I think I’ve mentioned before that I like a challenge. In knitting and in life, I tend to go for things 100%, to jump in with both feet, to act first and worry about consequences later (well, as much as a neurotic overthinker can). It was these traits that led me to select Rock Island as the first proper lace pattern I would ever attempt. I am actually crazy. THIS is what I am attempting to knit.

Rock Island pattern pic

The pattern is Rock Island by Jared Flood. Look upon it and weep.

Maybe the theme of my year is go big or go home. I came into 2015 with my most complex ever knit, Little Wave, on the needles and I have managed to create a garment that I truly love. I also went all out with my birthday bake. Perhaps 2015 is my year to be bold, daring and take risks.

I now own blocking equipment. This just got serious.

Here’s where I was last week. I used my newly arrived blocking equipment to pin out the lace so you can see what it will look like finished.

One of the many scary things about knitting proper lace is that you don’t really know what it will look like until it’s been blocked- washed and stretched to within an inch of its life. Until I finish and block this shawl, I am acting on blind faith that what I am doing in some way corresponds to the incredible beauty of the sample picture above. Oh god of knitting, please bestow your gifts upon this humble madwoman!

I drew a little sketch to show how a shawl can be constructed from the long edge up. For any experienced lace knitters this will be old hat, but it’s all new hat to me!

Here’s where I am right now. I’m working the Rock Island lace chart and I can’t wait for it to be over. I am currently using a lifeline every two rows because if I drop a stitch, it would be beyond me to pick it back up. Each row currently takes over 30mins to knit so having to rip back would be pretty devastating.

Here’s a close up of the lace.

This project has really reinvigorated my love of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. This shawl is my Ancient Runes OWL- Ordinary Wizarding Level to any Muggle readers. To earn an OWL, Ravellers propose a project to the examiners, which they estimate will take around two months to make. You also agree a 50% mark for the project. You get 200 points for your House (Gryffindor in my case- go Lions!) in total, 75 for completing the midterm and 125 for the final exam. I am making this shawl for an event in April and I genuinely think that without the additional motivation of the Cup, I would not have persevered with this highly challenging project.