Sep 2, 2008

Happiest Knit Ever

That's really the best way to describe this shawl. I love it beyond words and, as you can see, with a little hard work and focus I managed to finish it in time to wear to the Bar Mitzvah last weekend with the dress that inspired me to make it. In fact it was all blocked and ready to go with days to spare. All that week I sat with it draped across my lap petting it and admiring it. I have never created something so delicate and lovely before. I am so prod of this.

There are so many reasons to love this project like the fact that it was made with stash yarn that turned out to be a perfect match to my dress. It was Fino from Alpaca With a Twist and I got it at Mudfest 2006. It was one of this things where the yarn just begged to come home with me and then took up permanent residence in the stash because I had no purpose for it. It happens to all of us at some point.

Anyway, the yarn is silk/alpaca laceweight and it knit up beautifully. I'm still not comfortable using such fine yarn but this was really nice. It's got a lovely drape and a subtle sheen to it that's just lovely. The color is a wonderful warm wine that's nice and versatile. I'm sure that it'll go with lots of things.

The pattern is the Alpine knit scarf with double rose leaf center pattern and diamond border (Rav link) from Victorian Lace Today. I've heard people refer to lace without rest rows as being true lace and if that's the case then this is my first. I was a little worried about the lack of rest rows because they provide a nice break but it was no problem and the effect of lace without solid areas is so fine and light that it's worth the extra concentration.

The pattern was well-written and clear enough so that I got through the whole project without needing to use my lifelines at all. I did make a few errors but they weren't major and totally due to clumsiness on my part. Each time I noted an error I was ablte to correct it without ripping back because the lace was pretty easy to read. I like that.

The only change I made was the addition of glass beads along the ends and in the diamonds in the borders. They're kind of soft and subtle but I think that they add to the shawl in 2 ways. They obviously add shine and sparkle. The beads along the edges also add a little weight so that the ends fall nicely.

I wore this shawl all day on Saturday. I draped it over my shoulders and felt so happy and warm. It really didn't even matter if anyone noticed it or not but they did. Late Saturday night, as the party started to die down, my friend who's son we were celebrating, came over and asked if I made the shawl. You have to love friends who notice stuff like that.

She insisted that we go find her mother to show her and a few other relatives. They wre all impressed and said that it wasn't like the knitting they were used to seeing and threatened to swipe it if I wasn't careful. It was the perfect ending to a great day.


Margene said...

So delicate, so beautiful and a lovely accomplishment!

Chery said...

It's a beautiful shawl. Worth knitting, I'd say.

Carole Knits said...

It's a work of art, Hillary, and you should be proud of it. I hope you get lots of wear out of it! And you look wonderful, too!

Anonymous said...

Lovely on all scores. Classic. Nicely executed, well planned (with the beads), and the size is appropriate. It wraps and holds you well.

Great with your dress; perfect. I imagine it with a black outfit too, simple and with the hangdown giving a long line that flatters.

Stash-Relief is good too.

*^^* SLF

Cursing Mama said...

It is stunning!

Teyani said...

You look wonderful - and the shawl is gorgeous.
Knitting a lace shawl with no rest rows is an accomplishment to be so very proud of!! woo hoo!!
It's stunning. I'm glad so many people noticed what a wonderful hand knit you were wearing :-)

Sarah said...

That is a wonderful work of art that deserves to be enjoyed and noticed. It is gorgeous. I love your addition of beads.

Krista said...

The photos of you and your shawl are so beautiful! I hope one day to knit such wonderful lace.

Anonymous said...

Oh Hillary, that is absolutely stunning! You definitely should be very proud of it. And you look beautiful!

CrazyFiberLady said...

It is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful work. I really need to get me some of that yarn.