This is, hands down, the most beautiful thing I have ever created.  I've made some pretty desserts and fine-looking main dishes, and I was very happy with my Left Bank Cardigan and fingerless mitts, but this by far surpasses them all.  Can you believe I made this myself???

I discovered this pattern back in March, when I had only been knitting for a few months.  I drooled over it and favorited it in Ravelry, and even went ahead and purchased the pattern, but I don't think I really believed that it would be something I could, or would ever, be able to make.  A few months later, indigodragonfly released a special edition colorway in their Merino Silk 4-ply Sock base that I thought would be perfect for this project, so I splurged and bought the yarn, and soon after found just the right beads.  The pattern and the yarn sat, waiting patiently, in the background while I continued to work on simpler projects and gained confidence in my knitting.

Towards the end of September, I decided I was ready, and with one false start, cast on (509 stitches!) on September 29.  And surprise, LilyGo's pattern is so well written that I really didn't have any problems at all.  I just kept plugging away, learned how to read my work and made sure the stitch counts were right after each repeat and the end of each row.  Slowly but surely, the gorgeous design started to emerge.  I was driving poor JD nuts every night, insisting on showing him my work in progress as soon as I finished a section, but I couldn't help it!

A little over a month later (much sooner than I had expected), my shawl was finished.  A good soak and careful pinning later, and I was holding my greatest knitting achievement (so far!).  I really felt that I had done LilyGo's wonderful pattern justice.  The yarn is perfect...gorgeous colors and with the sheen of the silk and the drape of the wool it really shows the design well.  

The lesson here?  Don't assume something is too difficult or out of your reach...make a goal and work towards achieving it.  It was great having this as a "dream project" on my radar for this past year.  Every time I looked at it, the goal seemed more real and more achievable.  The pattern became less complex as I learned more and more with my other projects.  I'm so glad I took the plunge!

About the name...the pattern is called Princess and the Pea (see those pea pods throughout the design?) and the colorway is Canoe Up To The Beer Store (there was severe flooding in an area of Canada this past spring and indigodragonfly was donating money from the sale of this yarn to help those affected) so I came up with The Princess and the Canoe.  

Thank you thank you so much to indigodragonfly for coming up with such wonderful yarn and colors, and BIG thanks to LilyGo for designing such a beautiful pattern that is written so well and is easy to follow!!!

Link to my Ravelry project page here.