almost programmed to start a sweater at the back, then make the fronts, then the sleeves. However,  I started at the front side, to test the armhole and neck shaping. Now I am moving to the sleeve, which also has a lot of shaping. If those fit well, then the rest of the coat follows. I am scaring myself with all this organization. And I am shaking in my boots to think about grading this (adding extra sizes). But the pattern is too beautiful to keep it solely as my mom's pet projects, so I will have to woman up and do it.

Elly Samples
A big thanks to those of you who offered to make a sample Elly for me. I ended up with five samplers, one who offered her own stash (thanks Dragonflyjenn!), and here is what the other four got:

From the top: Pink yarn is Stroll Glimmer, a fingering yarn with threads of lurex. It is actually quite soft to touch, and the twinkle is quite subtle. I think if I was a little girl, I would go nuts over a little hat or scarf made with this. I think it is going to make a very cheery and fun scarf!. Red yarn is the luscious Gloss DK, a silk/merino blend that is just delish to touch. Purple yarn is some Shadow from my own stash, a pretty basic workhorse lace yarn with a lovely heathered color. Finally, the blue yarn is Stroll Tonal, but the picture really does not do justice to the lovely color variations within. All in all, a stellar lineup, I think we should have a great collection of Ellies in a variety of impersonations, and I can't wait to meet them all!
Thank you to all of the participants!
Just some pretty yarn...
 All my latest project are brown, brown, brown... so I was thrilled when I got my first installment of the Sweet Georgia Yarn sock yarn club. Such lovely, romantic blend of browns, purples and turquoise. The photo does not do it justice.
I have also been toying with the idea of making a little football shirt for my littlest one using Gridiron. The ownership of the magazine is up, and the pattern is now all mine. So I need to type it up, make some new photos, and put it up for sale. I have a Minnesota Vikings version for my eldest, so the choice now is, what to do for the little one? Arizona Cardinals or Iowa State Cyclones? I think daddy would love the little monster on a Cyclones shirt...It is such a fun little knit! And there has to be some football lover moms and grandmas that want to make one for their kids this Christmas, don't you think?

Will there be a 2012 KALendar?
Of course there will be! it is just too much fun not to do it. I have started chewing on some ideas and inspirations, but as usual your input means so much to me. You all know that the KALendar is a frogocracy (I get to make all the decisions), but still your opinions and wishes often fuel my inspiration and help me push the envelope. So I will likely start a thread within the group so you can all sound your opinion, and get me going. This year, it was very clear that things are a lot better when you have more planning time, though we ended up in crunch time for the border. Thank God for my test knitters!!!! They saved my butt a few times.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

All done... and in awe!

An unusually brief and photo-less update today... but I just needed to let it out. I have finished my 2011 KALendar shawl!!! One of them, at any rate... the blue Muga silk with gold colored beads. And what a sight it is. Absolutely exquisite, and worth of a Maharani to be sure. I had added an extra USA repeat, and it is one big large sucker... 47 in deep by 108 in wingspan, and all 920 yards of silky glory.
My last worries about the appearance of the border and the blocking and the yardage are finally put to rest. You will not be disappointed by your shawl, I promise!!!
Now, if I could only finish my Cashmere square... but my mom has been reminding me that I promised to finish the cabled coat for winter, so am applying myself to it. Why, o why did I promise her a 3/4 length coat???

