When I first saw Melanie Gibbons' Hanami stole pattern, I bought a copy. I thought it was lovely, not only in the way the knitting progressed, but in the story behind the design. (You can read about it at that link, if you want.)
What I didn't do, was cast on. I waited and pondered and looked at yarn wondering which one was exactly right for this project. My search came to an end last summer when I saw Dream in Color Baby in the Petal Showers colorway. It seemed an entirely appropriate yarn in every way. Laceweight, soft, and a lovely shade of creamy pink/ecru/tan that mirrors the story of the shawl and is feminine without being overly "girly." I bought two skeins, since the pattern said it required about 880 yards. I ended up using almost all of one skein (the small hank in the picture is what's left), which is 700 yards. That meant there were only two ends to weave in. Perfect!
The beaded cast on took a little time, but was well worth it. The seven repeats of the basket weave chart seemed to go on forever. When I finally finished that section, I needed to work on something else for a while, so the shawl went into the time-out bin. I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago and the rest of it just seemed to fly off the needles. I finished it on Thursday and blocked it on Friday.
And what can I say? I love it! I don't know if the pictures will do it justice, but I love the way the pattern progresses from one element to the next. I love the way the change directions of the decreases work together at the beginning of the falling petals sections to create an ebb and flow in the fabric -- something the pictures just can't capture completely. I love the "raindrops" the beaded cast on create and the ruffle at the other end, too. It's gorgeous.
Thank you, Melanie, for creating such a lovely piece of art that we could duplicate and wear.
So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of Hanami. I wish you could feel it through the computer!