Thursday, September 15, 2011

Isn’t it nice how life sometimes works out? Kristieinbc phoned from Canada yesterday. She has a nice voice. I felt sure we would get on if we ever got to meet. And she said she wasn’t mad at me for scuppering our long-laid plans to meet in K*rkmichael on the 24th of September. So, although still sad, I felt a good deal better about the whole thing.

And then she sent an email to say that she will be in Edinburgh for two days at the end of the month, after we get back from London. So we will meet after all!


Well, here it is. I can’t claim that last percentage point until I have mended two holes -- you can see them, up at the top -- and tied a couple of loose ends. But, essentially, finished. And I’m essentially pleased with it. This is the one where the border decreases are done throughout the rows, at wide intervals between the decrease rows – instead of mitering the corners as is usual. I rather like the effect – less rigid, design-wise. It does mean that there is a slight puckering, or at least bunching, at the internal corners, the corners of the central square. That effect has been much soothed by blocking, but you can see how the colour pools at those points.

My blocking isn't quite straight, either.

And look at this:

It is the box of Chinese yarn, said-to-be-cashmere but Cathy says not, which she and James gave me for Christmas a few years ago. (I think I’ll give our niece one of the ball bands to amuse her, along with the shawl.) I knit the Amedro lacy cobweb wrap, whatever it’s called, for Greek Helen last year with the dark yarn, and now this. Months of work. One’s heart sinks to see how much remains.

One of my serious resolutions for ought-12 is to figure out what to do with lace-yarn stash. Do charity knitters want it, is the first question? Can I do anything with it, knitting three strands together, is the second? I tried that once and didn’t like the effect, but I could try again.

On a brighter note, I decided I had done enough swatch-cap, threaded it onto waste yarn in case I want to go ahead and make an actual hat of it one day, and measured the gauge. Five stitches to the inch, bang on.

I had hoped that, after a little arithmetic, one of Jared’s sizes would give me the dimensions I want for big-Thomas, but it doesn’t work. “L” is too small and “XL” is nearly two inches too big, at five stitches to the inch.

Last night, I was tired. I felt it would be impossible to meddle with Jared’s arithmetic, and I would have to plump for one or the other. This morning, I feel stronger. The pattern is essentially pretty simple. I don’t see why I shouldn’t aim for exactly the size I want. I have started with a sleeve, as the pattern requires, completely ignoring the fact that I probably don’t have enough yarn. The Lord will provide.

And, gosh, the yarn is wonderful. A rich, saturated red with slight variations in intensity which are going to look marvellous, I think.

VK and Woolgathering both turned up yesterday, but will have to wait until tomorrow.

I don't know why we've got so much space between paragraphs today. Blogger's fault.


  1. What a sense of achievement you must have today ... that shawl has been a mammoth undertaking and yet here you are, finally done :) I'm sure your neice will love it :D

  2. Anonymous12:07 PM

    How lovely the shawl is! What a wonderful comfort it will be to your niece.

    Beverly in NJ

  3. Love the shawl! Was thinking that you might like multiple strands of lace weight if they were plyed together. Know anyone who spins?

  4. Congratulations on finishing the electric red shawl. it is a very special item indeed.

  5. The shawl is lovely and will be a wonderful comfort and keepsake for your niece. I'm sure worsted wt feels like a nice change after all that lace.

  6. grannypurple2:30 PM

    Wow--you got your woolgathering the same day as I did. I have a feeling that's not a compliment to the Canadian postal service...

  7. Jean, one can knit multiple strands of laceweight to equal a heavier yarn. Candace Eisner Strick has a line of designs ("Merging Colors") which gradually change color by virtue of swapping out a strand at a time.

    You could also just knit several strands of the same color.

    The challenge is to catch Every Strand in Each Stitch throughout.

  8. Did you block your blog as well as your shawl? ;)

    The shawl is beautiful, a marvelous way to memorialize your SIL.

    If you combine laceweights, think of painting with it. The little bits of color can be done up in many subtle ways. Swatch swatch swatch!

  9. well done on finishing the shawl. a worthy project. i hope your niece will love it. if you want to use up some more of your laceweight, then you could always knit it with other yarns. I like the purl scarf from last-minute knitted gifts for this because it uses chunky, thin and hairy yarns together. I'm also planning to knit up some lovely malabrigo sock yarn with some lace weight yarn to make myself a nice scarf. Must get on with that now that autumn and the howling winds are here!

  10. The shawl is lovely. Don't fret about the difference where the yarn gathers together at those corners - isn't that what makes it lace? - some parts with yarn and some parts with so little crossing the spaces you can see right through. It makes it "organic" the same way as the tapering of the ferny bits of the pattern do.

  11. Lynne.litchfield@gmail.com6:25 PM

    Hi Jean,
    Been lurking for quite a while, and went back and read a lot of the older posts. Love the style of your writing! And of course just love the shawl, it's amazing. I'm not a natural lace knitter and I too have a stash of lace weight......a couple of projects waiting for me to consider I have the patience ( retirement projects I suspect!) but am interested to see if you do tackle a multi-strand something.
    I bought blocking wires a while ago and find them invaluable for shawls, but I knit mostly in 4ply so not at all sure how lace would cope with them.

    All the best


  12. Have a look at Lucy Neatby's YouTube clip on Navaho(Navajo) knitting. It may provide a way to use your lace yarn without having to wind off three balls. I have a feeling that knitting with three strands would be easier for a thrower rather than a picker but I may be wrong.

  13. =Tamar12:27 AM

    The shawl is lovely!
    So is the leftover yarn, though I think "leftover" doesn't really apply to laceweight. If the Navajo knitting doesn't work, someone might like something made with the two colors held together, for a sort of tweedy effect. If all else fails, there are always stripes, and many people like the combination of red and black. I suspect that if you offered them in a random drawing from among commenters, there would be interest, even if the winner had to pay postage. Lastly, there are people who knit lace stockings.

  14. You must be pleased at how well the red shawl turned out. Just lovely! I think the blocking shot always magnifies any little glitches that absolutely no one will see when the shawl is worn.
    If Madelinetosh was hard to find, it will be even harder now after your glowing recommendation!