In the comment section for yesterday's post on my home-school blog about Tasha Tudor Day, Carmie mentions that the instructions for the TT Shawl look pretty un-mindless to her. I thought I'd post what the pattern is basically -- you start with 3 stitches, and purposely add holes and increase a stitch every row until the shawl is wide enough.
This is the mindless part as you do the first 4 stitches each row the same way; all those other stitches are just knit stitches.Here are some pictures and explanations of those first 4 sts:
The first stitch -- and you do this EVERY ROW -- is simply wrapping the yarn around the needle to "make a stitch". This is the second stitch -- knit the first two stitches on the left-hand needle together as if they are just one stitch. You will now have 2 stitches on the right-hand needle. For the third stitch, bring the yarn forward between the two needles as if you were going to purl a stitch. Instead, wrap the yarn around the needle and you'll knit the next stitch. Here are the first four stitches on the right-hand needle.[NOTE: The first two rows don't have you do the k2tog, just the wrap at the beginning of the row.]
Again, this is the mindless part ... and takes a while as the finished shawl is 60" wide. You can stop at any time and make this shawl a doll shawl or one for a child (should be approximately the length from wrist to wrist when arms are straight out). This is the nice thing about this pattern as you can stop when you're tired.
Once I get to a suitable length, I will post close-ups of how to do the lace border/bind-off. If the lace part scares you, you can always leave the shawl without the lace edging, binding-off the top as a normal bind-off. It's a very elegantly simple shawl either way.
Oh, and as far as circulars go ... they're easier to use than straights as you don't have the knobs that catch on your clothes, pulling out the stitches you've worked so hard to put on the needles (this has happened a bit too often for me so I almost always use circs). They take a bit of getting used to and I'd recommend a 16" or 20" to start out.