Be an Elly sample, try some yarn
And now, a little plea for help. Knit Picks has agreed to place Elly as a free download pattern in their site! I am very excited because they do get a lot of traffic, and I really would love to share Elly with a lot of people. But here is the catch: I need to make a sample in some KP yarn, any yarn or color I choose (and lucky me, I can choose any, since Elly is an "all yarn" pattern). 
But I am woefully short of time, so I would like to ask for some help. Here is the deal: if you think you can turn a sample of Elly in a week or two max, I will let you choose any KP yarn you want, send you the yarn at home, and you make the sample. I would need the finished sample sent to me for a short while, so I can take pictures (unless you are an awesome photographer yourself and can send me some great snaps). I will send you the sample back, and it is yours to keep.
Let me make this clear: KP is not giving me the yarn, I have to buy it, and being it a free pattern, I make no money out of it. So I really need somebody that keeps her/his end of the deal.
I can probably use 2-3 samples, so if you would like to make Elly, and you are really itchin' to try some KP yarn (how about their new Sugarbunny?), send me an email at, letting me know who you are, your Rav name, what yarn and color you would like to try, and your pinky promise that you WILL make the sample promptly and return it to me. If I have a lot of takers, I will have an innocent-ish hand draw names and will let you know. 
Just one more thing... due to mailing cost and time I can offer it only to USA knitters. Maybe next time I can partner up with an European or Canadian dyer/retailer!

Well, here is some Malabrigo Rios I had bought for a Lazy Elly in Rainbow colorway. I just noticed that all my WIPs are some shade of brown or another. My 5-year old picked this one right away, I can't argue with his taste :)
Are you ready for the next round of border awesomeness next week?  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Clue 12: Are we there yet???

My Mr. Fogg Square Shawl with a partial clue 12
Right about now, most of you are feeling like little kids on a really long car trip: Are we there yet? Tired of laboring long (and if you make the square shawl, obscenely long) rounds of repetitive knitting, you wish for the excitement and the challenge of our grand finale border. And we won't disappoint you! With the weather starting to cool off, we can finally sit down with our shawl in our lap, and "git'er done" in time to show off during the holidays.

 Unfortunately, I have been lagging a little bit with my square shawl, and I only have a partial clue to show, but you get the idea. I can't say enough of this Hedgehog Fibers cashmere lace, with its beautiful stitch definition and the soft halo, and a softness that it is to die for. You will have to pry this shawl from my cold dead fingers!
Why doesn't my camera get along with the blues?
Unfortunately, my Muga silk cobweb shawl does not photograph well at all - the color here looks like a muddy brown, while it is a deep blue. I added an extra repeat of the USA clue for size, so I thought I would show you. The beads are size 8 gold colored beads.

Border Details, the Big Reveal

This year, the border is intrinsic to the shawl - meaning, knit with the shawl and not separately and attached or knit-on later. It is a couple of rows shy of 50, and you may be able to expand it or shrink it only by a couple of rows at the end. There is no bailing out halfway, so make sure you have enough yarn.
For yarn guesstimation purposes, you should have at least as much yarn as  you used for USA2 plus a couple of hundred yards for security. I would say, about 600 yards.
The border will add between 5-7 inches per side, once blocked, but this varies a lot with your gauge and yarn.
The method of choice to turn corners is a separate motif that will be worked in the corner (thus there will be charts for the straight sides and a different chart for the corner). You will have to toggle between charts, so make sure you have a good supply of chart markers - maybe a large cookie sheet and a collection of magnetic strips or a highlighter.

There shall be opportunities for beads, nupps, and all of the above. In fact, there are multiple options for those elements, which the test knitters have lovingly nicknamed:
  • Plain vainilla border. Don't worry, the border is very ornate so if you do not like beads or nupps, it will still look spectacular.
  • Nupp groupings. Plenty of nupps,but not overwhelmingly so, it is an elegant option. You can also work these as beads
  • Sprinkle of beads. Just a few beads scattered on the lacier parts for a bit of sparkle without weight. These beads are marked differently and can not be converted to nupps.
  • Superbead option. Indulge the glam within you, make all the nupps as beads and add the "sprinkles" as well. This option may give you a heavy border, and it will use a whooping 1,000 beads for the square, but it is a head-turner.
  • Baroque option. Work the nupps as nupps and add the bead sprinkle as well. Who says you can't have it all???
Once you realize that you can also combine with the different options in the corners (eg a "superbead" corner with a more simple straight side), your head may start spinning. Another problem is that you will have to commit to a format from the beginning, and trust me, you don't want to rip. So find your zen place, and make a decision, and order your beads. I should be able to give you a bead count soon.

