Way back in the Dark Ages - dark ages being defined here as "before Ravelry" - I wanted to try knitting a lace shawl.
I am fairly certain that what prompted this was the "Flower Basket Shawl" by (who else?) Evelyn A. Clark that was in the Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits. [issue out of print, but available electronically - or single pattern from Fiber Trends at link above]
A triangular shawl where the stitch count changed all the time did not seem like a good first lace project. Also it was charted. Maybe there were line instructions, too. I can't remember. I was pretty stunned by the chart which made absolutely no sense to me.
I ended up going with the Kimono Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's "Folk Shawls" book. In retrospect a good choice. A rectangle with a constant stitch count and only one, repeated motif. What really motivated me was a knitalong. Wendy of Wendy Knits announced the Summer of Lace and started a Yahoo Group.
That is how I met Mary. Mary and I were the only two people in the group who chose the Kimono Shawl for our project and Mary, who has always been ahead of me technically, sent me a personal e-mail hello. I think the Summer of Lace was golden.
Well a lot has happened since that summer in 2005. Wendy has gone on to publish 5 books (or more) and many individual patterns and still finds time to blog regularly and churn out an amazing amount of knitting.
When I noticed she was hosting (is that the right term?) a Summer Mystery Shawlette, I wanted to join in, too. I wanted to relive the fun of the Summer of Lace. I've seen several mystery shawl knitalongs and truthfully haven't ever wanted to do one. I couldn't imagine putting the time and yarn involved into a project without knowing what it was going to look like when finished. What if I didn't like it?
But I generally like Wendy's things and I feel confident that I'll enjoy whatever she designs.