Magnum Opus? Maybe!

Magnum Opus
Noun: a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.

It’s done, FINALLY. It took just under a year to compete, there were quite a few stop and starts, a few fudges and pattern chart corrections, but. It. Is. Done. Heliotaxis is complete!

A close up of sooner lace detail, closing in on the last few rounds.

I spent a BIG chunk of time powering through the last 4 rounds, during which the stitch count increased from 580 something to a final total of 912. DAMN. The bind off took me an hour to do. But it’s done.

Project specs:

Pattern: Heliotaxis shawl, by Renata Brenner. Available for sale on Ravelry.

Yarn: Miss Babs Dulcinea, Platinum color, 1.98 skeins. 

Beads: Toho seed beads, 8/0 , approx (1.3) 7g packages.                                                  

Needles: Addi Click Lace US7/4.5mm

My Ravelry project page

First up, the pattern. This is a paid for pattern, costing $6.00 USD. It is a very complex pattern, and requires a high level of concentration. It certainly is not an ideal project for meeting up with your knitting buddies on Zoom. Since probably April when I started the penultimate chart, this shawl has had a permanent place on my craft room desk, because I needed to isolate to concentrate on it.

Into the wash bin! A good soak and block, coming up.

The pattern is both written and charted, and I followed the charted directions. I cannot speak for the accuracy of the written directions, but there is certainly an error in round 7 of chart #5. This error was noticed as I was trying to complete round 8 and NOTHING was lining up in the patterning. Another error of iffy-ness was the transition between charts 5 and 6. It’s a moment of forcing yourself to not scrutinise it to much and just do it. Which is hard to do after dealing with the definite error in chart 5.

Mad woman that I am, I decided to add beads to this already super complex pattern. The pattern doesn’t call for beads, so I had to do some guesswork by looking at the charts to mark bead placement. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. In hindsight, I would have placed the beads in chart 5 slightly differently, but it still looks good as is. Size 8/0 seed beads are perfect for lace weight yarn, and I applied them with an uber-tiny Clover steel crochet hook.

1600 yards of delicious lace.

Ok, now the yarn. Heliotaxis needed almost 2 full skeins of Miss Babs Dulcinea in the Platinum colorway. This is some fancy pants yarn. It’s a beautiful blend of merino, cashmere, and bombyx silk. So luxurious, perfect for this super special occasion shawl. I would absolutely use this yarn again.

This shawl was an emotional rollercoaster, an exercise in patience, and the result of stubborn determination. It was a spark of creative joy, to start making an accessory for my wedding. It was something I clung to, to feel like I still had control over something after our wedding plans changed for finance reasons, and then changed again because of Covid-19. It was something to focus on when I was unemployed for 2 months. It was very frustrating in some places, and oh so satisfying to bind off after having been on the needles for a year. Heliotaxis is my Magnum Opus… So far.

It’s currently blocking, locked up away from tiny cat claws. I can’t wait to wear it next month for our little family wedding dinner. Action shots to be posted later.

What’s your crafting magnus opus?

It took every blocking mat I own to pin this out…
… And so many pins.
Close up view of some bobbles and beads.

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