The book ends with a bang - our heroes race the Atlantic burning their boat as they go, Fogg is thrown in prison, they think they have lost the race, only to find that the won when they gained one day by travelling with the sun. And the romantic touch. It is one of the  most exciting book endings in classic literature. We will be matching this hellish fast pace with our own. The border will be revealed in 4 shortish clues (8-14 rows), spaced 2 weeks apart. Work permitting, here are the tentative release dates:
  1. Sept 30th (so hurry up and finish your USA 2!)
  2. Oct 14
  3. Oct 28
  4. Nov 11 (how COOL is this? our last clue is 11/11/11
That gives us plenty of time to finish in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, swap yarn leftovers, make a couple of Ellys for Christmas giving, and start gabbing about what we want to do in 2012.
Excited? I really hope you are

Where in the world is Carmen Neverfrog?
You probably have noticed that I have been conspicuously absent from the boards lately. There has not been any tsunami-like event in my life. And unfortunately, I have not been involved into any super sikrit project I hope to show off soon. I have just been having a big, fat helping of Supermom Syndrome. You know, that illness all women have where they feel they need to prove they can do it all and do it well. 
First, there is this day job thing. Need it for food, shelter, health insurance and all that minutia. My job site is having a major expansion which means a lot of extra paperwork, update classes, computer crap, and people generally running around with their hair on fire. Good for business, bad for stress. 
Then there is this mom thing. My eldest just started Kindergarten, which means all of the sudden he is released in the middle of the afternoon, and there is a "short day" in the middle of the week, and I had to scramble to find other activities to keep him from driving us batty at home. Thus Mom becomes She Who Drives Kids Around.And the youngest is in the middle of UberTerrible Twos, and Potty Training Bootcamp.
Since I really, really needed another job, there is still this home remodel project we are doing in our rental unit. Trust me, it is a LOT more fun when you see it in HGTV, where edgy designers and hunky carpenters and electricians put together a lovely home update in three days and show it to the delighted owners. Spending your time off unglueing ancient flooring, painting the trim, cleaning prehistoric dust from the ceiling fans and touring really hot stone and tile warehouses, not so much fun. But somehow, Roach Inn is slowly inching its way to becoming a lovely modern and efficient little home with high-end finishes. We will share pictures, and you won't believe the transformation.
Which leaves us with this knitting business. Forget about socializing on the net, working on new designs, submitting to magazines. I am just keeping my head above water, putting all I have into getting this border put together. Definitely, my head has not been on the game as it should and my latest charts have had some major boo-boos. Thankfully, the talented test knitter pool has saved my butt a few times pointing out major errors and modifications that needed to be made and goading me towards and overall better design. A big thanks to them for sticking it out this long!!! Deborah, Tasha, Susan, Karen, you are the best.
Hopefully, as the dust settles and I fall into a new rhythm, I will be back to my usual self. God knows I have a notebook full of sketches and ideas waiting to be developed.

Some FOs 
I have finished a couple of projects due for my sister and mom's birthdays, only two months late. Yay.

My sister will be receiving this Fitted Top from Vogue Summer 2011. Instead of expensive silk yarn, I used Cascade Ultra Pima cotton, in a bright turquoise color. Really cheap project, I needed only 3 hanks, and very showy. It was quick and fun to knit though it looked very awkward while being knitted. The finishing, however, it was another story. LOTS of sewing, and LOOOOTS of ends to weave. the result is pretty cool, though I have left a bit of it unsewn in the back so my sis can adjust the fit. I think it is a great top to wear over your swimsuit with a pair of shorts or a sarong, you can go straight from the beach to have a few drinks.

