In our post-Christmas gift card shopping spree, I bought myself Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today (click on the "thumb-through" for sample pages, or go and browse Grumperina's paean to the book here for even more photos). It's a lovely book, perfectly suited to the knitter's coffee table, filled as it is with gorgeous photos of lace shawls and stoles, and a nice dash of history. My eye was caught by a number of things -- not even including the Cambridge locations -- but a few days later I started on the Spider's-web Fichu, mostly because I conveniently had the yarn waiting in a drawer, namely,
Jaeger Alpaca 4-Ply in shade 393 Damson. (Not 395 as in the book, apparently a misprint, but perhaps it will not be much of a problem as it seems that Jaeger has discontinued this line entirely). The fichu is a fairly easy knit, although it took me a few rows to settle in with the chart. The triangle is in fact one repeat, worked x times depending on whether you are making the half-hexagon (3 repeats) or the full version (6 times), the pink squares being the single line of st st that runs upwards between the triangles. Thus, here --
is one full repeat of the chart on the right needle, with the garter st edge border, which is not included in the chart. Once you see how it grows, very organically from the previous rows, it is quite simple.
The crochet cast-on for the border as given in the instructions leaves the working yarn at the left side, without mentioning a set-up row to bring it back into place for starting Chart D, and so I used a regular lace cast-on instead, attaching it to the edge of the shawl on the next (WS) row.
You do have to start the border at the opposite corner to where you finished (wh. is not mentioned in the pattern), otherwise the RS will be facing the back. This may not matter terribly much on a garter-based border, really, but somehow I just couldn't bring myself to work it that way. (Be sure to visit the corrections page at XRX for errata and clarifications.)
It seems to make a rather larger shape than a half-hexagon, coming off of the needles in what is actually three-quarters of a square, each repeat of Chart A being an equilateral triangle. I couldn't get it to block as an actual half-hexagon without making it much larger than the specified measurements -- either the garter stitch edge was straight and the triangles waved a bit, or the triangles were smooth but the border curved. This is nice, though, as the finished piece sits on the shoulders much more easily.
And some details of the finished fichu --
A satisfying knit, with very pretty results. Laura is utterly charmed with it, too!