Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments on my socks! But I think no more socks for a while, as I've had my fill. Even DH, who is slightly embarrassed about my knitting, told me I shouldn't knit socks anymore, "because no one can see them!" So I cast on for a shawl, with the Quail yarn (Yarns Handpainted in Sedona by Mary Gavan--talk about a concise name) from my New Mexico trip.
I was really keen on using this stitch in a shawl:
It's Shower Stitch in Barbara Walker's First Treasury. I started a shawl at the neck, growing down and out (sort of like all those triangular shawls, except without the line in the midle), with the hope that it would end up a big half-moon, and the pattern would look like fish scales or roof tiles (since the pattern would be upside-down).
A brief digression on the fish scales thing. Does everyone hate that Betty Page wannabe on Project Runway or what? "It's supposed to look like fish scales." Ugh. I think the producers keep her around because she's easy on the eyes, and makes for juicy tv in this, the worst season of PR ever. And I'm so glad I got rid of all but basic cable, because there's no way in hell I'd follow this shite to Lifetime! End digression.
I charted out the pattern, with increases on both sides, and got going. I've done 3 repeats, and it looks atrocious:
I thought maybe it was me, and asked DH if he saw a pattern. To his credit, after some consideration, he said, "Well, some parts have big holes and other parts are denser." I asked whether he saw any rounded shapes. "Um, no, just the holes." Oh lordy, it looks like a pile of Emmentaler! (Which, appropriately enough, smells like poo.) I think this yarn and lace pattern need a much smaller needle size, and at this gauge it's just a big holey net all tangled and yucked up by a catch of, erm, fish.
However, there is no optimist like the knitter surfing around on Ravelry for patterns, and now I'm going to make this fantastic North Roe shawl, by Dodile! Let someone else do the math! No seriously, more people need to write patterns that don't require seaming, picking up stitches, and other such nonsense...