  The Mission Cardigan from IK Summer 2011 is for my mother. I hated making it. The yarn is Louet Euroflax (100% linen), a sport weight linen worked on really thick needles. There is no end to what I disliked about it. The yarn is stiff and splitty even with blunt needles. The pattern was all written and I had to make my own little charts. Getting gauge was hell.  There was enough similarity between all the portions and enough differences that I kept making mistakes the moment I clicked into mindless knitting and man, it is hard to read the knitting with this yarn. Blocking to size was a pain because unlike wool, the linen does not stretch well. Sewing this net-like fabric was a pain. Weaving in ends is hard. However, the results are 100% lovely, the cardi knits up relatively fast and it is a very wearable and fun garment. Almost worth all the trouble. Almost. One quick tip, if you attempt this, use a lace cast-on for the bottom edge. It will look extremely messy on the needles but once you get to blocking, it will give you a cleaner edge that won't pucker the bottom of the garment. I was tempted to bind the neckband with k2tog, but it looked bulky and messy so I just went up 2 needle sizes. 

In the middle of the 800-stitch-per-row and complicated lacy stuff pattern, I needed to find a little solace on something simple and small, so I started a pair of Paul Atwell Socks for my father. I had this gorgeous skein of SG Little Traveller in an one-off colorway. I have loved this socks since I first saw them in the Yarn Harlot blog. They are simple, manly socks that show off variegated yarn well, so they are fun to knit and discreet enough that a man won't object. In fact, I love the stitch pattern so much I am pondering making something with some derivations of it. 

We will see each other soon... Knit fast to finish your Clue 12 and join in the mad rush to the finish!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hello, Elly!

whisper-thin Elly in cobweb weight Muga silk with glass beads
Finally, Elly is ready to be released! I had a wonderful set of test-knitters, that made me rework the final written pattern to make it really user friendly and clear. The pattern contains a lot of links to the more unusual techniques for those that are just getting their feet wet into the great river of beyond-beginner lace.
Here is Elly's Ravelry project page

Elly has proven to be an incredibly versatile pattern. It managed to look good in every possible yarn weight, other than bulky. In variegated, bicolor, and solid options. With or without beads. Regular or "lazy" (all purled WS).
Above you can see a cobweb yarn option (the scrumptious Indigo Moon Muga Silk, in purple cochineal dye), with glass beads, that rendered a lighter-than-air neckerchief to dress up any plain top. See it here again:

A lovely picture show of all the FO's from the talented tester pool, in many versions and weights
Bcrobb shawl in Tencel lace from Valley yarns

Blessedspeedy in Adorn Sock

BusyMind in Cascade Vero DK. Larger weights knit at relatively tighter gauge, for a cozier shawl with a lot of great texture.

FiaKnit used cone lace yarn with beads

GoodNurse version in St-Denis Nordique (sport) finished with picot cast off to avoid edge rolling

NadiaZ60 used mohair lace for a deliciously fluffy shawl

Malabrigo Silky Merino looks just huggable in Panfila's shawl version. she used an i-cord cast off.

Quilterx made this in KnitPicks Shadow bare, which she plans to overdye

Subtly marbled Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn for Starfish15, lovely color!

after seeing VintageRedHead worsted weight version, I plan to buy some Malabrigo to make me one...

Another St-Denis Nordique sport weight shawl by xstmj

Elly looks well also in heavy variegated yarn with texture in Yarn-Dar's version
After viewing the pictures, I bet you already have in mind some stashed yarn you can use for an Elly. It uses less then 400 yards for smaller versions, and 400-450 for the DK-worsted weight. And if you can't decide, make a couple of them. It is a quick knit, that you can finish in a week or less. The cast on and first couple of rows are a bit painful, since the shawl is started in the long (lace) edge, but once the lace is stablished, it sort of flies of the needles, and the final short row part is just a cinch. So it actually gets faster and easier as you finish!

And at the whooping price of zippo, zilch, nada... free! What excuse do you have not to make one?